“What I learned was that it’s the environment, and if you get the environment right, every single one of us has the capacity to do these remarkable things, and more importantly, others have that capacity too.”
“And when we felt safe amongst our own, the natural reaction was trust and cooperation.”
“You see, if the conditions are wrong, we are forced to expend our own time and energy to protect ourselves from each other, and that inherently weakens the organization. When we feel safe inside the organization, we will naturally combine our talents and our strengths and work tirelessly to face the dangers outside and seize the opportunities.”
“Great leaders would never sacrifice the people to save the numbers. They would sooner sacrifice the numbers to save the people.”
Leadership is a choice. It is not a rank.”
“We call them leaders because they go first. We call them leaders because they take the risk before anybody else does. We call them leaders because they will choose to sacrifice so that their people may be safe and protected and so their people may gain, and when we do, the natural response is that our people will sacrifice for us. They will give us their blood and sweat and tears to see that their leader’s vision comes to life, and when we ask them, “Why would you do that? Why would you give your blood and sweat and tears for that person?” they all say the same thing: “Because they would have done it for me.” And isn’t that the organization we would all like to work in?
– Simon Sinek
Source: TED

52 min Documentary (long version).
Covering an area that is the size of France, the Loess Plateau is home to more than 50 million very poor farmers who have suffered centuries of severe soil erosion, leading to massive environmental degradation and poverty. The film documents a remarkable paradigm shift: the rebirth of a self-sustaining ecosystem in the dry and remote Loess Plateau region of China, and identifies why and how a World Bank/government joint project has completely changed the landscape of the region.

In California’s drought-stricken community of Lompico, a water shortage forces locals to rethink how they use water. From recycling shower water to piping water in from a neighbouring district, residents take urgent action to keep the town from drying up.

Read about five dramatic ways California is tackling drought:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140508-drought-california-water-shortage-conservation/

Producer & Editor: Kelly Loudenberg
Videographer: Arianna Lapenne

There’s No Tomorrow is a half-hour animated film by Dermot O’Connor dealing with resource depletion, energy, growth and collapse. It is a primer on the energy dilemmas facing the world of the 21st century.

“The issues of energy shortages, resource depletion, topsoil loss, and pollution are all symptoms of a single, larger problem: Growth. As long as our financial system demands endless growth, reform is unlikely to succeed. 

What then, will the future look like? Optimists believe that growth will continue forever, without limits. Pessimists think that we’re heading towards a new Stone Age, or extinction. The truth may lie between these extremes. It is possible that society might fall back to a simpler state, one in which energy use is a lot less. This would mean a harder life for most. More manual labour, more farm work, and local production of goods, food and services.  

What should a person do to prepare for such a possible future? Expect a decrease in supplies of food and goods from far away places. Start walking or cycling. Get used to using less electricity. Get out of debt. Try to avoid banks. Instead of shopping at big box stores, support local businesses. Buy food grown locally, at Farmers’ Markets. Instead of a lawn, consider gardening to grow your own food. Learn how to preserve it. Consider the use of local currencies should the larger economy cease to function,and develop greater self sufficiency. 

None of these steps will prevent Collapse, but they might improve your chances in a low energy future, one in which we will have to be more self reliant, as our ancestors once were.”

More info and full transcript here: http://www.incubatepictures.com/

Links

China’s pollution problem, everyone’s problem: Peggy Liu at TED2014

TED Blog

TED2014_DD_DSC_3362_1920 Peggy Liu. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

“I am so happy to be here, because I can actually breathe the air,” says Peggy Liu, who lives in China, as she steps on the TED2014 stage. Her typical day begins not with checking the time, but by checking the air pollution levels on her phone to determine whether her children will need to wear face masks that day. In Brussels, Belgium, if the air quality index reaches 50, she says, traffic is stopped for the day. But in Shanghai, China, she says, it routinely goes to 500—the end of the scale—and beyond. 

“Pollution crosses borders. China’s problem is everyone’s problem,” says Liu. “What this means for all of us is that the decisions China makes in the next several years are going to affect the world for the next several thousand.”

China is urbanizing at an incredible pace. In 20 years, an estimated 350…

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