from the world's big
Five Ways to Change the System from Within
We all have something about the world we want to see changed in our lifetimes. Here's how you can go about doing it, starting today.
"I fundamentally believe in the system," Tafel said. "I think everybody has a role and I’ve certainly seen the role of activists and agitators on the outside. But to really change the world, I believe you have to change the rules. And the rules are what we agree on as a society and that’s usually what we call Public Policy. We can scream and yell and be on the outside, but until we change the rules we don’t really change the system."
"I’ve seen environmentalists changing policies right now in the Amazon. And they’re working with government, they’re working with activists, they’re working with environmentalists, for example, in those places. And they’re actually having more luck in places that we in the past would have thought we would have to export our democracy to working with their government. And the same rules essentially apply in the strategies working with them than we’re actually having here in the United States working with our dysfunctional extreme system.
Tafel's five steps for changing the system from within:
1. Find a focus. Tafel is fond of referring to the "trim tab, the little rudder on a boat that when you change it can change a whole system. " The first question activists should ask themselves is, what one rule could we change that would change the whole system?
2. Embrace the status quo. Sometimes. A little bit. It's a paradox, he admits, but "insider" status and connections will help you get things done.
3. Ask the system how it can be changed. "Very often, I’ll go right to the bureaucrat and say I want to change this system, how would I do it, and they give me a strategy I would have never come up with in my most wild fantasies. Talk to these people and they can do it."
4. Appeal to the "better angels" of those in power. "Every success that I’ve had in changing a system is at some point I’ve said to somebody look, you know this is the right thing to do and this is why you’re really here and could you help me. It’s not going to help you politically, it’s not going to get you any votes, it’s not going to get you any money, but you as a person, will you help me in changing this thing. And invariably people really rise up to do that."
5. Be tenacious. This is something we all struggle with, non-profits as well as individuals, but it's the most important thing you can do. Get an idea, figure out your strategy, and hold on to your vision.
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
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Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.