26 Feb Let’s get real on: the environment
Let’s get real on pollution and the environment, and not greenwash this issue. So many of the ideas that certain politicians propose, so many of the initiatives from some business leaders, make no effect on our behaviour—and I often wonder what’s the right way to save our planet and get both rich and poor countries to respect and follow it.
I need to say from the very beginning, and I’ll repeat it as much as I can: we are temporary guests on this planet! And we need to remind ourselves and act accordingly. Some indigenous cultures get this, and they’ve managed their resources for centuries responsibly. Why can’t the rest of us?
This is principle A.
Principle B is weighing up benefit and harm. Let’s use the traditional scale. On one side are all the benefits and on the other are all the harms the product can create. If there are more benefits than harm, then the product is suitable for production; if not …
Here’s a case. Take a small bottle of water produced somewhere in southern Europe, the type that you’ll all be familiar with. On one side are the harms: producing the glass bottle, the metal cap, the sticker on the bottle itself. Then transportation between suppliers. Transportation for the refilling of water. Packing the product into boxes, transporting to the central warehouse, which uses space, electricity and workers. Salespeople will sell it to an importer in Sweden. The importer has to store it and distribute it to wholesalers, who then distribute it to stores, supermarkets and restaurants. During this process everyone involved has to store the goods and transport them, etc.
The restaurant has to also keep a stock, and has to dispose of the bottles. Consumers have to transport it from supermarkets to their homes, use the refrigerator, and after consuming it, dispose of the bottle.
And this is just simple water! Thousands of miles, and billions of water bottles, on boats, aeroplanes, trucks, etc. daily around our planet.
So let’s now put benefits on the other side. It’s just water. No civilized country has a need for getting it in bottled form like this. Compare the damage!
This example is not only about water but thousands of products around the world: worthless with a huge damage on our planet and environment.
Jobs? There are better ways we can be employed, and that’s an entry for another day. It’s a big mistake to destroy our planet and kill ourselves just to create jobs.