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Ch-Ch-Ch Changes

Updated: May 8, 2023

David Bowie sang my favourite song with the word Change in the title and Rocky Balboa gave one of my favourite speeches on the subject.

An exhausted and emotional Rocky famously grabbed the microphone at the end of his brutal bout with the big Russian Ivan Drago and said “If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.” And of course, he was right. It was the closest he ever got to doing a TedTalk!

But most people don’t like change, because change generally requires real effort to remove us from our comfort zones. How many times a day do we hear ourselves and others saying,

“I need to lose some weight.”
“I should cut back on the wine.”
“I need to get some exercise.”
“I must learn to prioritise better.”
“I must make sure I get enough sleep.”

Hang on a minute, that’s exactly the things that I say all the time. Gandhi famously never actually said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It was a summary of a speech he gave about change. The concept he championed is close to my heart and expanded on brilliantly by James Clear in his book Atomic Habits. He shows how small changes to habits around exercise, sleep, eating, drinking and almost every area of personal development you can think of can be achieved. But the crack is chunking the task into small achievable actions and being consistent in carrying them out. It is very often the case that we will focus on the goal rather than the challenges and experiences on the journey towards it. Small changes made consistently contribute to massive change collectively.

I firmly believe this is the pathway to achieving Carbon Net Zero by 2050. Too many people are focussing on the enormity and difficulty of achieving this ambitious change. Many people are waiting for a magic solution instead of looking at what they can do right now.

There will be no single solution that gets us to Net Zero, it will be biofuel, hydrogen, solar, wind and the whole range of sustainable renewable energy applications that reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.

Policymakers and decisionmakers need to change also. The fossil fuel industry are big contributors to the economy. So it is for the people we vote into government to provide the pathway for the renewables sector to grow. They need to incentivise and speed up the ability for innovators like us here at Syntech to cut through the bureaucracy and red tape. They need to allow us to be more agile, they need to enable us to move faster and easier to get the technology solutions we have developed to where they are needed to take on this huge transition in how we energise our planet and use our resources.

And of course it is for us to change. Fundamentally, the mindset of the general public is really hard to change, people get set in their ways, they like things to safe and how they’ve always done it. That’s the comfort zone. But as Gandhi also never said, you can’t want to change without doing anything about it yourself.

So what I personally would love to see is people stop taking everything for granted.

The reason sustainability is the smartest kid in town at the moment is because we’re out consuming our ability to produce. In the last 100 years we have depleted almost all the planet’s natural resources and fossil fuels. Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal species since 1970. It needs to stop.

That’s what CarbonNetZero2050 is all about really. Changing the story. Protecting the planet we depend on to provide our environment for the future. So we don’t become extinct ourselves.

So turn that tap off, change to led lighting, recycle everything you can, pick smarter appliances to use in your home, get an electric car, demand renewable energy from your supplier. Make small steps every day. Do your best. Small changes made consistently contribute to massive change collectively. Many voices can make a bigger noise.

Article written by Mike O'Lone from Sytntech Biofuel


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