Is the “Auto-pilot” correctly set…?

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When I did my mandatory military service in the early 80-ies, I spent almost a year at the Swedish Air force aviation academy – not as a pilot though…

A couple of times I was invited by the flight instructors to have a test-ride in one of the fighter-jets – two strong anti-airsickness pills – and whoooom, up we went. 4,000 meters above ground travelling at 850 km/h, the instructor pushed a button and told me; -“The stick is all yours…” referring to the flight controls. I grabbed it with a “cramp-like” grip – it went really well for almost five minutes, then the instructor once again pushed the button, regained control and made a slow roll (thank God for anti- airsickness pills…) before we landed.

When climbing out of the plane I took a last look at all the complicated controls, especially the button he had pushed earlier – it said “Autopilot”…

This was probably one of my first encounters with the “Lock-In Effect” – an effect that in many ways resemble “Autopilot” in the way it tends to continue along an already set “route”… Continue reading

Point of NO RETURN – a Sustainable perspective…

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…from Wikipedia;

“The ‘Point of No Return’ is the point beyond which one must continue on one’s current course of action because turning back is physically impossible…

The phrase originates from the flying industry, representing the distance where you no longer have enough fuel to return to your starting point.

But what if we know that continuing on the current course is a certain path to destruction…

…if we know that our current course of life is all but Sustainable?
Is it not that, with increased knowledge the phrase “Point of No Return” gets a “slightly” different importance – that we in this context definitely cannot “continue one´s current course of action” because that’s exactly what is “physically impossible”…?

and still – what is it that seemingly makes so many people rather opt for a future with unimaginable and extremely harsh consequences to our society and our planet rather than adjusting current behaviours to better accommodate a Sustainable lifestyle…

Is it only lack of knowledge or is it an inability or even unwillingness to understand the nature, the scale, the urgency and seriousness of the very real and unprecedented threat that we are facing?

Let’s take a look at two “phenomena” in our society – maybe you can help me figure out if we have reached the “Point of NO RETURN” on these… Continue reading

FUTURE – What a beautiful wor(l)d…

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Do you remember when you where a child – when you woke up to a new fantastic day, every morning, when you looked around at all the marvels of our world…

“…I remember the first time, after a long and cold winter, when you could run around outside barefoot in the grass and the first experience of doing the same on a gravel road (ouch!!) – but also having played around for a whole day in the snow being so cold that you had to put your feet on the hot boiler for 20 minutes just to be able to untie your deep-frozen shoelaces – that tingling feeling when your toes return from “blueish” to a more natural colour…

…Eating strawberries directly from the garden behind my mother’s back – she was saving them to make jam – never being worried that they had been sprayed with weed poison – or drinking milk that had only travelled 30 meters from our barn, if you don’t include all the kilometres the cows had walked to graze on naturally fertilized fields…

…I remember when the local (20 km) grocery-store owner once every Thursday stopped in the yard with his car delivering groceries my mother had ordered over the phone – or when the dairy-truck left a package containing cheese and butter as a “part-payment” when they collected the milk-containers with fresh milk…

…Or when I, new flashlight in hand, on a dark and rainy night walked over to the neighbour to play monopoly with their kids, being a little scared of the dark – but only a little…

…I also remember the sometimes hard work as a teenager, helping out with all kinds of tasks on the farm – not expecting more payment than a safe upbringing and a chance to an equally good life…

How can anyone, being sane, rob today and tomorrow’s children of the opportunity…? Continue reading

Money Talks… but what are they saying?

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“Money Talks” – is probably one of the most worn-out expressions in the phrase book.
Quite often the phrase is used by money-focused people to dismiss or terminate any discussion, especially discussions arguing that there are other values to life than economic wealth.

Another typical use is when rich people want to show-off their wealth, pointing out that “anything can be bought”…

But – a Phrase is one thing, what it really communicates is something else, isn’t it?

Let’s take a look at what they are really saying… Continue reading

Reality Check – are you “in Touch”…?

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…have you ever heard the expression – “Living the fairy-tale” …

I always thought it was a way to embrace or talk about visions and dreams – never did I believe that it could be widely used to describe a common contemporary behaviour…

For the vast majority of people on this planet the current “western lifestyle” is a fairy-tale, and given the enormous negative effects it has caused our planet so far – it will continue to be a fairy-tale – pretending anything else is pure escapism. It’s not that most people, not is going to be able to increase their standard of living, because they will, but the standard of living distributed on 9.5 Billion people have to be a significantly different one – for ALL OF US! The planetary boundaries are non-negotiable, the Earth’s “carrying-capacity” is not infinite. (Unlike economists belief about economic growth…)

…If you tell a lie enough times, and never are caught or questioned – is there any risk that you will eventually begin to regard it as the truth? …and maybe even the Society will…

Is there in fact a risk that a “foul behaviour” evolves through, what is often called “aggressions dynamics” so that bad ethics to large extent could drive good ethics out of the market…

Could it be like that…?

Continue reading

We need CHANGE, not fine-tuning…!

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…when my father grew old he devoted at lot of his time to handicraft and woodwork – I never once saw him use a sandpaper to change one of his works, only to fine-tune it…

“Our Business-as-Usual is Sustainable; we only need to fine-tune it a little …”

This seems to be the most common Sustainability-approach these days.

Ever since I read that the January 2014 Global 100 ranking of the world’s 100 most sustainable large publically traded companies included ten oil and gas companies [?], and that the December 2013 Climate Counts rankings of corporations with the most sustainable carbon emissions included five oil and gas companies [?], it has become even more obvious that fewer corporations than first anticipated are really addressing Sustainability.

How can a corporation with a basic business-concept to exploit unrenewable fossil fuels ever make it to a “Sustainability Top-list” – it is utterly ridiculous!

…and what does it say about current sustainability performance measurement schemes and the other companies on that list…?

A list promoted and broadcasted by its publisher, Corporate Knights Capital, as “the world’s pre-eminent corporate sustainability index”, “The most transparent and objective corporate sustainability assessment in existence” and “Companies named to the Global 100 Index are the top overall sustainability performers in their respective sector”…

With the latest IPCC-report at hand, summarizing and strongly emphasizing the urgent need to rapidly abandon all dirty fossil fuels in coming decades, this list, the way the list is promoted and the way corporations try to dodge from responsibility is… I’m really out of words strong enough here!

Continue reading

We all live “downstream”…

Upstream-Downstream

Except maybe for a very small amount of indigenous people, we all live downstream of human activity – a fact that makes it even more incomprehensible – The way we treat our planet

www.sorenandersson.comWe are getting used to air-pollution alarms coming from China practically every day – a couple of weeks ago I met with a friend currently living in Shanghai, he showed me the “App” he was using on a daily basis, to monitor the actual level of pollution.

…I looked at my own phone and the weather-app telling me if it is Sunny or Windy and what temperature I need to “worry” about [!]…

Last week it was Paris suffering from smog, with pollution levels far exceeding the WHO-standards, forcing officials to introduce free public transport, including cycle and electric car-sharing schemes and regulations that drivers may only use their cars on alternate days, according to the odd or even numbers on their licence plates.

But there is more to Living “Downstream” – Much moreContinue reading

A Sustainability Cheat-Sheet…

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I bet you have seen them – Corporations that believe Sustainability only needs to be added to Business-as-usual like an adhesive sticker… believing that if they only can be perceived as Sustainable, its “Good Enough” – it will give them respite to continue as usual….

… and your reaction to this?

Let’s take a look at some rather common practices – please help me determine whether they should be on the “Sustainability Cheat-Sheet”… Continue reading

Is Inflation a “threat” to a Sustainable future…?

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The other day I read in an article that IMF chief Christine Lagarde urged the euro zone to “fight persistently low inflation”. This made me curious about Inflation, why is it so important that we actually should “fight for it” – what do I really know about it, and how does it fit with a Sustainable Future?

Having done some research, enriching my own very modest knowledge on the subject, I realize that inflation is a very complex issue – I doubt if anyone can really see or understand the “full picture”… On the other hand, there are many people hearing the word “Inflation” every day or even carelessly using it, without ever reflecting on its full implication…

Some reflections on this topic, and a few others… Continue reading

A free market – Free at “ANY” price…?

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For decades we have been told the idea that an unregulated free market is the best solution for “everything”, and that the common rule of “demand & supply” is applicable everywhere and is in fact the “only” regulation necessary…

Well – it doesn’t take a skilled scientist to find out that although a free market definitely has its advantages compared to other systems – Greed and hunger for economic Profits and Power “might have” distorted the basics to such extent that one could really argue whether a “truly free” market exists anywhere, and whether it is compatible with a finite environment – One planet.

…could it even be so that “priviliged people and corporations” have changed the meaning of the term “free market” so that it today means freedom to do anything that can bring financial gain…

Let’s take a look at what the Free in “free market” could be a associated with:  Continue reading