This week (6/20)

This week I have been feeling:

Disappointed and frustrated. I spent a lot of time reading through project documents at work recently, making comments and adjustments that I thought would be helpful to the people who were preparing these documents.

(And I will add here that I try to be specific and helpful in my comments. I have had several cases where documents have come back to me with comments like, “I’m not sure about this.” What does that mean? Should I take it out? Re-write it? So when I’m editing I try to provide specific comments like “This is a repetition of text from the previous section. It makes more sense there so I’ve deleted it from here.” or “This section should focus more on XX. Please add some more information about that. I’ve moved the text that isn’t relevant to a different section.”)

Anyway, I digress.

I spent a lot of time reviewing these documents (and there were several of them and they were all very long) and this week the final versions were circulated (offered up to the gods for approval) and I saw none of my comments or edits had been reflected. This is extremely frustrating for many reasons.

  1. I spent a lot of time on this; time I could have spent more usefully on other tasks for all that my effort cost me.
  2. The documents still contain inconsistencies despite my edits pointing these out.
  3. The documents contain some grammatical and language errors which I had corrected (native English speaker and grammar pedant, I can’t help myself).
  4. I now feel that the people I was talking to about these documents don’t value a single iota of my input. And that’s the one that probably stings the most.

This week I have mostly been eating

Badly. So much bad food. Snacks and chocolate and fried food and biscuits and coffee and wine. And you know what? Eating bad food makes me feel bad. Not guilty bad, just unhealthy. My body feels grumpy, like I’ve put diesel fuel in a non-diesel car. Important lesson: my body got used to eating good food. It doesn’t like rubbish. And I can see the effects of my poor food choices – my stomach looks bloated, my skin is breaking out. Time to shake myself out and get back on track.

This week I have been thinking about

Gardening Someone has given my email address to a plant supplier. (Admittedly, it was probably me, I just can’t remember doing this.) As we are approaching the start of the gardening season they have started to email me every 2nd day with plant offers. And my green fingers are getting itchy. And it’s not even like these offers are for plants I had in mind in my dream garden redesign. I mean, peonies! They were offering me a deal on peonies and I’m suddenly thinking, yeah, peonies! That’s what I need! That’s what I’ve always wanted!

Climate change There was an event at work on climate change issues this week. There was one speaker who made several salient (and scary) points which I’ll share with you

  • When they talk about the amount of investment needed to counter climate change, people argue, the market won’t take it. He pointed out that four degrees of climate change and there won’t be any markets. Isn’t it better to invest now and still have a market to sell stuff to in the future?
  • When they say, oh it will take too long to change things over to production of equipment needed, he pointed out that in times of war, factories went from producing car parts to producing tanks or guns within a matter of months. It’s a matter of priorities. To address climate change you need to do it on a war footing.
  • China is investing massively in electric cars and they will soon become very cheap. People will want to buy these cars not because they’re electric but because they’re cheap. And that’s a tipping point with all climate resilience/adaptation measures: once they become affordable, why wouldn’t you buy them? He made the point of southern states in the US investing in renewable technologies. “Not because they care about the climate – they’re Republicans after all – it’s because they provide the cheapest energy. It makes financial sense.”
  • The planet is heating up and extreme heat events are becoming more common. We should be investing in very low energy cooling equipment because as the planet heats, people who can’t get access to cooling will die when temperatures reach the maximum point and stay there for days on end.
  • Where are banks investing their money? (He was talking to a room full of finance people.) If you’re a bank, you need to be attuned to climate risk in your investment portfolio. Does your bank deal with car manufacturers who are producing more petrol powered cars and not adapting to new (e.g. electric) technologies? Are your clients in big oil or allied industries to car production? These companies may be facing severe financial crises in the next years. What about the geographical location of your key clients? Do you have clients who’ve invested in new factories in low lying areas that could be underwater (worst case) or subject to regular flooding or storm events? Major climate related business disruptions will affect these companies’ ability to repay loans. What are the industries of the future you should look to invest in? Things like land defense companies, companies that build seawalls to stop flooding.

His talk was interesting and he brought a real sense of urgency to something that could have been a dry topic. Of course, now I keep thinking about it and worrying and wondering what I can do about it.



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