With the documentary An Inconvenient Truth (2006) Al Gore managed to stir things up. But what happened after this wake-up call? In recent years, many sustainability initiatives have seen the light of day, but the dangers are still equally big. Meet geoengineering, a risky strategy to control climate change.
Although there is no consensus, most climate scientists pretty much agree on the fact that the earth is warming mainly due to human activity. The coming century an increase of 1 to 6 degrees Celsius is expected, while a warmer climate of 2 degrees already leads to catastrophic climate change. To avoid this scenario, a strong emphasis has been placed on reducing CO2 emissions, but the effects are limited. And so heavy artillery is deployed: geoengineering.
Currently there are more and more reports that worldwide aircraft are releasing reflective nano-particles into the stratosphere. The aim is to hinder sunlight to reach the planet and prevent global warming. This is visible from the ground, because these planes leave long lingering white stripes in the air: chemtrails.
This strategy is not without risk: the nano-particles ultimately come down to earth and have disastrous consequences: acidification and pollution of the soil and the water, leading to the death of plants and animals and an explosion of diseases in humans, including cancer and Alzheimer's. It is therefore not surprising that Al Gore in his latest book The Future wonders whether we have not gone totally mad with this 'wackadoodle' approach.
Of course it is important that we work together towards a sustainable society, but the cure should not be more harmful than the disease. There are also other ways, such as The B Team shows. Within this cooperative CEOs worldwide work together on sustainable business operations. The B Team is an initiative of Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz and has a progressive purpose: "Our mission is to deliver a 'Plan B' that puts people and planet alongside profit. Plan A - where companies have been driven by the profit motive alone - is no longer acceptable."
Now companies with sustainability ambitions can even make this visible through a B Corp Certificate: certification is only provided to companies that meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The label can be compared with the well-known Fair Trade certificates, but is specifically designed to acknowledge sustainable business operations. Meanwhile, more than 760 companies from 27 countries are certified.
Some 10 years ago I became aware of the unsustainable behavior of humanity at this time. Despite all the public attention, it seems most people are still hardly aware of the need for sustainability. However the Tipping Point is coming closer and hopefully arrives before the environment and therefore our habitat has been irreparably damaged. So the core of the matter is: sustainability is not ‘nice to have’, but a requirement. An inconvenient truth, no more and no less.
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