Category Archives for "Documentaries"

The Sea IS Rising (so should we give up?)

Facts Do Not Cease To Exist Because They Are Ignored (including the fact the sea is rising)

A few sceptics continue to argue whether the sea is rising, or if climate change is real. However, most scientists are simply focused on calculating not if, but by how much.

Recently I have been swamped (excuse the pun) with evidence that there is no going back. CO2 levels have now reached the 400 ppm level, a level not seen on earth since the Pliocene era around 3.6 million years ago.

Is this bad?

Well, during the Pliocene era there was no ice in the arctic. Crocodiles would swim there!

The rise and fall of temperature in direct correlation of CO2 levels are well documented. And we are seeing it being repeated again.

Not convinced?

Check out the VICE on HBO episode below:

The danger with all this information is the feeling of hopelessness. If the seas are rising, and there is nothing we can do to stop them, then why bother?

Some have suggested we should stop working on preventing global warming, and start focusing on preparing for the inevitable. This is almost akin to saying someone on a diet who just put on a few pounds may as well give up and just pile on as much as they can, while planning on how to deal with the increased health issues it will cause.

Yes, I know, in the above analogy the dieting person can reverse those few extra pounds, but the attitude is somewhat similar.

For the socialpreneur, and for the rest of humanity, I do think we will need to plan for a rise in sea levels, and stop sticking our head in the sand over this issue. However, now more than ever we need to take preventative action. A few meters of sea rise is nothing, compared to a climate of raging storms and unbearable heat that may well be our reality if we continue to let things escalate.

Facts Do Not Cease To Exist Because They Are Ignored (including the fact the sea is rising)Another point to make is that sustainability is far more than just climate change. Even if climate change is just a pile of hot air, there are many other extremely important issues that the sustainability movement aims to resolve.

These include human rights issues, the extinction of thousands of species, increasing pollution in our water, air, food and environment, finding alternatives to nonrenewable resources, etc.

The science is fairly clear. Be it caused by man, or by nature, the sea is rising and we do need to find solutions to deal with this. But this is only one of the many reasons to build sustainable businesses.

We should not be blinded by the media’s fascination in creating a single enemy to point the finger at. Nor succumbing to the false logic from climate change sceptics that say ‘climate change is not man-made, so we can continue as we were’.

It is human nature to try and avoid the truth we don’t wish to hear, or to place the blame on others. Sadly we do not have the time to do either. We must all take responsibility, and start doing our part to fix what we have all taken part in breaking. No matter if, or why, the sea is rising.

Racing Extinction Documentary – An Important Message…

racing-extinction-documentary

I just finished watching the ‘Racing Extinction’ documentary – again.

I have to say, it is rare for me to watch anything twice, and almost never just a few weeks apart. But this is just one of those documentaries you want everyone in the world to see, and ideally more than once.

It is beautiful in its cinematography, powerful in its warning, and inspirational in its message for change.

A few key points that the documentary makes…

  • The natural rate of extinction is 1 species in a million each year. We have already accelerated that over 1000 fold.
  • The oceans are absorbing over 1/3 of the CO2 we produce, becoming a weak carbonic acid. This is killing our oceans, including plankton.
  • Plankton produce around 50% of the oxygen we breathe. Killing the plankton will eventually kill life on earth.
  • There have been 5 mass extinctions on planet earth, we are now creating the sixth. The last one killed the dinosaurs, this one is killing many species, and if we don’t stop it, eventually us.
  • Increasing CO2 is leading to global warming, but so is methane. As the ice melts trapped methane is being released, speeding up the problem.
  • The meat and dairy industry contribute more to global warming than the entire transport system. (For more information on this checkout the infographic from the Cowspiracy documentary.)
  • There is hope in changing unsustainable business practices. For example, whale shark and manta ray hunters became eco tourist guides.
  • We can all find our ‘one thing’ and focus on that. By doing so, together we can turn things around.

manta ray from racing extinction documentaryThey also quoted ‘it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness’. If we lose hope we become apathetic. It is important to understand the urgency and take action now. If we don’t, it will be too late.

Of all the mass extinctions the Permian-Triassic was the largest. It is believed that over 90% of life on earth was wiped out. Until now it was not clear what caused it. However new evidence has shown that it was caused by high atmospheric methane levels, and acidification of the oceans. Sadly this is exactly what we are doing to the planet right now.

The only way this will stop is if businesses become more aware, and run in a sustainable way. As consumers we must also make the choice to support those businesses that are not willing to compromise the planet for profit.

Take the time to watch Racing Extinction. It is visually powerful, and despite its subject matter, leaves the viewer with a feeling that we can do something.

Please share this post so that more people watch this very important documentary. In doing so you may just help stimulate the next person to take positive action.

Arithmetic, Population And Energy

world overpopulation

Pop quiz… If at 11am you have a jar with a single bacteria that doubled every 1 minute, and within one hour the jar was full, what time was the jar half full?

The answer of course, is 11.59. At 11.58 it was only 1/4 full, and at 11.57 it was 1/8 full. The real philosophical question is… what time did the bacteria feel overcrowded and realize they had a problem?

Professor Al BartletThis was an analogy I just came across in a lecture, given in 2002 by Professor Al Bartlett, on Arthmetic, Population and Energy. He gave this talk 1,742 times, starting in 1969 (an average of once every 8.5 days).  It is well worth a watch (see below for the video), but I will try and summarize the key concepts here…

His big concern is the impact of overpopulation. I have read various opinions on this, but none that hit me as hard as his simple calculations. The problem comes down to the basic principle of exponential growth.

You see, if something is increasing at just 7% per year, it will double within 10 years. During the second half of the twentieth century, we had a population growth rate of about 1.7%. This means we doubled our population within approximately 40 years.

Here is the real shocking calculation… If we kept that up, within 780 years there would be one person for every 1 square meter of dry land on earth. That is obviously not sustainable by any stretch of the imagination.

The good news is that growth rates have slowed, but even at today’s rate, we will still double the population every 62 years.

In 1815 the population was an estimated 1 billion people globally. (That’s less than either China or India alone today.) By 1915 it was still less than 2 billion. By 2015 we had reached over 7 billion.

World Population Growth

Growth of World Population

Each time we double the population the total is greater than the sum of everything that came before it. That is what leads many experts to believe there are now more humans alive today, than have ever lived (and died) before.

Each one of those individuals needs food, water, and shelter. And thanks to global advertising, most want much more.

Another problem explored in the presentation, is the faulty logic used by many ‘experts’ regarding overpopulation or energy usage that get published by the media, (including publications such as Forbes).

For example, the coal reserves in the US have been quoted as being able to last another 500-600 years. But this is based on current usage, and on all total known and expected reserves. Two big problems with this calculation…

Firstly we can only extract about half of the known reserves, the rest is inaccessible. The second much bigger problem is that it does not account for ever-increasing demand – much of which is driven by the population growth. By Dr. Bartlett’s calculations, the number is much closer to a tenth of that, just 50-60 years.

We have been taught since the 1950’s that growth is good. Increasing economic wealth is the measure of any societies, businesses, or individuals success. However, if you ask an oncologist about growth, he will tell you it leads to death. If we are not careful this focus on money, consumption, and even our obsession with preserving individual human life, may well be our downfall as a species.

As businesses we need to find ways to become sustainable. Growth is not sustainable, regardless of the temporary illusion we have created for ourselves. We must find new ways to measure success, and seek to understand and implement true sustainability in all senses of the meaning.

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”
Dr Al Bartlett , Professor at the University of Colorado

Designing Better Businesses

In this video presentation, Leon Jay shows you how to ask better questions to design a better business.

Known as ‘The 5 P’s of Priority’, his unique framework provides entrepreneurs at any stage of their business a method to identify what they should be doing, and how to go about it.

He also explains why and how business should deliver more than just money to its owner, and the teams that operate it.

A true entrepreneur is an artist with business as his or her canvas”
LEON JAY , Create, Automate, Accelerate

 

Leon Jay is an international author, speaker, and entrepreneur.He was co-founder of a project that generated $1.4 million in 10 days, as well as having partnered or consulted on multiple other 6 and 7 figure launches. He is also co-founder of CopySniper, FusionHQ, and Socialpreneur.TV.

Originally from the UK, and having lived in Thailand (where he also co-founded a co-work space for Digital Nomads and internet entrepreneurs) for 7 years, he now calls New Zealand home.

To keep in contact with Leon connect with him via his website

Just How Unsustainable Are The Meat And Dairy Industries?

If you have not yet checked out the Cowspiracy documentary then I highly recommend it. One of the biggest ways to slow down the effects of global warming is being ignored. Unless we address this issue then everything else we do will likely be in vane. Here is their infographic to give you a quick summary.

Cowspiracy infographic stats

This groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption, and pollution is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.

Check out the trailer to the documentary below (or better still, see the full thing on Netflix).

Changing The Way We Think About Work

Barry Schwartz

In this TED presentation Barry Schwartz, author of Why We Work, explains why we are approaching work with a false logic that leaves business owners and employees dissatisfied with their lives.

He shows us a new path that could radically change the type of business entrepreneurs build; and the way business owners manage and motivate their employees.

“In an ideal world, nobody’s work would be just about the money. People could pursue excellence in what they do, take pride in achievement, and derive meaning from knowing that their work improved the lives of others.”
BARRY SCHWARTZ , Why We Work

Barry Schwartz is a US psychologist and professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College and has written many editorials for The New York Times.

He has written eight books to date, including ‘Why We Work’ and ‘The Paradox Of Choice’, both of which have been received with huge praise.

His research has uncovered some of the greatest mysteries around human behaviors and motivation and has exposed many previously held misconceptions.