Heading for a Lockout

July 26, 2012

Heading for a Lockout

<<I wrote this blog about this time last year and never posted it...but still think it's relevant>>

I am a pretty big football fan and this NFL lockout has really gotten me down.  I have a hard time understanding how a reported $9 billion USD revenue industry cannot find a way to amicably divide the spoils among its players and owners. 

Amazingly, on SportsCenter yesterday, the NFL lockout was described as a "sprained ankle" in comparison to the looming NBA lockout's "torn ACL and rotator cuff and micro-fracture combined".  Wow, that sounds pretty bad, doesn't it?

SportsCenter's NBA analyst went on to predict that the best case scenario for the NBA season is to start two months late - in January. Why?  Because most players' payment schedule continues, as is, until mid-November, which nearly coincides with the NBA season's scheduled start. 

So what the analyst is saying is that the entire world, including the NBA players themselves, knows that the players' income is set to expire and will expire in November, if a new deal isn't agreed upon.  Amazingly, no substantial action is likely to take place until those paychecks stop arriving. 

The well has to dry up before a new water source is found. 

Sound crazy?  It is, but it reflects human behavior in many aspects of life.  We know from the Global Footprint Network's ongoing work that we are in a period of environmental "Overshoot", i.e. we are taking natural resources faster than our planet can regenerate them. 

In other words, we are taking "income" in a manner that will result in it going away.  We know that we need to rethink and renegotiate the way we take natural resources from the Earth.  Yet we haven't successfully. 

For NBA players, the end of income is this November.  The good news is that once that income goes away, the players will be much more incentivized to make a new deal and likely will.  Life will go on in the NBA.  Basketball will resume.

For mankind, our "November" is not this year or next year but it could quite possibly be in my lifetime and yours.  There is not so much good news in our scenario.  We are playing out an experiment that has occurred before in isolated areas of the Earth, but this time it is a global experiment. 

Jared Diamond intricately examined, in his bestseller "Collapse", why these isolated examples of civilization (including the Anasazi of the American Southwest, the Viking colonies of Greenland, and Easter Island) collapsed. The cause?  A fundamental pattern of environmental catastrophe, he argues, particularly when combined with society's response to (or disregard for) the coming disaster.

What can you do?  Educate yourself on the issues.  Here's a starting point:

Understand History: http://www.amazon.com/Collapse-Societies-Choose-Succeed-Revised/dp/0143117009/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2 

Understand Today's Conditions: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/world_footprint/

Understand What You Can Do: http://earth911.com/news/2007/04/02/what-can-i-do-to-help-prevent-climate-change/




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