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Human thought patterns hinder action

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia

Two stories last week highlighted to me that not only do we have the real sustainability issues to deal with but that our own standard patterns of thinking also hinder our approaches to solutions and this is in itself another sustainability problem.

First was John Kerry pointing out that relying on carbon capture technology is dangerous. Many people have been saying this for a long time – and for many good reasons. It is unproven, the net impact is unknown, it is expensive, who funds it (Why should consumers? Especially if they consume necessities and have no say in how those are produced and supplied)? And most importantly, why on earth rely on one thing? Panaceas don’t exist. Can humanity not learn from history or logic? And why does it take a high-profile person saying this to get it in the media?

Second, scientists have found the most recent sea temperature data far exceeds what they thought was possible. Not likely, possible!!! Is this an anomaly? Why is it so high? Is it real (or a data error)? And what should we do in light of these questions. Deciding what to do to prepare for an unknown future is perhaps the biggest challenge of sustainability.

But surely, a wide range of approaches, demand and supply side, individual, corporate and government, scientific/technological, organizational and behavioral, and based on good science and evidence will get us to a much better place.

Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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