On the road to Energythaca: Crossing the Chasm.

There are many optimistic signs that we are correcting the route and heading to Energythaca*:


image by Krzysztof Szkurlatowski; 12frames.eu

The road is not easy, there will still be more denialism to climate change, inertia of the carbon era, and fierce opponents to the energy transition because of personal economic interest. Now it’s no longer the visionaries, and the early adopters shifting to sustainability, but already the early majority and part of the vast majority that is stepping forward. We are crossing the chasm, so I’m sure everything is going to speed up dramatically. However, to get the consevative and pragmatist majority to change the behavior it must be made easy, through robust and economic solutions, art, creativity, education, etc. Apart from using change management knowledge to adapt to climate change, we also have to apply the marketing knowledge to get sustainability (and sustainable technology adoption) to be mainstream. For example, the use of Electric Vehicles must be made simple, affordable, and charging in highways easy for the majority, in order to make it mainstream. Other examples lay in how we market recycling, use of home automation, smart meters, selfconsumption renewables, etc. All these need a marketing approach, as does the whole climate change and sustainability concepts.

Image from wikimedia commons, by Cragi Chelius

Image from wikimedia commons, by Cragi Chelius

*What is Energythaca? It is the treasure island we are looking for, where we can do more and better with the energy resources and within the boundaries of the planet. In Energythaca there will be abundance of renewable energy, no CO2 emissions above the capacity of the earth to absorb, and pollution will be eradicated. We will be resilient to the inevitable climate change we have already produced, we will have universal access to sustainable energy, the right to generate our own energy will also be universal, and the world resources will be used in a circular economy. In fact, energy is one of the parts of the age of sustainable development, but a critical one. Energythaca is thus, the best energy world this generation can build and leave for future generations.

Focusing on the “middlemen”

Why forget the “denialists” and skeptics on climate change and focus in the inactive and passive? They have the key, because they are the many. They, in fact, are going to be the ones who save us from the effects of severe climate change. Just like the political centre and the undecided are key to winning an election.

Why forget about criticizing inactivity from the culprit of superior morals and responsibility? This doesn’t work. To make those people realize they need to act responsibly we have to be positive, “hearty in our approbation and lavish in our praise”. Or “If You Want to Gather Honey, Don’t Kick Over the Beehive” as Dale Carnegie put it.

Focus on their higher motives and values. They are good people and they care about the environment. They are doing their best. They don’t need to be told what to do by environmentalists who are too “exalted” and “intense”. They need an easygoing way of doing the right thing, even unconsciously.

That is why i agree with the statement “we need more storytelling and art in climate education and less charts and power points“…

Inspiration for the subconscious instead of enforcing and trying to teach to the conscious.

An example is why I think the culture and art of “cool” bikes (An example of this art is Manu Campa’s paintings) is stronger to get people biking than the list of “100+ benefits from commuting with bike”… Another example is why the BMW i3 and the Tesla sell so good, not because of rational economics or because of environmental concerns, but maybe because they are more expensive and subjectively worth the extra money.

At the same time that we inspire the “middlemen”, as I already posted before, other lessons from “change management” theory should be put in practice in order to adapt to climate change.

Climate change change management

There is a lot of discussion on how to convince governments, companies and public opinion of the risks of climate change and the need to change the way we live to curb emissions. Changing doesn’t mean living worse, but the focus has to be put on the increase in well-being, progress, prosperity, instead of growth, and these positive consequences of the needed evolution have to be highlighted.

In fact, sometimes it looks like scientists are almost alone on this quest (convincing of the need to change). Besides, if it is the United Nations who should be the leading player, is it too weak to really drive world policy?

My opinion is that the change management on climate change can be improved. It’s all about managing as best as possible the change needed to limit climate change. (Yes, this sounds very redundant…) We need to change for the climate not to change too much, we need to do it fast and do it well (as Ban Ki-moon said recently, time is not on our side).

Be the change

Collage with images from, wikimedia commons, Ghandi statue picture from Victor Oliveira and bed from Cieleke at freeimages.com (*)

Let’s have a look at change management models for how we can do that:

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