Global Warming – the wrong argument

Franz Josef Glacier, NZ
For a ‘greenie’ I am incredibly unsupportive of the global warming movement and ETS etc.


Simply because I feel it is the wrong argument.

As any ethicist or theoretician will tell you – it is easier to prove what exists than what doesn’t. The proof of the cause of global warming will always be elusive despite the slick presentations of Al Gore and others -there are just too many variables.

For my mind the campaign should be based on two things we can prove:

• As a race we use and engage in a lot of stuff we don’t need to, and

• The resources we consume to produce those goods or services are not used wisely

The current ploys are based largely on fear and bludgeoning, not very 21st century at all.

How much more progress would we make if the focus was on educating people about proper use and alternatives, and educating industry about production and scarcity? No one could argue with either platform, and the academics might be engaged in practical science rather than speculation in the guise of science. Further this would mean we don’t automatically penalise emerging economies and create artificial and somewhat cynical trade barriers.

Of course Global Warming is not alone in this. We often find ourselves campaigning on the wrong road because we didn’t check the alternatives, or we just did what everyone else seemed to be doing. James Surowiecki’s book the The Wisdom of Crowds provides great insight to this phenomenon.

How can we avoid the trap of the wrong argument?

Clearly there will be many alternatives but some thoughts to get you started:

  • If the program isn’t paying dividends go back to the drawing board.
  • If the solution isn’t obvious, maybe you’ve asked the wrong question.
  • If your staff turnover is high, I’ll tell you now it is not the staff who are at fault.
  • Do you cut costs or increase revenue? (The answer is both but many try to only cut costs).

    Check your reasoning and make sure you’re having the right arguments.

What we focus on

How many people die each week in India from car crashes?

Most readers will readily recall the recent Boeing 737-800 crash at Mangalore killing 158 and with a remarkable 8 survivors.

You probably felt sympathy for the families and thought just how dicey air-travel can be.

Many of you are probably regular travellers and thought about the risk this posed.

We are influenced strongly by what we pay attention to (or what the media has us pay attention to).

Over 80,000 people die each year from road accidents in India alone, over 36,000 in the USA. One Managalore every twelve hours – just in road fatalities in India and the USA. 1 person every 7 minutes in India alone.

That’s pretty sobering! Where are you driving tomorrow?

We get caught-up paying attention to those things which make the most noise, the thing others are paying attention to, or the things which cause us less pain to contemplate.

We can unconsciously ignore those things which always ‘are’ or those things seemingly dsitant from us, or even the things which have the potenial to truly ‘pain us’.

The workplace is no exception.

Equipment breakdowns are a classic example. The hero steps in to repair . The cause is not given proper attention (The superhero is the one who implements a maintenance strategy).

We may reward the sycophantic employee, and chastise those who challenge us and push the buttons of the organisation (and may well have the most to offer).

We may listen to the noisy client and ignore the truly critical one who will walk quietly from our business and tell others (with credibility).

What and who is receiving your attention at work, be it people, clients, tasks, equipment or processes?

Identifying those matters which will have the greatest impact (positive or negative) is the key to unlocking the potential of your organisation or averting disaster.

If you don’t have a laser like focus on the critical aspects of your business, you are flying blind, and your business one day could crash too.

Take an audit of the different things critical to your business – and ask yourself – “Are these the things that get our attention?”

Do it with honesty and you may well find great prospects and great threats just flying under the radar.

Blah blah…important bit….blah blah.

How clearly and succinctly do you get your message across?

I’ve been pondering this quite a lot lately.

Partly this has been driven by the recurrence of sound bites coming from Leaders and Politicians alike and partly because of social media expert Jason Falls observation that Twitter has the very clear upside that you need to sell your compelling message in 160 characters.

Here’s an example of 160 characters:

This post aims to challenge leaders to compact their core messages to increase the clarity and impact. Jason Fall uses the term incise-full. Can you do it? Try.


• If all important staff announcements were limited to two tweets from the CEO. (78)
• If all meetings had to have a purpose and desired outcome clearly stated in one tweet. (87)
• If participants were to be limited to ten tweets per meeting. (61)
• If any explanation given was limited to three tweets. (53)
• If project funding requests were limited to ten tweets. (55)
• Phone calls – 8 tweets. I would happily survive with 2 and often do (coaching aside)! (87 – it was 96 but I saved 9 by deleting ‘Actually’ at the start of the second sentence) (+ 91)
• All delegated tasks were limited to three tweets – the task, the time frame, the resources. (91)

It sounds preposterous at first, but personally I think this could be done, and often to great benefit.

Listen out for the next time you justify or explain something to somebody.

How much was padding, sound bites and fluff?

Are you sure your audience heard what you needed them to hear?

How much wasted time in wasted words?

Let me know if you take up the challenge…

There, 284 words my least yet. (1627)

Open Door Policy

How many times have you heard a manager say they have an open door policy?

Though not as much of the management lexicon as it used to be it is still commonly heard.

I expect the reduction in use is partly due to the open plan environment, and partly due to the sanctimony it received by many who claimed it.

I was one of those ‘called out’ by my staff some years ago – they acknowledged my door was open physically but felt that was as far as it went.

It was such a great lesson.

“Have I ever seen an open door policy?”


Obviously everybody should know what is required? Right?

I expect the reality is otherwise.

Wikipedia and other links delivered pretty much what I expected – boring, stiff, follow the rules, and confined to managing ‘the event’.

How dull.

Here’s my take -Part 1:

  • Firstly you don’t need a door. Metaphorically anyone can close a door to communication whether they have a door or not. So let’s change the term to Open Policy.
  • Secondly it shouldn’t be a policy, it should be a way of life. So now we have Open.

Now we can get to work.

Here’s my take on Open:

  • You work here, let’s talk.
  • If I am busy presently I’ll tell you but not push you away without scheduling a time or following through ASAP.
  • I’m your boss’s boss. No problem, let’s talk, I won’t undermine them, but I need to understand why you are wanting to talk to me.
  • I’ll find some way to show I can’t be disturbed right now.
  • You want to waste my time, I won’t let you.
  • I promise I won’t waste your time.
  • I promise I won’t make any promises I won’t keep.
  • I’ll use my professional discretion in terms of what stays here and what moves on.
  • I’ll thank you, you’ll hopefully thank me.
  • I’m authentic, try me.

Any questions?