Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Who should determine our future?

I want the leaders I look toward for guidance to be smarter, more forward-thinking, more able to see the bigger picture of what an action today means for results tomorrow.

Sadly, I look around today and don't see that forward vision in our leadership. Just because we've always done something doesn't mean it continues to be the right choice for today's world. As Darwin said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."
WE must be the change.

As I look at the institutions and practices we revere today, I see patterns for survival in a world that no longer exists.
  • We revere myopia. What were once forward-thinking enterprises are now entrenched in efforts to preserve practices that focus on immediate results without regard to inevitable subsequent consequences; that is short-sighted.
  • We are hidebound. Where once learning from the world around us was key to finding new directions for research and needs to be met, now only tried and existing pathways are considered; that is constrictive.
  • We retreat into fear. In a nation that once aimed for productivity and growth, safety and security have increasingly consumed resources, leaving nothing to invest in creativity and innovation to improve potential; that is the antithesis of progress and growth.
As long as we preserve what was at the expense of what could become, we fail to adapt. Darwin knew: entrenched thinking is preparation to fail.

Pushing to perpetuate short term profits without regard to the long-tail costs of those choices does not lead to success; it leads to disaster. When we ignore the best evidence because it doesn't fit with old expectations, we practice wishful thinking rather than making progress. To continue the same repetitious decisions better and faster only gets incrementally more of the same old dysfunctional results. Our current patterns are leading us toward a dangerous precipice that our forward-searching scouts are warning us about.

To do nothing different will lead us to the brink of a crisis that could be preventable if we take heed today.

Current risk assessment is crucial for long-term financial, sustainable success. America, indeed the entire world, needs to rethink current analysis to refocus on extended profitability rather than short-term cashflow. Today, Harvard students and faculty are urging Harvard Corporation, the world’s largest educational endowment, to take this long-range view and divest from fossil fuels.
Students and Faculty to Harvard: Divest from Fossil Fuels
Student leader Canyon Woodward calls it their "moral responsibility" to ensure that Harvard "aligns its institutional actions and policies with the shared interests of society."

Harvard as an institution, its faculty, and so many of its graduates provide national leadership. Students and faculty know that Harvard's awareness of changing worldwide priorities is essential in this transitional era, and they are poised to tackle the crucial issue of climate change and bring the dialogue about divestment into public view.

Woodward says, "We take this action with the conviction that Harvard can, must, and will be a leader in responding to the climate crisis. We owe it to the world’s less fortunate and to future generations to lead the way to a livable planet."

The rest of America has no less responsibility. It's past time to divest from future-risky policies, practices, companies, and industries.

No time is more crucial than the present to take a future-focused lead. We must realize that short-term greed won't create a better world for tomorrow. It is our responsibility to move into the future with a vision of sustainable, realistic, planet-friendly energy policies.

By taking a stand with Harvard visionaries today, we lead the way to a better tomorrow. Together, we can rescue our institutions, revive our communities, and realign with the self-sustaining ecosystem of our planet. The future is determined by what we choose today.

No comments: