Ecology is today one of the sectors in which disruption is most evident.
► IN THE CURRENT HIGHLY DISRUPTIVE CONTEXT IT IS NECESSARY TO INTERVENE WITH AS MUCH AS DISRUPTIVE SOLUTIONS
It is not possible to solve a problem with the same “philosophy” (mindset) and tools that have created it: you incur the classic “too short blanket” problem in which you always creates collateral damage. We continue to generate problems that will eventually render the solution useless: the problem that we wanted to solve in the end will emerge anyway, and it will be more serious, more difficult to solve.
► The case of plastic pollution. That is an intervention that creates further problems if we do not intervene at the origin of the problem: the production of polluting packages.
One of the main problems is the current top-down, “centralized” approach of the current form of modern Democracy, in the which:
● the idea of the actual costs of things is lost (there is no awareness of the real cost of the plastic bottle – including that of disposal – due to an intervention by Public Institutions that charge costs “indirectly” through taxes).
● therefore Citizens do not perceive their responsibility in the issue of waste pollution..
Furthermore, in the current waste management system, government Institutions lose contact with the reality of people’s real needs.
Today we live in a time of radical changes (disruption) that produce significant effects in the Society (and therefore in the Market).
The sectors in which this disruption is most evident are those dealt with by Ecology (Ecological science): Climate change, the saturation of the Earth’s waste, the need to produce ever greater quantities of energy (thus resorting to polluting fuels ), the increase in highly harmful radiation (eg: wi-fi and cell phones, etc ….)
With regards to climate change, apart from the debate as to whether this phenomenon is caused by man, if we want to be rational, scientific, we must still act according to the Precautionary principle.
One of the versions of the Principle is “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautions should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”
Wikipedia “When the international conduct, the first endorsement of the principle was in 1982” (…) Soon after, the integrated principle with many other legally binding international treaties such as the Rio Declaration and Kyoto Protocol.
The precautionary principle may also be interpreted as the evolution of the “ancient-medical principle” of “first, do no harm”
But although this Principle is a legal requirement required by the top international institutions, public institutions move by ignoring their existence.
The basic problem of the interventions developed in the name of Ecology is that
IN THE HIGHLY DISRUPTIVE CONTEXT, CURRENTLY IT IS NECESSARY TO INTERVENE IN AN EQUALLY DISRUPTIVE MANNER
(ie with disruptive innovation interventions).
It should be clarified that there is a substantial difference between linear or incremental innovation, which improves the solutions already present on the market. And solutions radically different from those developed up to that point, literally new things.
In other words, in moments of disruption like the current one, nothing can be solved if it intervenes in the current linear innovation mode.
In fact, if the linear increases in “performance” of the solutions of current conception (linear innovation) serve to buffer the problem (for example, giving the impression “to do something”, it is possible to receive public funding and survive economically), this type of intervention actually does nothing but sweep the problem under the carpet, which will soon present itself in a worse form (both for those who develop such solutions and for Customers)
The example of plastic pollution: a non-solution (ie an intervention that creates further problems)
A significant example of intervention carried out in the name of Ecology that actually allows the problem to continue to develop is that of differentiated waste collection.
A significant example is the case of plastic pollution, where
if we do not intervene at the origin of the problem
– that is, on the use of plastic containers –
the Earth will end up being submerged by plastic anyway.
Or at least, among other things, we will continue to pollute the air to produce the energy needed for plastic transport and transformation processes.
It is important to understand what are some of the problems induced by the introduction of plastic recycling (which does not solve the problem at all): the purchase of new trucks (compared to those of traditional collection from bins), transport consumption (the United States sent the waste in China before it closes the doors); construction and management of transformation systems.
an intervention that can really solve the problem
must necessarily intervene on its causes.
In other words, when action is taken on a problem without modifying its bases in any way – as is the case for the separate collection of waste,
we incur the classic “TOO SHORT BLANKET” PROBLEM
which is no longer taken into account today.
Blanket menas the Solution of the problem: a real solution must be extended to include more aspects of a problem, otherwise it always remains “too short” to cover all the contributing factors.
The fact is that not changing the size of the blanket (ie not going to all the way up by redoing the blanket so that it can cover the set of factors that generate the problem) the solution will end up leaving part of the general problem uncovered.
The problem in this case is that:
1) THE “UNCOVERED” PART WILL CONTINUE TO GENERATE PROBLEMS WHICH WILL MAKE THE SOLUTION USELESS AT THE END. Or worse: having lost time, the problem that we wanted to solve in the end will emerge anyway, and it will be more serious, more difficult to solve (this is the case of separate collection of waste – as illustrated below – for which today we discover that only a small part of the waste is actually recycled).
2) THIS TYPE OF SOLUTION WILL CREATE ITS OWN PROBLEMS WITHIN THE FIELD THAT YOU WANT TO IMPROVE.
By intervening on the effects – and not on the causes – of a problem, collateral damage is always created.
An example: with the collection of waste, with which we want to solve the problem of pollution of the Earth, collateral damage to the environment is created, such as: pollution of the air produced by the waste collection and transport systems (which are often transferred from one continent to another): and disposal systems (burner fumes). Keep in mind that the increase in energy needed to dispose of waste (instead of reducing waste production upstream) implies an increase in the production of electricity, which is based on the use of fossil fuels – or on power plants nuclear).
Furthermore, we have to keep in mind the economic problems that this approach produces, such as the purchase of new equipment, and the costs of maintaining collection and disposal systems that substantially contribute to the economic collapse of nations (and to the increase in taxes that put a great deal of part of citizens in conditions of real poverty)
A further consideration: by adopting the current “superficial” approach to the problem of waste (which does not concern itself with the causes), the “solutions” adopted today cannot work because it is a question of
a way of
TRYING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM
WITH THE SAME “PHILOSOPHY” (MINDSET) AND TOOLS
THAT CREATED IT.
Which, as Einstein argued, is impractical.
The current inability to solve the waste pollution problem
Some data are reported which indicate that in reality the problem of waste disposal is not being solved.
“It’s estimated that in 2015, around 55 percent of global plastic waste was discarded, 25 percent was incinerated, and 20 percent was recycled. Of the plastic waste produced between 1950 and 2015, only 9 percent was recycled. “
 Geyer, R., Jambeck, J. R., & Law, K. L. (2017). Production, use, and fair of all plastics ever made. Science Advances, 3 (7), e1700782. https://ourworldindata.org/faq-on-plastics#how-much-of-global-plastic-is-recycled
New York Times – Article: “Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe, or Maybe Not “
“Plastics and papers from American cities and towns are being dumped in landfills after China stopped recycling most” foreign garbage. “
World Resources Institute: “Humanity has a waste problem. Globally, we generate about 1.3 billion tons of trash per year, more than we can properly process or recycle. “The barriers to a Circular Economy: 5 Reasons the World Wastes So Much Stuff (and Why It’s Not Just the Consumer’s”) leads to environmental tragedies like ocean plastic pollution and geopolitical tensions. Fault) “https://www.wri.org/blog/2018/05/barriers-circular-economy-5-reasons-world-wastes-so-much-stuff-and-why-its-not-just
But despite everything, a “faith” has been induced in people that makes them think that the problem of waste pollution is being solved.
In this dimension of unconsciousness nobody does anything to really solve the problem that continues to develop. And obviously it will come to a point where it will be unmanageable (as it is for the climate problem).
We must take into account what the new generations do not know: even in the 60s, plastic practically did not exist (there was no plastic in household waste), and certainly there was no worse quality of life for that reason.
The origin of the problem
(the problem of the cost of the plastic bottle)
If you really want to solve a problem, it is necessary to develop solutions that intervene on the origin of the problem, on the causes of it.
It is therefore necessary to consider that the current problem of plastic pollution has been created:
► FROM THE MARKET DEVELOPMENT (OF THE PRODUCTS) AND THE SOCIAL SYSTEM IN THE “TECHNOLOGICAL” DIRECTORATE
The focus on the development of increasingly sophisticated technologies has enabled the market to develop production processes with which it has become possible to offer consumers ever greater “comfort”.
Much of this new dimension of super-commodity progress is linked to the development of plastic production.
The current “progress” technology oriented indeed offers today production solutions ● that allow, at relatively low costs, very effective packaging (which allow the Industry to compete with artisanal and peasant production; even in territories that once belonged to the local production, as in the case of food). And ● to develop very cheap products, the classic disposable products (which allow the Customer many “comforts”, such as avoiding the “loss of time” of buying bulk products, or the “effort” to report returns voids of glass bottles).
These new technological potentials of Industry have allowed the Market to create
the current Super-consumerism
THAT HAS BEEN REVEALED TO BE UNBEARABLE
FROM THE POINT OF ECOLOGICAL SIGHT
THAT FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL ONE.
Note that, from the substantive point of view, super-commodities have induced lifestyles in people that turn out to be a problem both for the people who adopted them and for the Society more generally.
○ unsustainability for the Customers: lifestyles that are being developed in this dimension of super-commodities induce a condition of indolence in the people (habits to move physically as little as possible, thanks to the possibilities offered by motorized transport vehicles, remote controls, mobile phones, etc. ….). And also the development of increasingly serious health problems created directly by the new lifestyle; but also from the side effects of the super-technological progress: food lacking the original qualities, and contaminated with drugs, hormones, herbicides; pollution (chemical and electromagnetic) produced by production infrastructures and technological products.
○ unsustainable social costs, as direct and indirect consequences of pollution: these are precisely those costs of the product not included in the price paid by the consumer, which, however, must then be paid through forms of taxation (for depollution and waste disposal).
This unsustainability is fundamentally produced, as we see in the next paragraphs, to the top-down, “centralized” approach of the current form of modern Democracy, with which Government institutions lose contact with the reality of the real needs of citizens. And, above all, in which the idea of the actual costs of things is lost (as it is for plastic bottles, for which “the State takes care”).
The waste pollution problem was also created:
► FROM TOP-DOWN CHOICES AND INVESTMENTS BY GOVERNMENT
The role of Government, of Public Administration is decisive in the context of modern Democracy, in which there is a very close relationship (Cronyism) between the Incumbents of the Market and Public institutions. A report in which both parties agree on solutions that bring “mutual benefits” that turn out to be disadvantages for Citizens/Customers. In this dimension, the Government institutions become a fundamental support for the Incumbents, developing interventions such as protectionist norms such as those that today limit the actions of Uber and Airbnb, funding for companies in difficulty because they are unable to develop effective innovation, etc. )
The unsustainability of waste collection – such as the unsustainability of most of the current services of the Public Administration – also derives, upstream from everything, from the fact that in the current form of Government (“statist” model) the Public Administration deals with to satisfy the needs of Citizens in top-down mode (that is currently government institutions that decide what the needs of Citizens are to be met, and how them are met).
Without the Citizens’ interaction in this process either at the level of suggestion or feedback, or at the level of process control.
This is based on the basic idea (ideology) that Citizens are not able to deal effectively with themselves. And therefore they need “experts” to support them during their lives.
This ideology, it should be noted, is not present
in the forms of original Democracy, where, on the contrary, the basic idea is that the Citizens better than others are able to organize themselves to satisfy their needs.
The latter idea is also the new Mega-trend of the Market (the principle that must be followed if you really want to sell your products): the Users are the best designers of solutions that aim to satisfy their needs (and not any kind of “expert”).
That is, today it is necessary, to satisfy the new Demand, to integrate the Customers in the development of the product. <see The problems of the current Market strategies: toward a crowd participated Marketing >
This Mega-trend also affects the aspect of Government: today Market and Government operated in a strictly integrated way. So the good functioning of the Market is linked to a “good functioning” of the Government.
Within this trend, forms of participated Government are now developed. <see The need for participation in the Public Administration>
And the need to recover this method is testified, among other things, by the directives on Subsidiarity, in which the European government institutions took note of the bankruptcy drift of the methods of the society managed in a centralized way by the Government institutions. And, already at the beginning of the 1990s, they asked local governments to move from the State that “deals with satisfying all the needs of citizens – except only those that are not physically possible to meet in this mode” to a State that deals directly only with those needs of people that they are not really able to directly satisfy”. <see ‘The issue of subsidiarity’≈ >
This approach of modern Western Democracy – the Nanny State – in which the government institutions deal “from the cradle to the grave” with the satisfaction of most of the needs of the citizens (at least at the basic level, leaving the higher levels of service to the “private” mode, as in the case of health, mobility, safety, waste disposal) it produces, in fact, a vicious spiral of problems that in the long term leads to development inefficiency; and therefore to the chaos of the service system and economic collapse.
More specifically, the problems of this top-down Government approach are:
■ LOSS OF CITIZENS LIABILITY
Citizens’ responsibility is a necessary quality for the proper functioning of any human community.
The problems generated by the current form of Government are mainly two:
● The Citizen does not have the idea of how much every aspect of his life actually costs him.
In the current approach – the “welfare state” which deals with the provision of public utility services, and the costs are paid through not very differentiated forms of taxation – the perception of the “cost of things” is lost.
This happens, precisely, due to the fact that, taking care of the Public Administration to satisfy the “social needs” of the Citizens, they bring the latter into an abstract dimension with respect to reality.
This is a situation that today is considered to be rational, scientific, when in reality it is not at all. It is the “philosophy” with which our social system is today managed, defined as a “political economy: in this dimension the perception of the” cost/benefit “factor is totally lost.
Today it is literally impossible for a citizen to know how much it actually spends on a plastic bottle or on a trip on a public transport: there are some costs that it does not pay immediately, but then pays with the “taxes” (the problem is aggravated from the fact that in Europe there is a single tax with which all types of services are paid, so for the citizens it is absolutely impossible to deduce how much it actually costs the plastic bottle or public transport).
This mode brings the citizens away from the economic awareness of the costs of their lives. That awareness that they have had for millennia of life in a dimension of “real economy” (speaking of economy, we are not just talking about money, but more generally about the relationship between energy used to develop an action, and results obtained).
In practical terms, if today the citizen knows the cost of his trips with his car, because in this case it pays the costs of the vehicle and the fuel directly out of his own pocket, when moving by public transport it does not have the perception of how much he is spending (he pays for a ticket, but then, in the form of “taxes”, he receives a “bill” for the unpaid ticket).
The same applies to any form of public service, such as waste disposal: in the current dimension, for example, the idea of the cost of the plastic mineral water bottle is lost, since the disposal of this object is entrusted to a service public of which costs there is no awareness.
● Nanny State, by educating the Citizen to be supported by public services in most aspects of his life, induces in the Citizens the mentality “so there is someone who helps me solve my problems”.
The Subsidiarity Directive was born precisely to try to solve this problem.
In the final analysis, the consequence of the Western Government’s approach based on the idea that the State (the Public Administration) must take care of developing solutions for satisfying the needs of the Citizens, with the idea “so there is money”, not it only creates inefficiency and economic failure of the system. But the current form of exclusively top-down democracy,
it also undermines the basic principle of Democracy:
THE SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CITIZEN
ABOUT THE QUALITY OF ITS LIFE.
∙■ THE FINANCIAL MARKET AND MOCERN ECONOMY: A DISCONNECTION BETWEEN THE “MANAGEMENT” OF THE SOCIETY AND THE REAL NEEDS OF PEOPLE
Another of the causes of the current crisis of the Western Society (substantially ineffectiveness and economic failure of the services managed by the Public Administration) is due to the ever greater disconnection between Governors, Public Administrators and the actual social reality (the reality of people’s real needs).
This also applies to the Market: taking over from the financial Market has led to a condition in which Managers, the new Market rulers, are unable to understand the real needs of customers (thing which were able to make Entrepreneurs, the protagonists of the previous phase of the Market).
As for the ecological question, and the problem of “accountability” with respect to the problem, in the current system that develops in an abstract dimension with respect to actual reality, Rulers and Managers lose themselves – like the Citizens – the awareness of. consequences of their actions (they operate in a world of Big Data, of statistical analyzes that do not take into account the actual problems; they are no longer able to take into consideration the laws of cause and effect).
More specifically, awareness is lost:
1) the real cost of the “plastic bottle”; and therefore
2) of the real causes of plastic pollution (and more generally of waste pollution) ..
The problem is, precisely, that
Rulers and Managers operate
in the “political economy” dimension,
of the Economy of the current European Democracy
and the financial Market,
THAT IS SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THE REAL ECONOMY
(ie the traditional economy, on which the human being was based until a few decades ago).
The “Modern Economy” – the political economy and the financial Market economy – is based on a dimension in which the essence of the traditional economy is lost: namely
in the modern economy
is lost the idea
that to develop an action is necessary,
IN MOUNT OF EVERYTHING,
HAVING EFFECTIVE RESOURCES
WITH WHICH SUPPORT THIS ACTION.
Relying on modern economics, the contact with the actual reality is lost, since in this dimension it is not possible to assess the actual reality of the needs to be met (the Demand) due to the fact that it is based solely on the numbers of Big data, statistics and projections: a highly reductionist dimension in which most of the factors (“nuances” not reducible to numbers) that generate the need to be satisfied cannot be taken into account.
In the final analysis, those who work in the dimension of the Modern Economy (Governors and Managers) see the world as effectively functioning on the basis of the reductionist rules of this Science, and therefore lose awareness of the real causes of the problems.
The problem is that when you have no idea what the actual cause of a problem is, you continue to work – in the idea of solving the problem – with the same tools that caused the problem. And then it ends up worsening the situation.
This is the reason why, for example, disruptive innovators are successful: they find a virgin field in which a huge Demand only asks to be satisfied in new ways.
The question of scientific reductionism
Reductionism is a choice of modern Science: the Idea is that by working on a too complex reality it is not possible to “speed up” work by using mathematical models. And therefore, in the name of this idea the reality that is analyzed is simplified (a lot).
The problem created by scientific reductionism is that today Science operates on very simplified models, which no longer correspond to reality (the whole picture of the problem being analyzed is missing).
modern Science works, by default,
with a “cover too short”
WITH WHICH TRYING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM,
TRYING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM LETS OTHERS DEVELOP.
In fact, in this dimension it is not possible to take into consideration the actual causes of the problem being addressed (the only way to solve a problem scientifically is to intervene on the causes).
As regards the question of the Citizens’ lack of sense of responsibility, the problem is that by operating in this reductionist dimension, not only:
● we are not able to produce real solutions to problems (only palliatives are created).
But it is also that
● such palliatives hide the real problem from the Citizens, for which the latter lack a real awareness of their actions.