On Monday in Paris, the world’s political leadership, diplomats and bureaucrats will gather, alongside corporations, non-governmental organisations, experts and campaigners. All of us must hope that real leadership will be shown and a transformational agreement is settled upon. Then the hard work begins, when we all become leaders – actually taking action and holding the feet to the fire of those who govern civil and corporate organisations.
What is leadership? Leaders establish a clear vision, share that vision with others so that they will follow willingly. Leaders provide the information, knowledge and methods to realise that vision, and coordinate and balance the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders. A leader steps up in times of crisis, and is able to think and act creatively in difficult situations.
In our history leaders have emerged to deliver change and progress; demanding fundamental human rights, overthrowing the status quo politically, economically, socially and technologically, resisting and defeating our enemies. They have often seemed unreasonable to the majority at the time. “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” (George Bernard Shaw)
When leaders don’t emerge in a crisis, whole systems – civilisations, countries, companies, causes – collapse.
Paris, we have a problem
We should not underestimate the scale of the crisis we face, nor should we underestimate the economic, social and environmental prosperity that we could create if we choose to.
We are clearly going to overshoot a tolerable increase in global warming. Our civilisation’s historic and current actions have imperilled the health, wealth, well-being and security of our children.
The canaries in the mine are the warmest year on record, rapidly retreating glaciers, deforestation and desertification rising inexorably, mass extinctions, air and sea pollution at record levels and commodity volatility due to scarcity.
Those who have been lobbying in the shadows to prevent or water down any agreement are betraying their own families, their own communities, their own countries and their own species (see the excellent work of InfluenceMap and Corporate Europe Observatory).
Time to step up as leaders of your people President Hollande, Prime Minister Cameron, President Obama, Mr Trudeau, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minster Renzi, Prime Minster Abe, President Putin, President Xi and Prime Minister Modi. We can only hope that the excellent Christina Figueres is an expert cat herder.
Failure is not an option
We are concerned that any agreement will fall far short of what is actually required and, even then, it will be watered down subsequently by government, domestic legislature and corporate action. That said, we remain cautiously optimistic that there will be a concrete agreement that nudges in the right direction and can be celebrated.
And then it’s down to every single one of us to do the real work, in all of our daily decisions; what causes we support, what we spend our money on, what we invest in and how we vote.
And another thing:
Politicians need to get a grip and defend people and planet.
The fourth economic revolution is the sustainable revolution.
Profit before people is the dark heart of unrestrained capitalism.
Economic illiteracy characterises UK Government’s energy policy.
Our culture will prevail over cowards with guns and bombs.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”
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