Saturday 6 July 2013

Look beneath the surface to what's really going on

Despite my holiday approaching with rapid speed, a comment on yesterday's blog, which linked Maslow's hierarchy of needs to the food chain, had me rushing back to my laptop to write an additional blog. 

On the train the other week I met and talked to someone for the whole 7 hour journey back home to Fife (including the 2 hour delay). The repercussions for me of which, I'm sure, will ripple out for many weeks, months and even years. I mentioned to her my use of nature with clients to landscape their lives and businesses and she introduced me to Sylvia Earl's work. Sylvia, along with other scientists, is 'worried' about what we're doing, or have already done, to the oceans. One of the other finds arising from that conversation was The Last Ocean documentary. Again the lack of sustainability in our actions, this time in respect to The Ross Sea in Antarctica, is highlighted.

One of the conclusions to be drawn from this new information is the precarious state of our oceans: 

"Less than 10 percent of all fish species remain. Half the coral reefs globally have died or are in sharp decline. Since the 1950s 300 dead zones - oxygen-deficient areas that can't sustain life - have appeared along coasts. Contaminated water is increasing disease worldwide, including cholera. Pollutants in seafood is sickening growing numbers of people. The human impact on oceans and subsequently on climate change is effecting the future of the planet." The World is Blue book description.

I don't know about you but I didn't know that. I know about the depleting ozone layer, the reducing icecaps, the state of the rain forest and the decline in number of bees. Apparently our oceans are in a far worse state.

So why didn't I know that?

I think it relates to the comment made in yesterday's blog and the findings from the undercover boss earlier in the week. When the CEO of DHL knew about the problems in the company he did something about it. Prior to him experiencing the problems first hand he wasn't aware they were a problem.  Yesterday Bonnie shared a story of her father's company stepping in when the locality was hit by a natural disaster. They saw there was a problem and they helped those in need.

Isn't that the reason we don't know about the state of our oceans - because we can't see them? Isn't that why we had the financial crisis and any other crisis whether social, technological, economic, environmental, political, legal and ethical? Because we can't see them and it's easier to bury our head in the sand than take responsibility for our actions?

All these crises could have been averted if due diligence and responsibility for actions had been considered before action is taken. The fact we can't see the impact of our actions makes it easier to continue to believe in their benignity.

What I realise as I type, and as these blogs this month reveal themselves, is that using the 7 step ICECAPS checklist for all personal, organisational, political and economic decisions would go some way to stopping this worrying trend.

I would love to know your thoughts - although as I'm away from the pc for a week I won't be replying till I return to work on the 15th.  

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out

Blog 7/31 in the Ultimate blog challenge in July. This challenge also explains why, whilst I'm away, you'll see scheduled blogs appearing here. I'm back in person on the 15th.

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