Posted by: Jyl
in Business Transformation on Nov 13, 2012
Tagged in: Untagged
Economically, environmentally, socially? We have a health care policy that is broken, unemployment rates that all of us are feelings, increased national weather disasters that are unexplained and economically devastating, an education system that is barely performing. WE ARE STUCK.
Here is what I think. We need a plan. We need to spend time “thinking deep” and learning how to collaborate. We need to look forward and dream big. We need to connect our heart with our minds. WE NEED TO BE BRAVE.
So – part of what I think is that WOMEN need to step up to the plate and lead the way. Men are wonderful. I love men, but I think men need to be given the ‘mission”, the “road map” (even though they don’t always look at them), men need the plan. Women need to develop the plan/mission/roadmap.
When we connect our hearts with our minds – there is no stopping us. I am ready. Are you?
Band Aids are the name of a brand of adhesive bandage. They sometimes can help a wound heal a little easier than leaving an open cut for bacteria/germs to enter our blood stream. They hold broken skin together. They can cover up something that needs to be kept from public view. It is not, however, something that actually repairs what is broken. We seem to have gotten way too comfortable using them to fix what is broken and have lost the real definition of a band aid.
I sat in a meeting today on transportation – specifically dealing with traffic congestion on a major freeway. As I listened to the description of “the plan” and how spending billions – with a “b” – on widening this freeway was the only way to fix the problem, my stomach started to get knots in it. The more I listened – the more it felt like I was hearing a band aid solution – which isn’t a solution at all – but a cover-up for a broken transportation system.
When are we going to reach a place in this country – on this planet – when covering up what is really broken no longer works for us? The freeway discussion today was a perfect reflection of where we are on so many of the complex problems.
How can we justify spending billions of dollars that this region and nation doesn’t have to widen highways that – upon completion (usually ten plus years) – will be just as congested as they were? How wide do our freeways have to get before we finally say – Hmm, maybe we should find another answer? Granted – we know how to build really BIG freeways and have done so from sea to shining sea, but have we “fixed” anything?
So, why are we “ok” with band aids? Is it because thinking about the problem is hard? Have we reached the place where we rather just cover up the problem instead of put the work and thinking that it takes to find a true solution?
All I know is that band aids can only work for so long. I believe that we have reached the place where the complex problems that this nation and planet are facing is going to require major shifts in our thinking. I am done using band aids as the answer.
The answer is sadly yes. We’ve lost our edge and focus by being on autopilot through the luxury of the last century called the Industrial Age. While we deplete the natural resources of clean air, clean water, and fossil fuels, 1.6 Billion people on the planet still have no “on – off” switch to call their own. In addition, we have experienced chemical and engineering creations that were done for economic purposes without any forethought to what their affects on the Earth would be. America’s need for instant gratification and self-focus have caused the downfall of their super power label. Climate change, reliance on foreign oil, biodiversity loss, air and water quality issues have all led us to being one of the least favorite countries on the planet. Can we get our groove back? As our new administration reminds us frequently, “Yes we can”. This is not only America’s problem, but this is a global problem. Through innovation, integration, and collaboration we can start solving the problems worldwide. This country built itself on an entrepreneurial spirit. By taking the lead in clean technology and clean power, this country positions itself to find its groove.
Energy facts as they stand today: US electricity demand is 3,659 Billion Kilowatt- hours per year. We currently, generate 49% of that using coal, 20% natural gas, 19% nuclear, 7.3% hydroelectric, 3.5% renewables, and 1.1% oil. Coal is currently the least expensive power and the most polluting. Nuclear is expensive to build and cheap to operate. Natural gas is cheap to build, but expensive to run. Wind is the cleanest to operate, but the least dependable. Solar is still a work in progress. So, what is this country’s answer to clean electricity that makes economic sense? A primary answer is energy efficiency. Building more energy efficient homes and buildings would reduce the need for all types of energy by approximately 30% with very little impact on economic cost. This efficiency not only reduces the need, but also reduces green house gas emissions. Simultaneously, a focus on the next greatest thing, whether it is more efficient wind, solar, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, reducing our usage far outweighs creating clean inexpensive electricity. In my opinion, an energy solution is going to be a blending of all of the above, taking into consideration energy efficiency as well as renewable energy sources. An “energy cocktail” based on needs and technology is a way for America to get its groove back.
The most valuable energy source, and one we frequently forget, is people energy. It is a source that has truly made this country what it is and will find the solutions to allow this country to re-establish itself as a super power. It’s all about the people, the passion, and acknowledging our role in this loss of groove. Through science and nature we will discover the solutions to what is broken. This is just one piece of the pie in pushing towards a sustainable nation.
Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net