As we approach the holiday season here in the United States, I’ve become reflective on the concept of time, or more accurately, the human experience of time. People do all kinds of things with their time, and for my part, I’m here spending some of it writing an article that has to do with climate change (and thanking people).
If I’ve learned anything over the last year it is that people, especially small business owners, are generally in short supply of time. I could get on my soap box and talk about the pervasive cultural attitude of workaholism and how fast things move now, but instead I’ll just say sometimes it does a lot more good to accept the reality of a situation. In this case, the reality is that there is a lot going on in each of our lives.
As a kid, I remember seeing the beginning of a soap opera (pretty sure it was Days of our Lives) once in awhile on TV that went something to the effect of, “As the sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” For some reason, this saying has stuck with me and brings out a slightly melancholy feeling. It doesn’t help that I equate the show to the 1980s, which just seemed rainy and full of drab brown colors for some reason.
Ultimately, we largely maintain control over how we decide to spend our time. When it comes to climate change, we don’t have to do anything. The sand will continue to pour through the hourglass. I would argue, however, that efforts both large and small in this area valuable — and not just from a moral, values-based perspective.
From a practical, selfish perspective, climate change affects our lives. And taking the time to mitigate and adapt to it is only logical. I’ve always bought into the business case for sustainability, and in the larger context, climate action, because of my experience in the military.
There are so many factors that can impact an operation, and the military has gone to great lengths to create a framework that tries to account for the most important, so as to ensure mission success. To me, sustainability and climate resilience considerations are more data points to consider. Of course, to try and capture and process this information can be quite…time consuming.
So, in line with each spirit in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” we here at CABA want to thank you for the climate actions you have taken in the past, the ones you are taking in the present, and those yet to come. The sand in your hourglass is a precious thing and we want to acknowledge that.
About the author: Joe Carpenter is the Programs Director at CABA. Previously, he served as an Officer in the U.S. Army for nearly 10 years, including three combat deployments, and working for a small manufacturing company in a number of capacities. Joe graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and from Harvard University Extension School with a Master of Liberal Arts degree in Sustainability; among a myriad of other educational experiences. Joe enjoys spending time in nature, working out, playing video games, watching improv comedy shows, and trying to figure out how things can be “done better.”