'Beyond Good Intentions' – The Movie
Humanitarian crises caused by civil wars or natural disasters, such as in Haiti, often trigger a wave of support from us, the public. But our support raises two difficult questions: first, do our generous donations actually have the desired effect – or any positive effect? and second, what kind of evidence is available to ensure that any debate about aid is well-informed and that the people most affected are given a prominent voice?
Since 1986 a powerful consulting industry has emerged to help global companies “manage” risk. How is it, then, that despite their efforts, the world is not a safer place? Because risk managers do not advise their clients not to take
risky actions. Their job is to make it possible for their client to take those actions anyway – but to make sure someone else
pays for any negative consequences. This phenomenon is happening with the energy sector. Rather than a long-term perspective, "solutions" are being proposed that make sense for one country, but take no account of their impact on the biosphere as whole.
Blood Minerals and Cellphones
You may think the only cost associated with your cellphone is what you paid at the store, but the price we pay for the five billion cellphones already made – and for the opportunity to buy a new one every 18 months – is a war that has taken more than five million lives and continues to cause appalling social and environmental destruction. Can we expect the manufacturing system to change, or do we need to look for new solutions?