Saturday, September 12, 2015

Global Warming, Marketing, and Zen Cats

I recently watched a video of economic predictions for 2020. A compendium of stats flashed by with rah-rah audio and snazzy visuals.

It was very much less than convincing. 

The video assumes that world economies will continue along existing change vectors. This is not realistic.

Oooh: colorful social media stats.
Business as usual” can’t survive escalating climate disasters, rising sea levels, and the upset of local climate norms–with unpredictable swings among extreme heat, cold, wet, and dry.

As these impacts accelerate, no one will deny global climate change. The desire for profit won't let them. 

Frankly, I won't miss Florida or Texas (two states guaranteed to flood), but the US economy will.

Already, low-lying countries are being lost to sea level rise. Marketers expect Asia to be the economic powerhouse of 2020, but sea level rise will devastate many parts of Asia, not to mention flooding coastal cities around the rest of the globe.

Corporations in Europe are beginning to understand this. Self-preservation motivates businesses to become a force for climate sense.

Will it be enough, and on time?

Unfortunately, my years as an earth scientist lead me to say, “no.”

Global climate change is rapidly spinning us off into a vast economic and civic unknown, and we are likely far past the point where bright engineering solutions can stop earth's trajectory into warmth.

We can slow down the change, reducing the scale of human misery global warming will continue to cause, but we can not stop it.

An earth-centered view considers hundreds of millions of years. It's a very long civic view that considers a hundred years. Marketing considers only months while social media marketing is even more painfully myopic.

So what's a marketer to do? (After we get our collective heads out of our collective asses on climate change.)

    Cornelis van Haarlem, The fall of Ixion
  • Become like cats. Accept that change is the only constant, and develop an inner sense of gravity so we have a sense of uprightness while spinning through space.
  • Take a tip from Buddha. Let go of the shore and live norm-less lives, grasping nothing and floating amidst turbulent change as if all was as it should be. 

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Monday, September 07, 2015

If We Are An Organ In Earth's Body

According to the Gaia theory, the earth is becoming a coherent individual, so I can't help wondering about humanity's function in earth's body.

Discover what we do best and you will discover which earth organ we are.

So what do we do best?

Collect together and talk.

We create community and we communicate.

That suggests that humans are the connecting, communicative organ in earth's body--earth's neural net.

Woman talks in mobile phone in Rural Andhra PradeshAccording to a Morgan Stanley survey 91% of mobile phone users keep their phones nearby at all times. We use them everywhere: alone or in a crowd, in bed or on the toilet. In fact, 75% of American mobile users used their phones in the bathroom.

Connectivity is addictive

Once we get it, few of us can let it go, even for a few hours.


Most of us have an unsatisfied hunger at the center of our being. Unsatisfied longing hurts. Connectivity combines two of the best ways to distract ourselves from pain: keep busy and consume.

But is there more to our love of connection?

We humans have only just filled our environment. What if this is the required tipping point in earth maturing into a coherent homeostatic individual? If so, we have only just crossed that line.

Then our NEED for connectivity is not just a desperate wall social isolates erect against loneliness, or a way business profiteers build global markets, or how all of us keep ourselves from feeling. Our connectivity addiction would be an inherent response to our nascent biologic role in homeostatic earth.

Then connectivity would be vital to every human, plugged-in or not.

Vital to all life, human and non-human.

            Vital to the earth.

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