You'd think that I, as a lifelong businessman and company director Ben & Jerry's, which is incidentally the best job in the world, I like working with numbers. Frankly, I would rather chose a personal interview with any employee of Ben & Jerry's, than studying tables. But it was a conversation with my own son, what really made me think about climate change. He told me that he feared that my generation so much spoils everything, that to his own generation finally grows, the world will no longer be remedied. This is probably the worst legacy, what you leave behind, and this interview has become a big part of the reason I took the job at Ben & Jerry's.
But it was when I got an e-mail from a fellow citizen of Vermont, Bill McKibben, sharing what he termed one of the most important documents ever written, it was just the numbers that really inspired me. In his article for the magazine Rolling Stone, "The New Math scary global warming," McKibben emphasizes three numbers that reveal the depths of the climate crisis into which we got, and the most important changes that we need to do:
- 2 degrees Celsius - This is the official highest number possible for the planet. We must prevent the warming of Earth's atmosphere by more than 2 degrees Celsius, or boil them.
- 565 gigatons - This is our budget. Scientists say that we should not launch into the atmosphere more than 565 gigatons of CO2 in the rest of this century, to keep warming below the first number, 2 degrees Celsius. If you follow the present course, we spend this budget just over 14 years.
- 2,795 gigatons - This is the scariest number of all. This is the amount of CO2 that is bound in us known amount of reserves of coal, oil and natural gas available for industrial processing of fossil fuels - five times more than we can safely burn the rest of this century. But it is more than clear that the fossil fuel industry that wants to burn everything.
We looked very carefully at these figures as a company. We realized that if we do not do something about climate change do now, there will be no future for any industry in which we are involved. It is high time to monitor the effects of climate change on the poor and disadvantaged people - they're the ones who will have to emigrate from their homes and fields because of rising temperatures. This is the idea of climate justice as an area of focus.
We owe remedy to the rest of the world. And this is exactly where I became involved. For all the negatives of climate change we need to rethink almost everything we do when we get out of it. It's a moment so full of opportunities that can not wait until I go to work. From our side, we have just completed a life cycle analysis (LCA) of twenty flavors, based on the full environmental impact of our ice cream, starting from the cow, to packaging, so no falling out between. These data are used to focus on the best possible changes to reduce our environmental impact. You can read more about our LCA here, as well as the innovative solutions that we use to reduce our carbon footprint, including our plan to partnering with our owner, Unilever, to go to 100% clean energy by 2020. Everywhere I look, the technology, processes and innovations that will solve climate change, it's a win-win situation, and also has the potential to create economic and social benefits. We are committed to the transformation of our business model and to collaborate with our partners from dairy farms across manufacturers cookies so that we can fulfill this objective.
However, the reduction of which is done in our society, are not enough: we know that our greatest asset for these changes to you, our fans. We need a global and diverse movement of citizens demanding action from world leaders. As we have seen in the People's climate march in New York last September, when ordinary people want change and stand up for it and act really can make a difference.
The road to Paris is now a place where you need to concentrate our influence. World leaders will meet in Paris in December in order to determine if we counted correctly. We need to create unrelenting pressure on our political leaders to do what they wanted to do so far: led.
Getting started with the first global activation campaign of Ben & Jerry's in 2015. We urge our fans in more than 35 countries around the world, to take steps to ensure that the talks in Paris will end successfully with a plan for a real and urgent action on climate change. Of course we also have fun along the way, but solving the climate crisis very seriously. We need you - and millions more - to join this movement. For more information about the principles that we believe are essential for the correct calculations, click here: ww.benjerry.com/climate
In the words of our founder, Ben Cohen, "If it melts, it's spoiled." This also applies to our world, as well as for a pint of my favorite flavors "Chunky Monkey".
Peace, love and ice cream all