Saturday, 6 September 2008

Zeros are for zeros

“ZfZ” was just a thought that I got in a conversation about companies and consultants supporting carbon neutral. We need transformative action and the hunt for zero as we see among most proponents for “carbon neutral” is a combination of two ideas.

First the reactive discourse longing for a golden age that never existed and that see change as something dangerous. For these companies are a threat and innovation dangerous. Second the consulting approach that tries to give companies a way to feel good without doing very much. They often tap into people who usually want to do something good, but give them a dead end that defuse a will to do something by using a very old idea in a new shape. In a state of crises the idea of carbon neutral is best described as providing green letters of indulgence.

So maybe the people defusing energy for change and turning this into profit while providing a dead end are not zeros, they are the modern Loke. "contriver of all fraud". As Zero is such a sophisticated concept it feels as if these people don’t really deserve it.

Beside the ideas provided in Buddhism and other philosophies there is a very good book that I can recommend. A book that will make you feel that there is hope for humanity: Brian Rotman’s Signifying Nothing The Semiotics of Zero