A lasting legacy for a green 'fad'

What will happen when advertizers skip promoting green and move on to whatever sells stuff next? I think this depends on how long particular green issues can stay in the public mind. Overall, I'm not too worried about a 'backlash' against the current greening of the economy world provided some current trends actually last long enough to become the new norm.

Most people never used to think about the 'green' properties (low energy use, sustainable sourcing, recyclable) of what they bought. Now many do. So the question becomes whether the support for 'green' is becoming sufficient to make such considerations a default part of product development, even when the actual marketing has moved on to other things. If so, then even if selecting a green product is no longer trendy, it doesn't have to become actively uncool, but merely normal. Green factors, even when not be top of the list for purchase choices or marketing, can still be influential if customers expect 'green' and so penalize companies/products that fall below their new (higher) standards. 

With green behaviors of products there is a long lifecycle to reach widespread adoption; crazy ideas become cool, then normal. For things like organic food or wind and solar power, few early adopters were often decades ahead of everyone else (and characterized not as cool folk, but as crazy hippies). Some  environmental ideas break out of this hippie ghetto and gain a wider but still minority acceptance, thereby becoming trendy or rather cutting edge. Eventually, a few products or ideas become popular enough that they can no longer be seen as trendy but instead are commonplace. There are a few green choices that reach the 'normal' level yet, but recycling has become widespread enough to be normal in many areas. Low energy use products stand a good chance of taking hold, I think, as there is a personal economic advantage along with the global benefits.       

Young people in particular express a strong desire to 'save the planet', so the prospects of more green choices increasingly becoming normal are good. A danger is the desire to cash in on this youthful goodwill. There is lots of greenwash out there (products overselling limited or dubious environmental benefits). There is thus a danger that they will taint the whole green movement as people tire of false green claims and disregard the behaviors (and even products) that can deliver real environmental benefits. With so much commerical mis-information and so many everyday choices to make the public can only make sensible informed decisions if there are reliable and measurable standards of 'greenness'. Vigilant denouncing of greenwash can also keep corporations honest. Current high public and commerical support for 'green' choices can yield lasting change if those choices provide real envirnomental benefits and become common enough to take hold. Indeed, no longer being a fad can be a good outcome.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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