Toralf Sandø see the feature article «Do not give me the pure and upright» (SA 27 January 2014) no possibility for man to make the right ethical choices. We at Think more believe that proper and ethical choice is the only right choice to make. «Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And with every mean and every good deed, we give birth to our future.» wrote David Mitchell in novel Cloud Atlas. Although we live in the 21st century, we are not as civilized as many would like to have it. War, nuclear weapons, pollution of the environment for the sake of money, corruption, slavery and dotted wage labor are unfortunately even today. It is difficult to change the world in one day. Well, it is almost impossible, but should that stop us from «saveing our earth» and do the good things that lead to making the world better? The acts don’t need to be very large either, just as one does not need to place a large snowball on top of a mountain in the winter to get a big snowball at the bottom.
Changing the world starts with changing yourself. It is right that Future in our hands applauds Storebrand for removing companies developing coal, tar sands and palm oil from its equity funds. Storebrand deserves credit for ethics and ability to adapt their products to a market that is more aware of climate. Norwegians deserve credit for their correct and conscious choices that not only gains in sight, but also look at the environmental impact of their investments. This creates a new market and demand for something that surely many will regard as contradictory: ethical financial products. It’s great that the author points out companies that can be eliminated from the port foil if you want to invest even more environmentally friendly and ethically. Most people do not know what their money is being used, and «money never sleeps».
But the conscious choices can be made even more specific by selecting unambiguous environmentally friendly and fair products. As consumers we can choose righteous and organic products, and most are aware of the choices that are available. But many are not aware that there are ethical and environmentally friendly financial institutions. In Norway we have Cultura bank as «the only Norwegian bank that tells depositors what they money is used for. We are open about who we lend money to, and lending purposes assessed by social and environmental criteria. «Most people do not know either that there are sustainable tourism as Asilia Africa. Or ecological urban planning as in the Venus Project. With the film «Future by Design» shows Jaque Fresco and other innovators how to live differently. It can be called revolutionary, or simply impossible to put an end to war, hunger or pollution of the environment, but it is not – we have the technology and ability – it’s just a matter of will. But eco-friendly and fair choices can also be the smallest choices we take- «Today I walk / eat vegan / select multiple ecological and locally produced products.»
Part of this article was written during a good dinner at the vegan restaurant «Rayen» on Calle Lope de Vega 7, Madrid. Their slogan is «Good for you, good for the planet.» Where should we go if we destroy our only home – the Earth? Native American Tribe Cree summarizes: «When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all water is polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you can not eat money.
Anna Monika Murphy and Aud Jorunn Hakestad
Members of the Think Tank Think More