Sustainability at the Crossroads – When do WE change?

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Sustainability at the Crossroads – When do WE change?

There has been a lot of emphasis on saving resources as a way ‘to do better’. The truth is no one knows what ‘to do better’ means. We often look first to savings in energy because it directly affects the pocket book so we think that the savings will translate into better environmental performance. Often it does not but it does enrich a few more shareholders who like that expenditures have gone down. Basically, we can make tweaks in efficiency but this usually only translates into increased productivity which means each widget is cheaper to make and we make more of them – back to ground zero.

George Manbiot writes in the Guardian in his article – Our natural world is disappearing before our eyes. We have to save it, In a succinct and paralyzing statement he underscores our current loss

As a child and young adult, I delighted in being able to identify almost any wild plant or animal. And now it has gone. This ability has shrivelled from disuse: I can no longer identify them because I can no longer find them.

The article continues…”The United Nations reports that our use of natural resources has tripled in 40 years. The great expansion of mining, logging, meat production and industrial fishing is cleansing the planet of its wild places and natural wonders. What economists proclaim as progress, ecologists recognize as ruin.”

We are failing to recognize we have ruined ourselves. Ignorance of the natural world and failure to develop our earthly knowledge so we might thrive has left us with plastic, debt, pollution and now finding out how to survive. We went left somewhere when we should have gone right and a course correction is coming whether we like it or not.

Chris leading a hike up the falls

Chris leading a hike up the falls.

I run leadership courses in the wild to make a point. I show a person how far removed they are from their natural self and how strange it is to begin to reconnect with nature. Some have profound changes in their perspectives, others cannot wait to turn their phone on again. It is us who must change and soon.

All of our knowledge and personal resolve must be directed toward a paradigm shift in consciousness, leadership and new processes that respect health and community which includes our natural environment.

About the Author:

Christopher Caldwell is an author and educator in organizational sustainability, leadership and change.

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