The anaesthetic effect of money…

www.sorenandersson.com

There seems to be one specific anaesthetic that actually prevents people from feeling anything at all… a drug so potent that it eradicates empathy and decency…

Among the known side effects of this drug, the most common one is the “torsion-effect” to the neck muscles – that make the head always “turn away”…

Many (most) people in the “western” economies are living a lifestyle that is way beyond a sustainable level. (The average Swedish lifestyle distributed worldwide would need 3.5 planets to support it, the US average lifestyle almost 4.5)

 “If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.”

 – Vicki Robin

Although more and more people (but still a small minority) are becoming aware that the underpinning reason for on-going Climate change and the overexploitation of resources and people is our Excessive Consumerism – very little is changing…in real terms, nothing is changing… Continue reading

Replacing one bad idea with another bad idea – Is that wise…?

Albert Einstein

First Coal, then Oil, then Gas, then Tar sands-Oil, then Fracking Gas – replacing one fossil fuel with another one, with another one, and another one – Is that going to fix it…?

Re-using ideas again and again, isn’t that somehow the essence of Industrialism – “mass-production”…

When looking at the current equation there seems to be only one fixed variable – that our current “western” lifestyle is untouchable – while all other variables such as depletions of species and resources and destruction of our climate “apparently” are changeable… or can be disregarded…

…Any chance that the situation in reality is the other way around…

I am neither a scientist nor a mathematician, but it doesn’t take rocket-science, just connect some of the dots and use the basic arithmetic from school – It just doesn’t “add up!” Continue reading

And the Silence prevails…

shh-dont mention the climate

Recently I have read articles arguing that we should not talk too much about the Climate and Climate-Change because people suffer from “climate-fatigue” or a bad “environment-conscience”…

It’s almost like a scene from the English sitcom ”Fawlty Towers” – you know the one where Basil (John Cleese) urges everyone “not to mention the war” – just because he is, for some reason, afraid that it could intimidate their German guests…and then he is of course the one who, really puts his foot in his mouth…
(If you haven’t seen it – follow this Link to see one of the scenes. 1:54 min)

At the same time the constant and much more “high-pitched” commercial messages of “Buy, Buy, Buy”, Soap/reality-series like “The Apprentice” and the Fortune 500 list about the most profitable companies on the Planet are not challenged at all, in fact they get front-pages, headlines, prime-time and even a lot of editorial space everywhere.

What is happening here?  – “Hey folks, we are on the verge of crossing a tipping point into catastrophic climate change, that will irreversibly change our planet and the basics of our existence as a society! – But don’t mention itContinue reading

Sustainability is NOT about making sacrifices!

Step Back - Think

Sometimes when I give speeches or hold lectures on the subject of Sustainability, people ask me “Do we really have to give up all this…” referring to our current way of life.

Let me therefore start this article and reflection on life, with a short anecdote; Continue reading

… the art of – ”Looking the other way…”

Can't see the forest for the trees

It is fantastic to see the amount of activities and initiatives that have been launched lately with the objective to move into a more sustainable society.

But still – Although increasing activity, very little has been done, addressing the main cause of our current predicament – Consumerism. In fact, if you “round-off” the overall number of “reduce-consumerism-activities” on a global scale (using no decimals) you would probably end up with a big Zero “0”… (or even less)

Most people, corporations, and governments for that matter, seem to believe that their specific activity with only a slight moderation and perhaps some kind of “reporting” or certification most certainly is sustainable just the way it is…

I don’t get it – we are currently consuming our planets resources at a rate of 156% (Link) of its capacity and increasing, the extinction of species is growing rapidly, the sea-ice in the Arctic is almost gone, water-scarcity is increasing in many regions, severe droughts, storms, flooding and wild-fires have become the new “ordinary” – it must then be “everybody else” that needs to change… Continue reading

Free the Potential – become a leader in a Sustainable society…

Path forward

Following one of my prior blog-posts “Management in a Sustainable future…” I got a lot of comments and interesting impulses – many people seem to have realized that our out-dated Management systems needs to change, and to change quickly if corporations are going to “survive” the transition to a Sustainable society.

“Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of coordinating the efforts of people to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively“

When looking at the interpretation of “Management” in Wikipedia, this is the first sentence.
– Have we, in reality, mistakenly believed that Management and Managers also are “Leaders” and “Visionaries” – are they, in reality, only “caretakers” of a process to “accomplish desired goals”…. Continue reading

Stop the distraction – move into Action!

Less bad is not enough

During the last couple of weeks there have been numerous articles on the subject of “G4”, the latest version of the Global Reporting Initiatives reporting system for “sustainability” reporting – to some, this may give the perception as if  “Sustainable Business” is up and running…

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

 – Confucius

Implementing a detailed “scoring-system” on existing business-setups isn’t likely to trigger the transformational and systemic changes necessary to mitigate the treat from Climate Change; instead it might serve as a distraction and delay – A “Green-Wash“. Continue reading

Stop the Waste – Rethink the process!

UNEP-WED2013

It is amazing how we have set up processes creating so much Waste – What were we thinking? Better said – What ARE we thinking! – very little has changed.

On June 5th it is time again to put extra focus on waste – World Environment Day is this year focusing on Food waste.

The number of undernourished people in the world is slowly, very slowly, decreasing from more than 1 Billion people. When I recently (May 30th) checked the number at  http://www.worldometers.info/undernourishment/ the counter showed:

900,803,000 undernourished people in the world (!)

Recently there was a large “outcry” regarding falsified meat-declarations, the “horse-meat-scandal”, it made all the headlines and the journalists kept the story rolling for quite some time – at the same time more than 900 million people are fighting hard to get any food at all, while we in the rich parts of the world waste more than 30% or 222,000,000 tonnes of food each year. This reality has a hard time to reach the headlines or our conscience although it goes on during every hour and minute of the year!

“One death is a tragedy. A million is a statistic.”

– Joseph Stalin

It is about time to set the focus right – don’t you agree?! Continue reading

WWTEW – the “Stealthy” international web…

Departure

We have all heard of them “Tax shelters”, “Shell-companies”, “Offshore trust”, “Free economic zone”, Tax haven”, “Money laundering”, ”Offshore bank”, “Tax exile” and so on.

There are more than 95 Countries/Territories known as “offshore financial centres” many of them designated by notable institutions such as, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Although these “money-hubs” may serve some practical use to ease transfer of money globally, there must be some basic reason why they exist… could they be Loopholes? Continue reading

What is MY purpose in a sustainable world?

Purpose

In some earlier articles I have tried to emphasize on the “problem” with incremental change, in relation to Sustainability. Here’s a new attempt.

Often when we talk about change, many people start by defining where we are, not seldom describing the current situation in great detail. The problem with this approach is that immediately you have created a huge “backpack” that you need to carry all the way, a lot of details, all in need of care during the journey…

This approach automatically creates an incremental change behavior – With so much details, few corporation has the willpower or manpower to make a total overhaul and furthermore the height of the “pile of work” itself can be depressive. Continue reading