Some clues as to why too little is done too late

This page lists clues to possible answers to my question why is so little being done so late about saving the planet and humanity? (hereafter simply ‘the question’)

Since I wrote the opening page and started telling my friends about it, they gave me help in one way or another for which I am truly grateful. Also, I stumble onto clues. In all, they pile up to such an extend that I don’t have time to give them all an immediate follow-up. To show you where they go and to remind myself I am keeping this list.

The evolutionary basis for planetary bad behaviour

A dear friend of mine, pointed me to an article by Griskevicius, Cantu, and Van Vugt, titled  The Evolutionary Bases for Sustainable Behavior: Implications for Marketing, Policy, and Social Entrepreneurship. I’ve read it and wrote about it here.

How to change the world

It sounds like the title of a book. Guess what? It is. I read it and took out some thoughts about answers to my questions and do’s-and-don’ts , which you can read here.

Investing in shares to save the planet?

It is a bit of a sideline, but it still fits well here. I have been wondering what to do with my savings and spent some time finding out about ‘sustainable investments’. Read all about it here.

Perhaps it is going in the right direction and speed after all?

Steven Pinker wrote the book Enlightenment Now, explaining the wonders of modernity again, many things have been getting better.

The day the earth stood still

Today (1 August 2017) I saw the movie from 2008 again. In short, it says: we can change, and we do when we are on the brink of disaster. The case of the ozone layer and the case of ‘sour rain’, both from the 1980s, give some real-world proof for this. Perhaps we can count the 2015 Paris agreement here as well. Perhaps not, of course. Time will tell.

The movie’s message is not an answer but begging the question. Why do we have to reach the brink of disaster before we really start doing something?

The 2008 version is a remake of the 1951 original, which in turn was based on a book from 1940. Out of curiosity, I am wondering Is the plot of the 1951 version the same? A quick read in IMDB says it is not. In 1951 the alien does not want to save the planet from humanity but wants humanity to stop their wars.

I could dig deeper into this, but for now just another point. Perhaps it would be interesting to find more movies with answers to the question. Or better yet to see how movies and other forms of art relate to it. One example (another lead): the recent attention to plastic waste in the media seems to be related to two art projects that really pushed the topic upwards in our attention: the photos of dead and decaying birds showing the piles of plastic where their intestines used to be, and the plastic art from the plastic ‘Sargasso seas’ in the hearts of circular ocean currents.

Micro leads

It’s worse than I thought … I don’t even have time to keep up my list of leads. So here are the micro leads

  • The work of Frans de Waal who became famous for his work on Chimpanzee politics.
  • Per Espen Stoknes (2015) What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming: Toward a New Psychology of Climate Action (Tip from M. in the bus from Hamburg to Lund.)
  • Gunter Pauli (2004) The blue economy. (Another tip from M.)
    A day after receiving this tip, I found out that the World Bank and UN DESApublished a report titled ‘The Potential of the Blue Economy : Increasing long-term benefits of the sustainable use of marine resources for Small Island Developing States and Coastal Least-Developed Countries’.
  • The TRANSIT research project. Transformative social innovation theory. Lists and studied 20 networks that attempt social innovation and transformative change.
  • Shifting Baseline Syndrome, Daniel Pauly. See post by George Monbiot ‘The unseen world
  • Mutual dependency trap
    It seems a recurring pattern in anything that has to do with certification (accounting, banking, FSC, MSC, … ). Standards and even the development of standards (for which you can also have standards) become so complex (sideline: why is that?) that measuring compliance requires professional help. If that means paid for-profit help, there will be a resource dependency loop. The commissioning principal needs the agent. But the agent needs the principal, so the agent can not be too critical. Or worse, the agent can make or break the principal if the agent is a dominant player in the market.
    Alternatively, the state offers the standard-compliance measuring. For example checking the road worthiness of cars or fire safety of buildings. However, that does not happen in many cases. A compliance agency in Sweden for sustainable logging is understaffed – perhaps because Sweden as a country depends too much on it’s wood production? (Stora Enso, Billerud Korsnäs, IKEA)
    There is a need for independent controlling parties. If the state is not stepping in or is somehow a dependent party, then that leaves crowds or voluntary organizations.