Elliot Hoffman, CEO REV
I read Steve Schein’s new book, “A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews”, a few months ago and found it compelling.
Schein makes the case, as does REV, that we are nearing a tipping point for how we think and take action on sustainability. Rapidly growing numbers of people, organizations, and nations recognize that the way we are living our lives and running our organizations, economies, and societies is not sustainable. If we continue with our current behaviors and activities as we have for the last 60+ years, the consequences of our actions will be severe and grow significantly worse over time.
The only issue is, will we make the necessary changes to our mindset, worldview, and behaviors, our policies and priorities by using our brains and wisdom, or will we be forced to change through mother nature’s “wicked forces.”
(A recent GreenBiz article provides an excellent summary of Schein’s book that is a fast read.)
Let’s face it — we have abused the natural world in the misguided belief system that promotes domination over nature and taking what we want because we are “superior” and have the “freedom” to do what we want, when we want, without considering the consequences of our actions. Burning fossil fuels for 100 years without thinking about the very real consequences of dumping that burned “garbage” into the air we breathe is a prime example.
The question remains — how do we help people understand that there truly are consequences to our actions and that those who seek to continue the “business as usual” paradigm are diminishing the future for ourselves and our children? The science is very clear and virtually unanimous on this, and no matter what we want to believe, mother nature is more clear than ever.
As a boomer I came of age in an extraordinary time in human history — the 1960s. We assumed that the future would improve and that our children’s and grand children’s lives would always be better. However, since then, we have witnessed a four-fold increase in human population, and (I’m guessing) at least a ten-fold increase in our demand for and consumption of stuff. The path we have followed calls into question our beliefs about a better future. We have to answer the question, what are we REALLY leaving for our children and the future?