These lofty aims are not unrealistic simply because they are lofty. Lofty does not mean vague. It can mean trying to see clearly and to give a sense of the direction of travel rather than the name of every station in between. Of course, this scares the pre-committed and closed-minded. Shifts in Zeitgeist are mostly triggered by the coming together of sets of circumstance: an event like Hurricane Katrina or 9/11 or, on a lesser scale, the sudden awareness of a tipping point - the UK government's 'Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change' report of January 2006 makes global warming deniers seem crazily committed to being blind; the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency 2005 report documents coldly the connection between segregation, deprivation, sectarian violence and lack of economic prospects. These 'events' are enhanced by media clamour. Suddenly it seems the time has come for a set of ideas. And the hordes of the new Zeitgeisters are ready to pounce.
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