Celebrate Earth Hour: it's meaningless but it's a start
The Drum Unleashed contributor Sophie Constance has a truly new age biography:
Sophie Constance is a recognised leader in the field of "societal management" and its integration with corporate strategy.Exactly what all this means is unclear but her latest Unleashed contribution aligns perfectly with her bio:
She is Director of Societal Business - Corporate Social Leadership, a strategic advisory that helps businesses create value through sustainability management. Focusing on "sustainability alignment" for organisations and multi-sectoral engagement, Societal Business specialises in socio-economic sustainability factors such as values driven leadership, water stewardship, re-framing issues such as poverty alleviation, and other sustainability themes involving public/private sector collaboration.
The threat we face is real. As Dr Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, wrote in The Age (30 March 10), "Altered frequencies and intensities of extreme weather are expected to have mostly adverse effects on natural and human systems." When we think about the world, not the planet, we can face up to this. It also stops us quibbling about what's human-caused and what's not. The focus of our attention and efforts should be on the major risk to humanity and our world's amazing biodiversity - whether it's the 2010 floods in Pakistan, the 2011 floods in Queensland, the wildfires in Russia, landslides in China, or the recent earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan; whether it's definitely, maybe, or not at all caused by climate change.Sophie has written a mish mash of half-baked, fact-short nonsense imploring us to do the "right thing" in celebrating Earth hour by turning off our lights – it may be only symbolic but it's a start. So if you want to feel good about your contribution to saving the planet turn those lights off for an hour.
It also broadens the issue to everything that affects us. "Saving the planet" is a green issue, but saving the world means addressing social, environmental, economic, and cultural issues: total sustainability.
Finally, talking about the world not the planet changes how we see our role here. In "saving the planet", humanity gives itself the role of custodian. It implies that the planet is ours to use. And that's exactly the attitude that got us into this mess.
If we want to save our world, then we need to remember that it is many communities, not just of human beings, but of plants and animals (ecosystems). Instead of behaving like citizens, we've behaved like consumers. Even the projects to change our behaviour still frame us as consumers.