London has silos and I’m not talking the concrete ones near the CP or CN lines. The silos or bubbles that are here in London are the artificial kind made up of divisions, distinctions or ignorant/arrogant prejudices. Even when people try to call London residents out on their silos it seems they want one great big silo for the entire city. As if London can exist in a vacuum separate from the rest of the region, province, nation or globe.
I have been questioned to why and had people look slightly amused or amazed when I mention I follow people from around the world. It, to me, is foolish to have a global medium such as twitter and turn it into a silo mirroring the other silos. The thing is finding local people can be easier when following non-local people. I found a local make-up artist to follow because I followed an actress from Edmonton/Vancouver. I made a friend in London because we have a mutual face book fiend in Texas. Even following people of differing points of view or opposite ideology I have discovered commonality that transcends the labelled silos people get placed in.
When I see London raising silos based on which street, area, ideology, economic level or mode of transportation I have begun to roll my eyes and tune out. This mainly out of sanity and fighting the infectious disease that silo building is. The thing is we are not building silos, or blowing bubbles but imprisoning ourselves. London has a toxic addiction to the silos and the argument of they make people comfortable is no different to the addict who feels better after a dose of their addiction. The dividing of London from the rest of the world or divisions within London is going to destroy London.
London is a very energy intense city to live in. The sprawl and poor resource allocation makes London very vulnerable to global events that can cripple the London economy faster than any local political or corporate decision. The Ukrainian situation could come back to London in higher natural gas prices because Moscow could retaliate against Europe for their support for the anti-Russian protesters thus sending global prices up. Any one of China’s border disputes with its neighbours could cut those cheap products from arriving on London’s shelves or make them expensive enough employees are laid off to maintain profits. Or what would happen to gas prices if the Saudi King appointed a woman as health minister and the Islamic extremists responded by destroying the Saudi’s oil infrastructure? There are plenty of global situations that could cripple the local London economy.
Within Canada we have events and decisions happening outside of London that can cause London more problems. How much more has London had to pay for construction because of the corruption in Quebec or the Toronto concrete price fixing? Corruption and organized crime are global problems that do not recognize any boundaries but their own. London’s silo walls or bubble membrane is not going to protect London nor will ignoring it. London may think the status quo is acceptable but it is costing the cities future.
Some silos are so small they only contain an individual who believes they are independent of everyone else. The self made man, the survivalist, the rugged individualist and similar types are the ones who rely on complex societies the most. The survivalist with the big truck and locker full of guns needs a very complex society indeed to provide fuel and bullets. In my experience the more people say they don’t need society or take from society the more dependant on society they are.
All creation is destructive and in order to build a stronger London we will need to destroy the silos and the current London. To protect London from global events is impossible but we can take measures to mitigate the negative effects by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and mega corporations for employment. To protect London residents we need to look after our own which includes the low wage worker in Bangladesh or Indonesia because all Earth is local. We want those workers to earn enough to buy from London, do we not? We in London could also champion an Ontario and a national commission into corruption to mitigate the damages it is doing to us all. To continue to ignore the problem is to condone it.
Ultimately we need flexibility and awareness of what can help and harm London, bubbles and silos keep us unaware. The false argument of no time or I have to much burden is all just another silo people have chosen. To choose the resource intense, time sucking life style and then complain about it is hypocrisy. Claiming that lifestyle is imposed by corporations is no argument as all corporations are houses of cards easily toppled if we break free from the silos that hold them up.
Breaking free of the silos will not be easy, nor comfortable but the results should out way the costs. For to long London has been a prison, now is the time to escape, take responsibility and realize the details are important but irrelevant without the big picture context. As the old saying goes we hang together or we’ll be all hanged separately.