Yesterday saw the global climate strike and as I was on the train to work, it led me to pose a question on Twitter about how my industry should respond.
The tweet spawned some really good debate during the day and I am grateful for the various options and comments given. There was of course a wider discussion across Twitter and it had me thinking for most of the day to the point where I thought it might be helpful to put some longer thoughts down. Of course, the best tweets have a mistake in them because I of course meant conscientious objectors!
I think that a largest issue we face is that we are dealing with irrational humans who in the main cannot grasp the enormity of the situation. In fact, there are stark parallels with the only piece of management training that has stuck with me – the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief (something I have covered before) and while it has its critics, it serves a useful reference point of me – as an engineer, I like to have things nicely compartmentalised!
Literally, we have climate change deniers which covers people who simply do not believe there is a problem and people who know full well what is going on, but their interests depend on denying it.
I think I have to put a chunk of my industry at the first stage given the type of schemes we are working on, but is it as simple as that? Let’s take the expansion of Heathrow Airport. Should everyone in the industry simply say “no, we’re not going to work on it as we’d be complicit in adding fuel to the fire”?
The problem with the purist approach is that there is absolutely no way anyone is going to get everyone involved to simply walk away from a project like this and to think that would happen is naive. I’m afraid that’s a hard truth for many to understand because at the same time as we are campaigning for the future of our children, there are people working in the industry (and indeed at the airport) who rely on their jobs to feed their children.
This brings us to the next stage – anger. So we are past denying climate change, but we are angry. Those of us in the West are being told we need to radically change our lives and this means being less comfortable than we are now – it especially sticks in the craw when we are being told this by the Boomer generation who have had it all (wait until you hear about the people on our planet with nothing). People working on the Heathrow scheme are now being vilified for their involvement and they are now angry after investing their careers in the airport.
The Ethical Question -The Ranty Highwayman
Yesterday saw the global climate strike and as I was on the train to work, it led me to pose a question on Twitter about how my industry should respond. The tweet spawned some really good debate during the day and I am grateful for the various options and comments given. There was of course… [Read More]