Friday, March 25, 2011

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.

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.
Exactly what all this means is unclear but her latest Unleashed contribution aligns perfectly with her bio:
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.

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.
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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"is a recognised leader in the field of "societal management" and its integration with corporate strategy"

WHAT THE &^%$?


what sort of corporation would pay for this? whatever 'this' is?

'societal management" sounds like something from Orwells 1984.

this would be like a large inner city council employing a wiccan witch to advise them on team building......oh wait a minute....

Never mind

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah I thought I had seen the term before - I lifted this from the official PRC's People's Daily Online....

"People's welfare," "happiness" and "stability" have become the keywords for the Twelfth Five-Year Plan. It will enrich Marx's social management theory and make innovation to CPC's mass work in new phase by building an all-round well-off society"

Yes I see exactly where abc unleashed's author's get's their inspiration from.

Peace out, comrades

7:09 PM  
Blogger Minicapt said...

Sustainable cheese trays for responsible community barbeques should be a suitable follow-on to that water management stuff. Or better finger foods.


7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody who has to quote Pachauri as an authority is on shaky ground.
He is too busy looking after his business enterprises to study the problem

9:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home