Action is the Key

green-house

We have a guest post today from Memphis Holland, Founder of the Holland Development Group, which focuses on urban and hotel developments with a long term goal of sustainability.  Ms. Holland has enjoyed a diverse career managing a variety of businesses and is an alumna of the Mount Vernon College.

I have a particular slant to this conversation: I work as an urban real estate developer committed to sustainable communities. I am also an avid/rabid environmentalist who understands how my work impacts the natural environments and systems that I work to conserve and preserve. Change is inevitable. However, our built environment affects every living organism on this planet.

Tom Friedman defines the problem of climate change in our modern world and offers remedial solutions in his book Hot, Flat and Crowded. On this blog, Dr. Stephens, Ms. Rivera, Ms. Waskow and Dr. Entman all offer clear viewpoints about climate change.  Dr. Stephens states: “

Human population growth will ultimately be limited by the carrying capacity of individual geographic regions and the present exponential population growth will ultimately obey a “logistic curve”. That is, the present growth curve will flatten dramatically and approach zero as the carrying capacity of our resource base is reached.”

By the year 2030, an estimated 900 Million people will be classified as environmental refugees. For Mr. Gillis, that figure comes from the Commission to the Council of the European Parliament. Those 900 million will lack FRESH WATER. Managing energy needs for our built environment is crucial to managing our fresh water supply worldwide. As compelling as a polar bear looks, the reality is much more grave. The waters in the arctic are changing form and global position. With the heating of the oceans, we have our largest convector changing air currents. That is equivalent to your air conditioning unit pushing air through backwards or sideways. The air conditioner is not working at its most efficient capacity and needs to be re-engineered to work with the changing air flows or it will burn out the motor.

Another issue caused by our built environment’s poor energy plan and the warming of the planet is the spread of mosquito and tick borne diseases. No longer just an issue in undeveloped countries, insect-spread disease is reaching epidemic proportions. The US consumes 25% of manufactured energy and is a stakeholder in the solution since our needs are literally fueling the fires that warm other parts of the world. With the northern hemisphere now prone to environments that harbor infectious pests, the human species is more at risk from serious illness and death. We learned through Rachel Carson’s work that we can’t spray our way out of this one.

Ms. Rivera illustrates one of Friedman’s answers to how we can move in a new direction: The ET Revolution. In Hot, Flat and Crowded, Friedman makes a case for change and Ms. Rivera illustrates how other countries are thinking about their energy futures. Each country in Europe has a plan based on their specific geography: Germany and Spain utilize solar, Spain and France have strong wind farm development and England has wind and wave farms. America was the home of the free and the brave – the pioneer. This use to mean that through hard work, endurance and planning, America’s first settlers knew how to survive. Now, we are seem to be the land of xenophobic pacifists who don’t comprehend our interconnectedness. This is where leadership makes a difference and why GW can make a difference: “This is where politics meets climate meets energy meets technology. Do we have the political energy – does anyone have the political energy – to undertake and deploy an industrial project of this scale?” Tom Friedman asks us on page 215. GW develops leaders who guide the world. Together, we can accomplish what Dr. Entman talks about changing the electoral narrative and more. We can provide a solid business case and the science for how America can lead the world toward a meaningful future.

Mr. Friedman’s book is a good primer for the layperson. Society needs a cheerleader that unites us in our quest toward the Future and Mr. Friedman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded is our rallying cry. He defines possibilities to inspire us to think and act with resolve that changes our current trajectory. Now, we need to work together in useful ways to contribute to a vision for the future. Some countries have a multi-century development plan. This involves much thought by our corporate leaders to think less in satisfying short-term investment goals and more in guiding their boards, their planning and their companies toward long-term sustainability for the planet. Adaptability and flexibility are the key words of this century. Are we adaptable enough to survive these changing times? Do we have the flexibility and ingenuity? I think we do. If each of us selects a project focus where our business interest impacts the environment and we find alternative energy solutions to powering that business, to dealing with waste, to managing resources more efficiently, we will have contributed to the conversation in a meaningful way by our actions. Action is the key to our survival. Business leaders who take the initiative and have courage to change the status quo will excel to become the caretakers of our future. And, the rewards are rich. Any business student who is not compelled to contribute to change-agents should switch majors now. We need many who are willing to act toward bettering our future prospects.

Recently, I was given my entire family history dating back to c. 600 AD. I now know how my family tree developed, the depth of its roots, the strength of its branches. Each of us has a rich history that will not continue if we don’t act now. The Earth will ultimately be just fine. The Earth will survive better without the human species. It’s the human species that is at risk. How amazing would we feel if we created a campaign like the one Alisha depicts in her art: one that doesn’t deny our brilliance and one that realizes we are all in this thing together – sink or swim. We need you.

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  1. […] Action is the Key Allotment Vegetable Growing […]

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