Showing posts from November, 2015

COP21: Who wants to be poor? Anybody?

Who wants to be poor?
Who wants less?  Less travel, less meat, less money, less low-cost clothes, food, furniture, less air cond, less heating, fewer kids, smaller houses, smaller fridges, smaller cars, less gas and electricity consumption, slower and more expensive transport... Nobody. Expect activists. Correct me if I'm wrong.
I discussed the fact that a negative GDP is an anomaly in a previous post. Getting poorer and consuming less voluntarily are anomalies too.  They are also the best way to fight climate change. 
People want a comfortable personal car, a big screen, fly all over the world (the demand for air travel will likely double by 2035), enjoy a 24h delay delivery of products, air cond during summer, heating in winter, heated "terrasses", escalators, etc.
Why would they want to sacrifice themselves for nothing?  Indeed, their effort won't change anything to the climate change.
Why they torture themselves, consuming less, in a world made to make them consu…

COP 21: unfortunately, a negative GDP growth is an anomaly

Which country is ok to be poorer? to have less? Less growth, less jobs creation, less GDP, less incomming tax, less citizen, less trade, less economic power, less ressources. No one. At any price. A negative GDP is an anomaly in the system. A recession, a crisis, a turmoil. Something that has to be corrected. GDP has to grow. Period.
Let's look at the impact of fighting climate change, checking the quotes. Even if a lot of reports explain that not fighting climamte change will have a huge impact of GDP, taking action on it has a cost too.  I won't judge if it's a big or a small cost. I'm not qualified to.
I just see that for the first time EVER. World leaders have to take decisions, not war related, that will have a negative impact on GDP.
"Fighting climate change staying under a 2° temperature rise “would entail global consumption losses” of 1 percent to 4 percent in 2030. That range would rise to 2 percent to 6 percent in 2050 and then to as much as 12 percent in …

Are you alone on purpose sometimes ?

Do you have buffers in your life?
Do you have time just for you, with nothing to do?

Think of it for a minute.

I'm sure most of you don't have buffers, time alone and stressless.
You sleep, go to work, take care of significant one and kids, meet friends, meet family, sleep again, etc.

When can we create some?

Lunch, going lunch alone 1h.
Afterwork, pausing 1h in a cafe before going home.
Morning coffee, pausing 1h before starting job.
Transport, pausing when you commute.

I'm starting to create these buffers and use them.
It's a great pleasure and it's a bit scary.
Indeed, it's like reconnecting with myself after long times meeting each others but also facing the emptiness of life when we stop the rat race.

Eat, drink and... breathe? We neglect this last one.

Have a look at physiological needs:

We spend so much money on eating good, eating well.
Tons of content explain recipe of food, tell things about ingredients, etc.
Eating is social, religious, ethological...

Same as eating.
Juices, wine, beer, cider, sake, whiskey, sodas.
Drinking is central in every culture.

Look at the bed industry.

Big topic. Leads to textile industry, heating.

No comment.

Breathing what? Yes we breath and so what?
Nobody cares. We totally neglect breathing.
We don't consider it as something we need to care of, work on, learn, enjoy.
As there is nothing to sell I guess, breathing is forgotten.
Other physiological needs pitched by Maslow are the center of universe but this one is rarely discussed.

Let's give breathing the same value as eating, drinking or sleeping!

The altruism path and the egoism pitfalls

Altruism is trendy.

People often think that taking into account other people's happiness and being happy doing that means being altruist.
It's not the case.
Altruism is very difficult to reach.
It means being happy for others when they are happy, letting people do what they want, do not expect anything back.
Here is the path.

Good food consumption: Vegetarianism and veganism is not the solution.

Vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, sugar free, meat only, raw food only, etc.
Ethic considerations, animal love, carbon footprint, health lead to banning some food & beverage.

The issue is that at the end, you have to renounce to a lot of things. Say "Adieu" to them.

Who wants this?

Who dreams of it?

Do people consider life is too short to ban so much good dishes?
Most of people.

How can "no" movements scale, even with a lot of marketing?
Only a small part of the population will accept to voluntarily renounce totally to a lot of dishes they like. 
Only an official ban or a high tax can help to scale.
Even if the press love the very strict trends like vegans, fruit only eater, it will never spread.

So what do we do?

What about fighting for "less" instead of "no": less sugar, less meat, less gluten, less coffee?
We're 7 billion. Less is enough.
If 7 billion people eat 25% less meat, what a step! It's as big as about 2 billon vegetar…

People (I mean masses) will never stop doing pleasant but dangerous things except...

... if it's too expensive or forbidden.

People continue to drink alcohol, eat sugar, smoke tobacco even if they know it's terrible for their health. 
Yes, some people change their behavior. But it's not a lot of people and it will lever be.

The only way to make people change habits and consume less bad things is to make these things more expensive and tax them.
Lobbies against sugar damages got this. Just google "sugar tax".

And it works. See this graph of tobacco consumption in Australia:

Producing a ton of beef requires so much water, consume so much resources, pollute so much, create so much diseases that the real cost of a piece of meat is far bigger than its price tag.

This price of these collateral damages of beef meat should be added to their selling price too. Same for oil.