Friday, March 7, 2014

Big Box Companies, the Saviors of Biodiversity

    I highly recommend this video from TED. It takes a significant amount of time for the speaker, Jason Clay, to use the word “biodiversity” but the entire talk is about changing the minds of people in order to sustain the planet and biodiversity.
    What is so interesting about Clay’s work is that he doesn’t focus on the production of crops that are harmful to biodiversity, such as soy, beef and palm oil. Clay’s focus is on the big companies that are demanding the production. Clay’s theory is that if the companies demand sustainable production then the producers will have to oblige to stay in business.
    The real question is why would the big box companies want to invest in sustainability. Clay says that it is a direct investment in the companies' future. If the earth fails to support chocolate growth then Mars goes out of business. Clay goes on to explain that some companies are already taking sustainability seriously. However, there are still many companies that can’t see the truth. Clay quotes a man he met in Africa that said, “You cannot wake a person who is pretending to sleep.” These are the companies refusing to acknowledge that not supporting sustainability is destroying their future.
    The perspective brought to the table by Clay is truly astounding. Most campaigns to save biodiversity focus on the consumers or the producers. Clay shows that these two groups actually have the least influence and power while the big box companies have the power and influence to make significant changes very quickly.

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