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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