The Law of Unintended Consequences

I read recently that a UN Relief Agency (UNWRA) was adjusting its forecast of the number of starving people worldwide dramatically upwards. From memory, I believe the number forecast just a few years ago was less than 600 million, a huge number and about 10% of the world’s population, to a number closer to 1.5 billion. This projection was to occur by the year 2015, again from memory.

The reason was because of the push in some countries, especially in South America and the U.S., to produce Ethanol. That’s correct, in our endeavor to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, we are producing less rice and other crops for food and using the land for growing corn and sugar cane to be turned into fuel. The second impact of this is that land is being cleared from pristine areas, like the rain forest, at a record pace to have more land to grow Ethanol related crops.

The biggest irony is that, especially in the case of corn, it takes almost as much energy to grow the corn, harvest and transport it, and refine it into Ethanol as is gained by the resulting fuel itself. About 90% as much.

So, the upshot is that we are starving people, destroying the ecosystem and producing little or no energy gain all in the interest of reducing our dependence on Petroleum. This is the law of unintended consequence.

Now you might ask, how does this law apply to DDA’s immediate world and our drive to produce high quality and affordable state-of-the-art custom marketing and advertising for clients in the corporate, medical, financial, manufacturing and educational arenas?

On a grand scale, and with a birds-eye-view, I can safely say that everything an individual does in life, and at work, begins with an intention. At DDA, we try hard to avoid unintended consequences by always encouraging and maintaining the best of intentions. Wanting to produce the best website design, video production, photography, animation, print design, catalog, custom programming application, illustration or copy writing, at the lowest cost, in the most efficient and client-friendly manner may not totally eliminate the law of unintended consequences, but it sets a course that is more clear, more fair, and more likely to get both DDA and the client organization to the place we all want to be.