Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Global Warming–A New Approach Needed

I was listening to David Suziki’s daughter Severn Cullis-Suzuki talk about the intentions at the UN Earth Summit currently being held in Rio and her thoughts regarding the Rio Summit from 20 years ago and something interesting popped out.

Two intriguing sound bites from the interview, which can be found here, spoke volumes to me  as a strategy guy (approximate locations within the video shown for reference).

2:35 We haven't even come close to achieving the sustainable transition that we knew we needed then

3:10 We don't know how to fix the problems we are creating

As a business strategy guy, if someone tells me 20 years into a project that we don’t know how to fix the problems we are creating, I would have to ask the obvious questions:

1. Is the problem solvable?

2. If not, why are we doing it anyway?  Are there alternative solutions or fall-back plans?

3. If it is solvable, why does the solution continue to evade us? How do we adjust our execution to find and implement the solution?

In the business world, when a deadline is imposed because of regulatory, financial, strategic, tactical or plain old survival reasons, we rarely have the luxury of randomly executing with the hope that we will accidentally land on the solution prior to the deadline.

We execute, review our results-to-date, adjust our execution (and the expectations of those involved) and continue to execute.  Occasionally, difficult questions need to be asked which may mean killing the initiative.

Unfortunately in this scenario, according to global warming experts failure is not an option and that the time for solutions is NOW. This means that killing the initiative is not an option and that every passing day without a solution brings us closer to the abyss.

So if the sense of urgency is there, why do we continue to do the same things 20 years later while lamenting how much closer to “the edge” we are getting?

With a track record of little success in 20 years, the situation is obvious that the means of execution must change, including possibly adjusting the approach from prevention to how to thrive in a post-global warming scenario (or finding a strategy that implements both, with the latter being the Plan B scenario).

Otherwise, if we continue to do the same things repeatedly and don’t see the results we seek, Einstein’s Law of Insanity rules.

And in this case, failure will be the inevitable result.  Unfortunately, if the global warming advocates are correct, such failure will exceed our worst nightmare.

In business, we change our approach and our expectations when the desired results aren’t being produced.

I wonder why, 20 years into a project, the global warming advocates don’t do the same.

In service and servanthood,


Addendum: June 22, 2012

To prove my point, CBC just posted this article:

Rio+20 earth summit concludes with few commitments - countries agree to develop long-term sustainability goals - but without timelines

As most of us know, goals without timelines usually produce little of significance, especially when it comes to bureaucrats who like to avoid measurable objectives in the first place.

It reminds me of an unnamed source at the Copenhagen Summit in 2009 who said that a positive result of the Copenhagen Summit was that the representatives had pledged to talk more moving forward.

Exactly … to talk more.


It is difficult to balance alleged “urgent needs” against vague commitments without timelines.

Unless the sense of urgency is not as real as people claim.

Perhaps I should get some government grants to travel to a few of these summits on the backs of taxpayers.  Maybe then I will “see the light” when it comes to the reason and value of these summits. :-)

Addendum 2: June 22, 2012

Then there is this little ditty reported today: Green Drivel: The godfather of global warming lowers the boom on climate change hysteria

Addendum 3: June 24, 2012

Gwynne Dyer’s article, Rio+20: Vengeance Too Long Delayed, sums up the failure of the conference perfectly.  The following quote reiterates what I noted about how a different approach is needed in order to produce results:

The 49-page final declaration of Rio+20 contained the verb “reaffirm” 59 times. In effect, some 50,000 people from 192 countries traveled to Rio de Janeiro to “reaffirm” what was agreed there twenty years ago.


  1. I think one of the reasons there is no solution is because both the problem and the solution have become politicized.

    You must believe the following:
    1. Global Warming Exists.
    2. Global Warming is caused by humans.
    3. The solution to Global Warming are these government policies.

    If you disagree with any of those three things, then you are considered a close-minded fool who is part of the problem.

    It's basically the same problem as you see in public education.

    The truth is, I don't buy that most of these people want to solve these problems. I think these problems are very convenient for them.

  2. I believe you are closer to the truth than you realize, Nathan! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Create a great day!