Sustainability: follow the signal, ignore the noise
In complex systems such as the global temperatures, we see long term trends (climate in this case), overlaid with short term fluctuations (weather). Those who seek to play down the dangers of climate change like to find short term patterns in the weather that appear to back their hunches, while ignoring the inconvenient truth of the big picture.
The importance of following the signal of long terms trends and ignoring the short term noise applies to the politics of sustainability. The need to fill sustainability blogs, news websites, podcasts and the rest can lead to an obsession about stuff outside our control: what will Brexit mean for sustainability? A Trump presidency? A corporate buy-out? I’ve seen such thinking paralysing organisations, bogging down progress on Sustainability in what-ifs.
The sports psychologist Steve Peters trains his clients to separate worries into two piles: stuff you can’t control and stuff you can. If you can control it, deal with it, if you can’t, accept it and move on. Great advice for all of us!