2022 and beyond: Watch out — and cancel!
We have just finished 2021 — one of the most remarkable years we have experienced. Is there anything good we can take with us from 2021?
Of course there is. We have learned many things during the pandemic. And much of this will remain.
Perhaps the most important thing we have learned is that it is possible to change behavior quite quickly — if we really need to. And we need that in terms of the management of the environment and climate change.
Let’s look at some examples:
We will never go back to short business trips. Now we are so used to having our meetings digitally and looking at each other in the squares of the computer. And it saves time, money and the environment.
Even before the pandemic, we had too many airline companies in the world. The vast majority of airlines make a loss every year but are kept under the arms of their nations. Just like all regional airports are paid for by municipalities.
How many of the world’s airlines will go bankrupt is hard to say, but we can count on them being fewer. When the amount of business travel becomes significantly fewer, revenue decreases, and leisure trips will then become significantly more expensive, resulting in fewer trips as well.
Sure, many people want to travel on holiday after the pandemic. However, as travel becomes significantly more expensive, these trips will be affected.
Those who can and may, will continue to work from home one or a few days a week. Most companies and organizations seem to tell you to be at work at least three days a week. But now there are more and more discussions about what you lose in terms of innovation and creativity when you don’t really meet as much. It will be exciting to follow this development.
And then there’s the e-commerce that exploded during the pandemic. There are questions about what this means for the environment. Overall, traffic on our roads has decreased during the pandemic, but freight transport has increased, and this is said to be due to the increase in e-commerce. And the difficult question is the last part of the transport, the last mile, which accounts for a large part of the emissions. Here, Paris has taken a smart approach and suggested that if the last-mile transport is done by bicycle, it is subsidized by the city.
Another thing we learned is to cancel. Unfortunately, lots of concerts, sports events, weddings, conferences, etc. have been cancelled. After all, the pandemic periodically cancelled everything that has to do with physical contact. But there is probably a lot to take with you in the future.
A lot of activities should definitely be cancelled. Take COP 26, for example. The fact that 400 private planes are needed to get an agreement feels so 1980. And because you wanted to arrive in an electric car, the charging stations were not enough, but they used diesel units to charge the cars. If you are serious, these types of meetings should be done digitally. The World Economic Forum in Davos as well.
And we should also cancel all shootings, all beauty operations, and also the silly message of hotels about towels, which they pretend to save the planet, when it is all about reducing costs.
So now take the chance to cancel everything that is not needed, or that costs the environment too much.
And finally, watch out! Many have seen the film “Don’t look up!,” which is about how the world doesn’t care about discovering a large meteorite on its way to Earth, which would wipe it all out.
It is, of course, an allegory about the climate crisis, which the world finds difficult to take seriously. Cop 26 is over, so we can ignore it for a while. Despite being the warmest year globally since records began in 1880, 54.4C in Death Valley, California. The year had huge floods in Germany, India and China. And forest fires in Greece, California, and so on.
And don’t let the discussion be about Leonardo di Caprio, who has the film’s main role, and who is usually portrayed as committed to the climate, but also has large own yacht, flies private flights, etc. It’s the message of the film that’s important.
So don’t stop looking up. We must take these issues seriously. For real. And not just discuss, conference and produce reports. But now it’s about doing things. For real. Look up!