Friday, January 23, 2009

Two pieces of good news from the U.S.

Great news! President Obama seems to be making good on his promise to close the Guantánamo Bay prison complex. This is a victory for human rights campaigners—and ultimately a victory for those who seek to make the world a safer place in which to live.

Equally important, to my mind, is an observation from PepsiCo manager Bryan Lembke: "If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it". He was referring to PepsiCo's initiative to measure the carbon footprint generated by the production of their orange juice. He is absolutely correct. I applaud the people responsible for undertaking this initiative within the company for their work in this area, and I hope it is the one of a series many meaningful steps to improve the sustainability of their industry.

If Mr. Lembke's simple observation was applied more widely, fantastic changes for the better could be made. I have long believed that measuring economic performance by primarily relying on GDP (or GNP) is foolish and dangerous. Wonderful alternatives to exist that can be used to help societies more wisely measure socioeconomic wellbeing. Many are outlined here.

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