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by Shanny Basar, Financial News 22 Jun 2012 

Nature – The Great Teacher

Michael O’Malley, vice-president of human capital at Sibson Consulting, took up beekeeping as a hobby and was surprised to find that it provided insights into his day job of advising on risk management.

WE NEED OUR BEES, ALIVE NOT DEAD

O’Malley writes in the Harvard Business Review that beehives are structured for long-term growth and as a result the pollen gatherers have become masters of risk management, unlike many “too big to fail” banks.

He writes: “When a colony gets too large, it becomes operationally unwieldy and grossly inefficient and the hive splits. Eventually, risk is spread across many hives and revenue sources in contrast to relying on one big, vulnerable “super-hive” for sustenance.”

Other lessons he has taken from his hobby are that queen bees do not appear to be subject to short-term quarterly pollen and nectar targets. “No queen bee is under pressure for quarterly pollen and nectar targets. The hive is only beholden to the long term. Indeed, beehives appear to underperform at times because they could collect more,” he writes.

Instead, decision-making is decentralised with individual bees empowered to take decisive action, bolstered by a “disciplined career development program”: “By the time bees are sent into the field, they are prepared — and, even then, novice foragers are frequently accompanied by veterans who show them how to efficiently and productively move among, and work, the flowers.”……More

Read O’Malley’s full article at Harvard Business Review Why bees are better risk managers than banks.

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We are a nation disengaging ourselves from one of our greatest assets – the great outdoors. Time to reconnect.

Britain’s Natural Trust reaches out through their Outdoor Nation project 

 

to explore with people whether we are really losing touch with the outdoors and whether it matters.

Why have Britons lost touch with the natural world? | Fiona Reynolds | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

Healthy Parks Healthy People

explores and promotes the links between nature and human health http://www.hphpcentral.com/

HPHP Central is a place to access and share the latest international research, innovations and programs that focus on the health benefits of human contact with the natural world.

The Earth has Entered a New Geological Period. Human Influence Now Dominates the State of the Planet Compounding Uncertainty for the Future

llustration: Mike Pick

In 2000, Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen and his colleague Eugene Stoermer appeared in the news bulletin of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. In it, Crutzen and Stoermer made the case that the Holocene, the geological epoch that had held sway on Earth for the past 12,000 years, was at an end. In its place, with a start date pegged to the late 18th century commercialization of James Watt’s steam engine, was the Anthropocene, an epoch defined by the influence of humanity’s collective actions. Crutzen was an apt messenger—his Nobel came from work clarifying how the activities of a small number of people had inadvertently initiated a chain reaction that grievously damaged the globe’s protective layer of atmospheric ozone. (Read the rest of this article… Embracing the Anthropocene § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM.

Patanjali was right, we don’t need outside “things” to live a fulfilled existance.

Consumerism=Environmental Destruction
This comes at a time when it will take a lot more than recycling and buying organic to reverse our destructive path toward global climate change. We need to make a cultural shift away from consumerism and toward the simple joys of life, like enjoying a walk on a beach, biking through a park, or hiking in a national forest.

A study recently released by Worldwatch, which I saw on Grist, makes this clear. Can Yogic Philosophy Save the Planet?

In recent years, whenever natural disasters have struck, in what is increasingly becoming a globally interconnected and interdependent world, human beings have come together as an extended family in an outpouring of compassion and concern. For these brief moments of time, we leave behind the many differences that divide us to act as a species. We become Homo empathicus.

Yet, when faced with similar tragedies that are a result of human-induced behavior, rather than precipitated by natural disasters, we are often unable to muster the same collective empathic response. (read on)

Jeremy Rifkin: The Earthquake That Triggered A Global Empathic Response: What The Haitian Crisis Tells Us About Human Nature.

SEE ALSO MY BLOG: URGENT MEMO TO THE WORLD

“THE age of melancholy” is how psychologist Daniel Goleman describes our era. People today experience more depression than previous generations, despite the technological wonders that help us every day. It might be because of them.

Our lifestyles are increasingly driven by technology. Phones, computers and the internet pervade our days. There is a constant, nagging need to check for texts and email, to update Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn profiles, to acquire the latest notebook or 3G cellphone.

Free yourself from oppression by technology – opinion – 27 December 2009 – New Scientist.

Office in the middle of the forest | Pictures.

Talk about environment friendly place for firms and offices. On the other hand imagine all the fresh air and peace you can get while working, no traffic, no air pollution, etc. You can surely expand your mind, creativity and motivation while working in these circumstances.

How do we convince our inner caveman to be greener? By the time we wake up to the threat posed by climate change, it could well be too late. And if we’re not going to make rational decisions about the future, others may have to help us to do so. London Times, United Kingdom

Climate change may be real, but its still not easy being green – Times Online.

“Dreaming the future can create the future. We stand at the threshold of a singular opportunity in the human experiment: To re-imagine how to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations. It’s a revolution from the heart of nature — and the human heart.

“We also stand at the brink of worldwide ecological and civilizational collapse. We face a reckoning from the treacherous breach in our relationship with nature. We’ve been acting like a rock star trashing a hotel room, and it’s the morning after. But this hotel is planet Earth. The guest rules are non-negotiable. If we don’t change our ways fast, management may vote us off the island. (More.,..)

Kenny Ausubel: Dreaming the Future Can Create the Future.

Water is Now seen as a Commodity rather than a Basic Right

While some may assume that technologies often make women’s lives easier, it is rare they there are panacea for poverty, especially since water is increasingly scarce and expensive..

6.7 billion people along with wildlife, ecosystems, agriculture and industries share the less than 1% of the world’s freshwater that is potable and accessible for use. And this small amount is rapidly depleting due to climate change; increased contamination; and escalating need by people, farms and industries for daily use.

The increasing scarcity and privatization of water means a number of things for women. First, as private companies gain ownership rights to freshwater sources, women who could previously walk to them to obtain water are now being restricted from or even charged money for doing so. [3] Second, companies who purchase sources bottle the water to be sold rather than allowing local access to it, as it’s more profitable to do so. Even when companies build and make available taps to local municipalities, they sell it at costs that are prohibitively expensive, especially for poor women. [4] And since there is no substitute for water and water is absolutely necessary, without regulations, corporations can charge what they want for it, and people have no choice but to pay, if they can. (more)

via Women Need Water Rights, Not Just Technologies / Library / Issues and Analysis / Home – AWID.

A chance to Become Human AgainPeople should use the climate change crisis as an opportunity to become human again, setting aside the addictive and self-destructive behaviour that has damaged their souls, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.

Dr Rowan Williams, head of the Church of England and leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, told an audience at Southwark Cathedral that people had allowed themselves to become “addicted to fantasies about prosperity and growth, dreams of wealth without risk and profit without cost”.

The consequences of such a lifestyle meant the human soul was “one of the foremost casualties of environmental degradation”.

Dr Rowan Williams says climate crisis a chance to become human again | UK news | The Guardian.

Yabbering While Planet Earth Burns

The climate crisis is not a negotiable issue and politicians must start paying attention to science.

CAN we expect decent climate policy when most of the decision-making elite are ignorant of the real scientific imperatives, or believe they can negotiate with the laws of physics and chemistry? The answer is bleak, judging by the lead-up talks to the climate summit in Copenhagen in December.

Illusions on the edge of a precipice.

cracked-earthA DIFFERENT QUESTION

If I had one thing to impart to our leaders and opinion-makers, it would be this: Start worrying instead about the fate of human civilization. The Earth will survive the assault of the modern era. The urgent question is whether the Earth will remain a place that can support a complex, interconnected global civilization like our own. We could lose far more than coastal cities and cultural treasures to extreme weather and rising seas; the ultimate stakes in this planetary gamble is the stable climate that has made civilization possible.Rising emissions could destabilize the climate to a degree that would prove devastating to agriculture.

Op-ed: The fate of our fragile civilization — The Daily Climate.

NASA

ARTICLE FROM: “The Daily Climate”

…It’s clear that we do not yet understand our own time and are seriously mistaken about the geography of the future. When future historians look back on the twentieth century, this quick visit to the moon will surely look like a minor event compared to the giant leap humanity took here on Earth. The greatest challenges of the 21st century will not be those of the space age, but rather urgent earthly ones in a new planetary era that arrived in the second half of the 20th century.”

Op-Ed: One giant leap … on Earth — The Daily Climate.

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