Friday, September 26, 2008

Carbon Neutral Flash Mobs

As global warming relentlessly keeps on melting the Arctic’s ever shrinking permanent ice pack, should we be adopting a low carbon lifestyle like starting carbon neutral flash mobs?

By: Ringo Bones

Since the advent of the Internet, e-mails have grown from a simple electronic data analog of good old-fashioned mail to creating one of the latest forms of political expression-of-protest – namely flash mobs. Much maligned for initiating the infamous “Battle of Seattle” – i.e. the anti-globalization, anti-capitalism protests by anarchist and activist against the November 30, 1999 WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle, Washington. Nicknamed “N30”, the protests are mainly concentrated outside the hotels and nearby streets of the Seattle Convention Center was famed for the first ever large-scale use of flash mobs to gather a large number of protestors. Thus causing flash mobs to become a veritable tour de force of political activism in the 21st Century.

Wikipedia defines flash mobs (probably one of their youngest word entries) as a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, do something unusual or notable. And then disperse as if nothing had happened. Flash mobs are usually organized with the help of the Internet or other digital communications networks. Even though the various originators of flash mobs during the second half of the 1990’s had openly expressed that they have no lofty social or political ambitions. Their goal is just to meet in a public place and perform a random, obscure, and generally absurd act just for the sheer “experiential heck” of it. But it doesn’t preclude flash mobs from being used as a positive social force, namely as a peaceful form of political activism.

The flash mob of the Battle of Seattle / N30 happened because of the major sticking point of everyone expressing disdain against unbridled capitalism that best thrives only in an environment of extreme economic disparity is the amount of damage it has continue to bear upon our environment. As a means to being true to “our cause”, it’s only logical to discuss about low-carbon or carbon neutral flash mobs. Especially to show support of the coming Alternatively Fuelled Vehicle Day slated for the 3rd of October 2008.

Even though the mechanics of a typical flash mob is to send large numbers of people to congregate at one particular spot at a certain time using the existing Internet infrastructure as a clarion call is relatively easy nowadays. And may get much easier in the future due to the continuously galloping pace of technological development. But organizing it successfully is another task entirely even though this can be the perfect platform to spread the message that the only form of energy that is truly free is energy conservation.

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