Lemmings Anyone?

Many years ago, I was fired from a ‘spend some time here, then make your own position and make us better’ kind of company. I lasted not even a full five days.

Nobody appreciated my take on the competition. Everyone kept expressing their fear and derision about the competition, to which I kept saying, Fuhgeddaboudit! They do not play in our league, so let’s just focus on being the best we can be.

That firing was my first exposure to human lemming behaviour. Y’know, the one where one lemming stands up and then everyone blindly follows? Within a year of being fired, that company ended up in bankruptcy.

I share this story because it is the perfect segue into my topic for today.


Lemmings, by the way, live in the Arctic. They are small, short-tailed rodents related to voles. Of course, I am referring to the slang definition – the person who unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially a headlong rush to destruction.)

I have come to the conclusion that too many humans are lemmings or followers of lemmings and have been that way for so long that we just don’t see alternative ideas and views. And no. I am NOT talking about lies and conspiracies. I am talking about thoughtful, reasoned and unorthodox viewpoints.

Three hours before I wrote this opinion piece, I spent an incredibly fascinating hour chatting with an Austrian economist for an upcoming episode of Exploring Compassionate Capitalism. He is about 50 years of age and calls himself the Dancing Economist. (He also stands on his head — literally — when giving a serious and professional talk.)

He mentioned that most economists are lemmings. They have been following the same old garbage stuff for so long; not only do they believe it is gospel, but they can’t NOT believe it for fear of letting down all the professionals who learned it, the governments who followed it and the rest of the old thinking economists who still slave over it.

Specifically, without giving away any juicy bits, my guest says we’ve got this whole what is an economy thing very wrong. Economists have focused on trade, measurement tools, and wealth accumulation and ignored what humans were ‘built’ for – relationships, good health, happy lives, clean air and water, respect and dignity. We’re left with our unsustainable and unbalanced world by omitting, forgetting, and ignoring these soft essentials that ALL humans want and need.

And as we teeter on the 40% of the globe that is left, as we make noises about reducing temperatures by 1.5 degrees and as we wait for the governments to take the right actions, we continue the lemming behaviour to our ultimate destruction.

In case you haven’t noticed, I get bored very easily. And when I get bored, I take action.

Sometimes, it fails; most times, it doesn’t.

I am bored to tears with the whole climate change inaction thing. I am so bored with the ever-increasing ‘climate anxiety’ that has paralyzed those under 45. And I am bored silly with the governments who STILL haven’t got their act together.

You know I wrote a book. Its title is Clarity and Collaboration for the Community of Climate Changemakers. Subtitle: How to survive and thrive the next two decades. (I know. It’s a mouthful. I’ll be calling it the 5Cs eventually.)

I’m on a mission to find a bunch of good humans to help take this movement forward. If you know anyone, send them my way, eh? Lemmings are not allowed!

Spinning mirror ball for BPYBN