Henry George, perhaps the best-known economist from the end of the US Wild West era, pointed out that with progress comes poverty. This is ever more true today. Communities, once places that were home to people with the skills and tools to provide most of what you needed, from midwives to undertakers, from roofers to foundation layers, are now mere dormitory units serving in a global network of corporations. As the fortunes of corporations change, and their hunt for cheaper labour takes them offshore, it can happen that dormitory areas are thrown into poverty. Poverty, then, is the other side of the coin of progress. And most seem to accept it.
But attitudes are starting to change. People are starting to understand that living local economies can withstand the whims of corporate relocation. People are starting to see that helping each other is a better deal than finding ways of getting people to pay for literally everything in a monetarized world rapidly going nowhere.
According to NOAA, 2014 broke temperature records:
- 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880.
- The global average ocean temperature was also record high, at 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 16.1°C (60.9°F), breaking all previous records.
- Average land surface temperature was 1.00°C (1.80°F) above the 20th century average of 8.5°C (47.3°F), the fourth highest annual value on record.
The data show that global warming has not slowed, as some have proposed. Says Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change: “The record temperatures last year should focus the minds of governments across the world on the scale of the risks that climate change is creating, and the urgency of the action that is required, including an international agreement to strongly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to be reached at the United Nations climate change summit in Paris in December 2015,”
READ MORE article on BBC News
Do check out what is happening on the 21 September in your Area.
I will be taking part in celebrations in Stockholm, Sweden, sharing the work being done by the Humanitarian Water and Food Award-
Come and join us at Debaser! (more details to come)
The video below explains the day.
See the video featuring Peace Ambassador Prem Rawat
And a final reminder.
Peace is a feeling. It is inside you. Peace starts now. In this moment
To make a real difference in the world, corporations could start supporting food and water security. If everyone contributed to create a food secure world, entrepreneurship, prosperity and then ultimately peace would flourish.
Volunteers for organisations working with food security, like the Water and Food Award, are often told that; “our business isn’t in water and food” so we are not interested in supporting your cause. Read More…
This month, the subject of risk and how we see risk has become even more apparent as the IPCC, the UN’s panel on Climate Change, releases its latest reports. Our very way of life is threatened according to how you read the risk estimates. Standing back and taking a cold look at the situation, many would ask themselves; “why are we taking such a risk?” The same question has been asked of Easter Islanders way back; ” how come they chopped down the last tree?”. (According to popular stories, the population collapsed and they cannibalized each other.) Read More…
A recent report issued by the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation proposes putting a fee on phosphorus and nitrogen imports in order to stimulate the economy to run clean and protect the Baltic Sea. The Foundation calls it the Flexible Pollutant Fee Mechanism (flex fees). Although a fee will make some food more expensive, paradoxically the Foundation claims that the economy will be stimulated. More jobs, green ones at that, will be created as the Foundation proposes that the fees collected are returned to the economy stimulating the demand for green technology and new jobs. Compared to Cap and Trade, the Foundation sees flex fees as being a more effective way to price pollution.
Most ideas about what business is come from the 1930’s onwards when the idea of corporation, limited liability, first appeared.
But times change. The table above, from our CSR webinar, shows just how much has changed in 50 years. Maybe it is time to review the deep underlying paradigms about what business actually is? Read More…
Where is business going? At least we can say reviewing the recent editions of Signals of Change Newsletter it seems that a new leadership is emerging. From the Copenhagen-based Water and Food Award’s simple observation that people need food security for the world to have peace and prosperity, to Michael Porter’s declaration that business and society have common shared values. To experts like Johan Rockström’s simple observation that nature is sending a bill, to a myriad of corporations redefining the core of their missions. Read More…
After leaving Ericsson in 2001 I started exploring alternatives to the Industrial Society. During recent years, volunteering for the Water and Food Award, and helping start an Eco -Village were profound experiences. Among others things I had the opportunity to step back and look at what is happening.
Many businesses in going about their business are actually undermining the conditions needed for people to live well. Albeit inadvertently.
No-one means it to be this way, I am sure, but the planet is becoming crowded, our financial systems are leading to uneven wealth distribution and our energy systems are depleting non-renewable energy and climate systems. Several boundaries have already been breached and more are on their way to being exceeded. We are entering into times when we are living outside the safe zone. Read More…
Reflections on experiences at this year’s Future Perfect festival, designed to bring together sustainability thinkers and doers…
The Future Perfect Festival, held on the Stockholm archipelago Island of Grinda, wrapped up recently. The event, now in its third year, is designed to provide a space for those engaged emotionally and professionally in sustainability; a space where they can gather, engage in dialogue and co-create.
Future Perfect, the brainchild of John Manoochehri, is a unique kind of festival, and it is badly needed. Even if, like myself, you are engaged in sustainability on an almost daily basis, the topic is far too wide for any one mind to take in. We need to listen to each others perspective. If we as a species are going to successfully transition away from the present counter-sustainable culture we live in we need to do it together. This means talking, listening to each other, sparking ideas off each other, trying ideas out, coming up with ideas together, and developing our perspective by reflecting in the company of those who both agree and disagree with us. Read More…