Saturday, November 28, 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 consume more?
Billboards, TV ads, web ads, mobile ads, marketing program, loyalty programs, shops are all here to make people consume more.

Yes, I used the world sacrifice and torture.
Going against our consumption based system IS a sacrifice and a torture.
It needs determination, it needs a very strong determination and nerves.
No way.

How to make people change behavior then?
Make consuming less, cool.
Make it rewarding (good for health, fashionable, generosity or prestige image, etc.)
Companies can help, building great offers and great marketing.
Lobbies and activists can help, doing great marketing.

Look at AirBnB. People go to other people's flat instead of going to hotels. Less consumption. Cool.
Look at Uber. People share taxis between each others with Uber Pool. Less consumption. Cool.
Going vegetarian or vegan. Less consumption. Cool.
Buying second hands stuff. Less consumption. Cool.
Buying local stuff. Less transport. Cool.
A lot of important things to fight climate change are not yet cool: 
Using less air cond, traveling less or slowly - without planes, living in sustainable flats, repairing stuff.
Maybe brands will change this situation with great offers. 
Maybe lobbies will help too.
Maybe laws and legal constraints will have an impact too.

As a conclusion, if you want to make people change, consuming less:
- create your company and offer them great sustainable things or join a company doing this,
- go lobbying,
- and find ways to communicate on the idea that consuming less is cool and rewarding!

I'm doing the 3rd point, plan to do the 2nd and will be happy to join a company doing this the first point in the future!

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 2100 when compared with scenarios that don’t involve fighting climate change". Bloomberg

"According to the impact assessment carried out by the Commission, the investment needed to maintain the level of greenhouse gases at 450 ppmv would cost about 0.5 % of global GDP over the period 2013-2030. Global GDP growth would only fall by 0.19 % per year up to 2030, a fraction of the expected annual GDP growth rate (2.8 %). The Commission also stresses that the global cost needed is overstated, since it does not account for the benefits of combating climate change." European Union

"Estimates based on the likely costs of these methods of emissions reduction show that the annual costs of stabilising at around 550ppm CO2e are likely to be around 1% of global GDP by 2050". Stern Report

"In its review of the latest scientific evidence, Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this year concluded that ensuring greenhouse gas concentrations do not exceed a level that would offer a 66 percent chance of avoiding global warming of more than 2ºC would mean losses in global consumption of 1-4% in 2030, 2-6% in 2050 and 3-11% in 2100". LSE

"Diverting hundred of billions of dollars from fossil fuels into renewable energy and cutting energy waste would shave just 0.06% off expected annual economic growth rates of 1.6%-3%, the IPCC report concluded." IPCC

"EU plans for a sole binding 40% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030 will lead to a drop in the continent’s GDP of between 0.1% and 0.45% on current trends, according to an overlooked passage in the impact assessment which accompanies the proposal." IPCC

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.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

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!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

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 vegetarians. 

The indicator to work on, to influence, to fight for is not the percentage of veggies & vegans. This population may grow fast but they will plateau at a couple of percent.

What we have to fight for is is the overall consumption per capita.

Fight for less. Fight for lowering the official recommended quantities.

And it's a tough battle, look at meat:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

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.