It is all Mine
In search of a fairer world
We have had in the history of world empires, colonialism, slavery, monarchy, dictatorship, democracy, socialism, communism, and capitalism.
It is remarkable that the Bible revolutionized social rights and way of living. When we look into the Bible, we see some astonishing insights. We have the concept of “earth year”
Leaving the land the fallow every seventh year is the original example of Sustainability or regenerative farming.
וּבַשָּׁנָ֣ה הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗ת שַׁבַּ֤ת שַׁבָּתוֹן֙ יִהְיֶ֣ה לָאָ֔רֶץ שַׁבָּ֖ת לַיהֹוָ֑ה שָֽׂדְךָ֙ לֹ֣א תִזְרָ֔ע וְכַרְמְךָ֖ לֹ֥א תִזְמֹֽר׃
But in the seventh year, the land shall have a sabbath of complete rest, a sabbath of יהוה: you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.
The concept of the 50th year- The Yovel whereby all Land reverted back to its original owner I.e the people intended for economic equality
קִדַּשְׁתֶּ֗ם אֵ֣ת שְׁנַ֤ת הַחֲמִשִּׁים֙ שָׁנָ֔ה וּקְרָאתֶ֥ם דְּר֛וֹר בָּאָ֖רֶץ לְכׇל־יֹשְׁבֶ֑יהָ יוֹבֵ֥ל הִוא֙ תִּהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֔ם וְשַׁבְתֶּ֗ם אִ֚ישׁ אֶל־אֲחֻזָּת֔וֹ וְאִ֥ישׁ אֶל־מִשְׁפַּחְתּ֖וֹ תָּשֻֽׁבוּ׃
And you shall hallow the fiftieth year. You shall proclaim release throughout the land for all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you: each of you shall return to your holding, and each of you shall return to your family.
.The concept of Shabbat gave rise to a weekly day of rest. Workers rights. The day of rest was not a given in ancient society.
The concept of one God gave rise to understanding of a higher power, and that the world is not for us to abuse.
So, fast forward to today, we have wars, evil leaders, a world where there is rampant poverty and a system where the average person is slaved into the system, Like a big prison. We work to live and pay off the mortgage. And with the increasing gap between property prices and salaries, the economic prison is getting harder.
Let’s look at what Plato had to say 2,500 years ago. All wars are the sake of getting money. Looks at the conflict between Oligarch and Democratic, or in other words, Rich and Poor
Covid was another example of this prison, and our reliance on big pharma, chemicals and pesticides in our food has a knock-on effect on our health and the earth. We rely on the transit (oil and gas) monopoly, a national energy system.
This Prison is encouraged and supported by subsidies, the monopolies in oil and gas, mining rights acquired by government influence (bribery) , And a system of coverup by Swiss Banks.
Let's have a look at a few of these examples...
Exploitation of natural resources
None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use.
A sobering new study finds that the world's biggest industries burn through $7.3 trillion of free natural capital annually. And it's the only reason they turn a profit.
Fossil Fuel Subsidies
These originated from the time revolution of the horse to car transport, and are still in place today.
In 2022, subsidies worldwide for fossil fuel consumption skyrocketed to more than USD 1 trillion, according to the IEA's latest estimate, by far the largest annual value ever seen.
The top 20 companies on the list have contributed to 35% of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide, totaling 480bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) since 1965.
Those identified range from investor-owned firms – household names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell – to state-owned companies, including Saudi Aramco and Gazprom.
“The great tragedy of the climate crisis is that seven and a half billion people must pay the price – in the form of a degraded planet – so that a couple of dozen polluting interests can continue to make record profits. It is a great moral failing of our political system that we have allowed this to happen.”
Global agricultural production systems are subsidized by approximately $700 billion annually.
Agricultural production causes huge environmental damage worldwide.
The allocation of agricultural subsidies does not currently incentivize nature-positive practices like regenerative agriculture. Therefore, it contributes to practices that lead to the destruction of ecosystems and species extinction.
The Global Biodiversity Framework calls for agricultural subsidies, and other incentives harmful to biodiversity, to be phased out or reformed in a proportionate, just, fair, effective and equitable way.
47% of the world lives on less than $6.85 per day – a poverty line broadly reflective of the lines adopted in upper-middle-income countries. 84% live on less than $30 per day – a poverty line broadly reflective of the lines adopted in high income countries.
The unhealthy effect of pesticides, chemicals in farming, and food.
Pesticides negatively impact human health, biodiversity, water, and soil.
The European Union is one of the world’s biggest markets for pesticides, with almost a quarter of all pesticides sold in the EU. It is also the top exporting region, increasingly selling to countries of the Global South to which pesticides that are banned in the EU can still be exported.
So, we are searching for a new economic order – a fairer word. So, we have the UNSDGs, ESG or Impact. Whereby Governments, Companies and People work together for a better world. Like, all isms, this sounds marvellous a utopia. But we have exploitation, a protection of the old world order, and we see this is the furor and anti-ESG Backlash.
We have the cancel culture,
We all feel that we are living in a world of cancel culture. Whether it was for me growing up in apartheid South Africa, living in Israel, with anti-Zionism, Anti-Jew or antisemitism, I was and am on the wrong side of the fence.
A few years ago, I embraced ESG, which is based on very noble causes – the UN SDGs and the bringing in more awareness of a Company’s business impact on the environment and society.
Well, ESG has been cancelled.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a series of sweeping anti-ESG measures on Tuesday, including rules prohibiting the consideration of any ESG factors in state and local investment decisions or procurement processes.
“Through this legislation, Florida will continue to lead the nation against big banks and corporate activists who’ve colluded to inject woke ideology into the global marketplace, regardless of the financial interests of beneficiaries.”
Ok, so let’s pause, and ask- where do go from here. The world is obsessed with climate change and diversity while closing its eyes to real worldwide problems.
As Rabbi Sacks wrote – Man needs to understand there are limits. We have the big word called Sustainability The Talmud , BT Ta’anit 23a, w have the famous story.
Once a while Honi HaMa’agal (the circle-maker) was walking down the road, he saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked, “How many years will it take for this tree to bear fruit” The man answered that it would take 70 years. Honi said, “Are you so healthy that you expect to live that long to enjoy its fruit?” The man answered,
“I found a fruitful world because my forebears planted for me. Thus I shall do for my children.”
This is the definition of sustainability.
So, in searching for a better world, we have no greater moral voice than the Bible.
So, what we need is to upgrade ESG, and that is my objective in https://upgradingesg.com/
We need to upgrade the world which God gave us to nurture.
And we have some modern-day prophets calling for this. One prime example is Sir Ronald Cohen, a leader in the Impact story. He writes that Impact (ESG) seeks to re-balance capitalism.
“Democracy is under attack around the world. What role does #impact have to play?
Democracy and capitalism rest on a common foundation: freedom to act and compete within democratically established laws.
Where they clash is over the division of the gain.
The tech revolution has handsomely remunerated entrepreneurs and investors.
The less educated have been left behind for decades, leading to huge gaps between rich and poor that destabilise the democratic government.
Impact rebalances capitalism, stabilising democracy and creating impact economies in which wealth is generated and shared based on risk, return, and impact.
This makes impact a powerful bulwark against the rise of populist and authoritarian regimes by creating a fairer society and driving solutions to our environmental problems.”
The above shows that ESG, Capitalism, Democracy, worldwide prosperity, and health are interlinked. We saw this battle played out during covid.
Climate change and diversity are now the battlegrounds. Maybe De Santis is right – let’s ban ESG. Let’s throw out the baby with the bath water. Or perhaps we need to infuse God, morals and ethics into the narrative.