What if …

What if … The Thinker

What if …

I have started to use the new LinkedIn newsletter function, but the “articles” promoted spam up my more important articles I used to address certain topics. That distracts focus. So I decided to move that What if … Newsletter-“articles” to this page and discontinue it on LinkedIn. Sorted by date published. And there won’t be any updates to it. I fall back to my normal blog or posts on LinkedIn.

How long are posts visible in social networks
A 2019 image, in the pandemic, that social media life-time got far shorter, LinkedIn I consider in 6-8 hours today.


What if … We Invest Into Experience

#yougetwhatyoupayfor #experience #knowwheretotap On the other side, beware of inexperienced consultancies, examples aplenty. They can be costly… Better get a #subjectmatterexpert (SME).

The Value of Experience29-Jan-23

Too many experienced friends in marketing suffer from not finding new jobs following the pandemic. Instead the companies invest into cheap graduates. Investors invest into young start-ups. But you get what you pay for.

What if … We Keep Looking the Other Way?

It’s not just Exxon having distracted successfully, it’s ongoing with #greenwashing and #impactinvesting into the greenwashed developments. But what happens, if we keep looking the other way? The #sdgfundinggap keeps increasing dramatically fast.

Exxon Greenwashing
click for full size


This week, I was having another deja vu, when Harvard University and the PIK – Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) reported their findings that ExxonMobil since the 70s, so for the past 50 years KNEW about the impact of their fossils to the global climate. Same I heard before about BP or Shell, so they just nailed another one there with hard, scientific proof.

And all I see is that self-proclaimed #impactinvestors just like the industry focusing on #raisinpicking and investing small amounts into more #coverups and a lot of #greenwashing.

As an aviation professor told publicly when questioned about why the industry keeps investing into hydrogen research and claiming synfuels a bridge technology when it has so many advantages, that it’s simply cheaper to invest into the distraction than starting to do the real thing. #greenwashing

Or a technology-focused investor asked about the rising energy demands admitting that the “digital panacea” receives a lot of funding. #greenwashing

And Germany just selected #climateterrorism as the “unword” of the year, villainizing democratic protests. But politics, investors and the lobbies alike focus on the wrong priorities. We need #industrialscalechange and we need it now. No more #lipservices.

We have the choice. #dontchooseextinction

Don't Choose Extinction

So what if … we keep looking the other way? And let ourselves be distracted by politicians, their lobbies and “our” dinosaurs (industries)?

What if … We Just Consume?

#networking is about exchange and sharing, not about mere consuming. Are you networking or just consuming?

Smombies (SMartphone zOMBIES)
Image by and use kindly approved by Steve Cutts, https://www.stevecutts.com/


In Peer-to-Peer sharing networks the difference is made between Leechers and Seeders. And I find this rather fitting to my experience in Social Media. Oops? Why that?

I posted articles and asked my network to SHARE it. But with more than 200 subscribers to this What if…? Newsletter on LinkedIn, with more than 1,000 followers and more than direct 750 “connections”, my posts or articles are shared about once a month (mostly by the same three people), the likes also most times source to the same 10ish people. Then I started to reach out to my connections related to investing and asked them to either help us on Kolibri or share with their network. With less than 1% response. Is that “social networking”? Or just a caller in the dark?

Anyone reading my posts and articles without even a “like”-response once in a while is like a leecher on peer-to-peer, disrupting the networking. Only if you respond, with likes or with (hopefully constructive) criticism, if you spread word into your network by sharing, you “network”. So my New Year’s Resolution is to share more, to like faster, to reflect on my networks’ posts. So if you want to look at my stuff, make sure you look at my posts and articles, my overall activity will likely be feeling a bit spilling over.

And keep in mind this quote (motto) by Richard Eastman I spread for many years now:

“For those who agree or disagree, it is the exchange of ideas that broadens all of our knowledge” [Richard Eastman]
“For those who agree or disagree, it is the exchange of ideas that broadens all of our knowledge” [Richard Eastman]
What’s your take on social media posts? Do you “react” at all? Or just consume?

Comment by Ged on LinkedIn: “I consume a lot…but I can tell you that less than 10% of your true “audience” leave a trace (like, comment, share). Most are passive. Not sure why…”

What if … There will be no “New Normal”​?

As for my lessons learned in 2022, I think it was quite a barrel burst. If you consider yourself an #impactinvestor, maybe you want to reconsider. If you’re working in #aviation, where did the “new normal” end up? Food for Thought…


2022 for me was a harsh wake-up call to realities. For the two priorities in my current (business) life, aviation and impact investing a “lesson learned” from 2022, up for discussion and comments.


The image of the year for me was this one:

AMS Schiphol: Did you know a passengers spends about 156 minutes on average strolling through the airport?
Source: Schiphol Airport on LinkedIn

Meant to promote shopping, but is a connecting time of 2½ hours really a good promotion for the airport? Or is there a reason why I believe we must establish a new regional network with swift connections. The longer you stand or sit around airports, the longer the total travel time, the lower the attractiveness to travel by air.

The other issue is the going back to normal from the pandemic. Without any lessons learnt from the initial ideas all airlines came up with to reduce the travel risk. Like (relatively simple) temperature control at check-in, better disinfection, masks for coughing travelers and so many more good ideas. What was that about #weareallinthistogether by European Regions Airline Association#lipservices #whitewashing #shortattentionspan

(Impact) Investing

My personal image of the year here is by South African Cartoonist Zapiro. And it is not just about governments, but also about all those self-proclaimed #greenwashing and #lipservices #impactinvestors that don’t even have a serious look at Kolibri

Source: https://www.zapiro.com/220923dm (directly linked)

Reminder there, we have realistic plans to replace 2 Gigatons CO2 per year within 10 years and fly carbon-neutral by that time. That ain’t easy, it ain’t cheap, but the risk is negligible compared to so many other investments. World Fund i.e. says they seek companies to invest in with 0.1 Gigatons “Climate Performance Potential” (CPP). And their biggest investment this year was … into quantum computing. Whereas the digital panacea is greenwashing at it’s finest, considering that it requires more and more large data centers.

Source: Heise.de c’t Editorial (directly linked)

What if … You Get What You Pay For?

What are our values in life ,,, and business? Maybe it’s time to reassess our values? And #walkthetalk ? #youvegotmail #shareholdervalue #impactinvesting #greenwashing #whitewashing #cognitivedissonance

Managers vs. Executives


Octavian discussed need for tools. Which reminded me of my education in economics. “A handyman is only as good as the tools he can work with.” – so get the best quality tools you can have. And while you can do a lot yourself, be aware of your limits and secure the help of a subject matter expert where needed. One with quality tools.

Then we watched You’ve Got Mail, which triggered a discussion about management values these days. And what they teach managers at universities? Like “shareholder value”? And we talked about how greed and eternal growth, white- and greenwashing run our world against a brick wall very soon. And that it is not just about business. But it is about making money. But it’s not only about making money. It’s about doing the right thing. Which took us to impact investing. Doing the right thing and making money. Which took us to why we see no real impact developments…

Which triggered me the topic of this LinkedIn “newsletter” today.

What do you think…

Comment by Dominik: if you pay peanuts you get monkeys

My response: Oh, I have peanuts, can I have monkeys? 🐒
No, I didn’t know that proverb 😂
But it’s also what delays sustainability 💚

What if … We All Think Positive?

It helps to #lookforsolutions and #thinkoutsidethebox to change things. And not to hold on to what we know to be wrong. Avoid #cognitivedissonance or #wishfulthinking but keep in mind your immediate and long-term goals!

Fatalistic Optimist05-Dec-22

Octavian raised the question to replace malicious glee (Schadenfreude) with positive feedback (Freudenfreude), promoting good things.

Same issue as why media focuses on bad news (instead of reporting on good developments).

Think Positive!

AA70 May 1988 (me@AA)
AA70 May 1988 (me@AA)

Comment by Richard: Paul J. Meyer said, “Whatever you can vividly imagine, ardently desire, and enthusiastically work upon, must inevitably come to pass.”

What if … We Keep the Wrong KPIs?

As an economist, I simply don’t get it. Why am I told it would be “risky” to invest into a startup? When the established industries – not just aviation – fail for lack of #newthinking? We need a #restart, focused on the #newrealities. And no more #lipservices.

Change Resistance (shutterstock_210479080 licensed)


My friend Max from ch-aviation published the growing #debtpile in China’s airline market. Wasn’t that the market that everyone looked at for fastest #coronarecovery? The largest growing market? At what cost?
Air China and China Eastern US$ 2.1 billion, HNA Group owner LFG 1.5 billion, Shenzen Airlines 1.3 billion, China Southern 627 million, Spring Airlines 488 million, Juneyao Airlines 460 million.
And IATA’s analysis doesn’t look any better, Europe actually worse than China?

Source: IATA Airline Industry Economic Performance October 2021 (click for full size)

And just as further food for thought on this question, I blogged pre-pandemic about reasons, Why Do Airlines Keep Failing, including #whatsyourusp #knowyourcost … and keep questioning if our narrow focus on “loads” (at all cost) is misleading, in the end it’s about profits. But in crisis, all our managers (and lobbyists) do is focusing to go back to the old normal. Don’t we need some #newthinking?

Comment by Claus: +1!

What if … We Ignore Our Readers

So many smart posts about how to safe the planet. So much #talkthetalk. And so few that really #walktheirtalk.

The Three Monkeys
Image Flickr (creative commons)


Recently I find more and more LinkedIn “Speakers” and “Influencers” that post. And post. But never react to the comments to the posts. Not even a “like”. No response or reaction to disagreement. Do they read them? Or are they just pushing out their evangelisms and stories and move on?
Who do we listen to. And do they listen to us? If not, are they worth listening to?
#narcism #talkthetalk #delusions #greenwashing #whitewashing #cognitivedissonance

What if … Real A.I. Wakes?

Are we ready for the real thing?

ASRA 2008 brainnodes vs. internet equals AI


Back in 2008, I used this image showing that the “World Wide Web” had already more “nodes” than the human brain (ganglia). And in old SciFi, computers of a certain complexity “awoke”. Are we truly ready to embrace real A.I. (artificial intelligence)?

So far, I keep it with a friend of mine having worked on the forefront of A.I. development:

A.I. vs. I.A.


AI is like Teenage Sex

What do you think? About what I wrote or about A.I. developments in general?

#artificialintelligence #intelligentalgorithms #aiawakening #datacenterpowerconsumption #sustainabilityenergydilemma #supercomputers #globalnodes #teenagesex

Comment by Richard: https://aidynamics.com/ is changing the rules, Juergen. Let me know if you want more information.

My Response: More I.A. 🫣
I mean the “real” A.I. as a conscious intelligence…
Aside the question if “the web” ain’t conscious yet. Or semi-conscious. Or if we’d recognize it if it would be. So that’s a can of worms, well questions…?

Richard’s Response: Juergen, if Isaac Asimov were still with us, we might have a chance. 😑🙃😇

Additional comment by myself: A nice addressing this week by the Marketoonist: https://marketoonist.com/2022/11/by-bots-for-bots.html
There’s a funny conspiracy theory that the Internet secretly “died” six years ago — and is now mostly filled with bots communicating with other bots. As …

Marketoonist: Bots for Bots

What if … We say “No”?

Prioritizing by focusing on your own ideas. Don’t let others consume your time. Before you commit to their project, have a cup of coffee (or tea). And learn to say “no”.

Not My Cup of Tea


Octavian in his LinkedIn newsletter today writes about “Responsibility Overload“.

Myself I try to help everyone and anyone and have very often called “here” and taken responsibility when things needed doing. Often causing me long hours with little reward.

And any time I said “no”, it made me feel bad. But then I learned a “rule”. Who does is right*. And there is a very mean strategy to use “we” when it means “you”. “We must do this”. Yes. And I do my part. But I learned to say “no”. If you think this must be done, do it. Don’t trap me into doing what you could do yourself.

Others are faster. But we have BIG PLANS. Ursula von der Leyen Meme

Footnote: * Who does is right is the rule that while everyone talks about it and how it could be done perfect, let them talk. If you do it, you’re right. If they can do better, let them do better.
#talkthetalk #walkthetalk #focusyourenergy #timemanagement

Comment by Octavian: The stoics are big proponents of “actio”, meaning that everything is meaningless unless you act. And deciding what you act on is the most important skill you should hone.

Comment by Ged: boy do I need to learn that skill!!

What if … We Stand Up?

Walk the Talk


Am I in a Social Media Bubble, believing we can and must save the planet? A recent post by Octavian in his LinkedIn Daily Thoughts vouches for more polite use of vocabulary, whereas I think time to tiptoe is over, we got to name things. What’s wrong? What can we do to change things? How can we help?
And I spoke about Civil Courage just yesterday. I think we became too complacent and fingerpointing. I take it more with Bill Gates 1995 slogan:

Bill Gates: Where do you want to go today?

And just like I learned back in the days in the *** User Group: “Who does is right.” Or as my friend Jens put it when we (re)designed their webpage voluntarily: “Anyone can talk. But if you get your butt up and do it, you’re it. Then let them complain. If they can do better, they are welcome!”

What if … We Simply Stand Up?

Comment by Richard: It is so bad, Juergen, that even Metaverse avatars have no legs to stand on. 😎

Response by myself: Metaverse? Ah, you mean Second Life reloaded? 😂
And you know my opinion that most “digital panacea” are #distractanddivert and #greenwashing. Most. Not all!

11-Oct-22: What if … We Just Keep Talking?

What if … We Just Keep Talking?

Who is ready to #walkthetalk? There’s an entire industry out there to #distractanddivert and dilute good ideas abusing them for #whitewashing and #greenwashing. While the world is on fire – with new trouble spots firing up.

ESG vs. Impact. No understand?


And it’s not just about sustainability. It’s about politics, energy, plastics, the war in Ukraine, China, but also about Trumpism in the U.S. – all over the world.

And while the world is on fire, we have a lot of new fires, including threat of a nuclear war, human rights violations, refugee streams, poverty (SDG1). I used #cognitivedissonance much, meanwhile see it more than a #distractanddivert policy by politicians, industry and media alike. And yes, there is an entire #greenwashingindustry, that keeps the talking alive with too little emphasis to turn that walk into a talk.

So what if we just keep talking and pretending everything will be alright?



And this ain’t new! This goes on all through my life and we f***ing don’t do something about it. But yes. We … talk. So what if … we just keep talking?

Comment by Adrienne Doolan: We are great at talking. Talking makes us feel good about ourselves and helps to ignore the voice of reason. We all know what awaits us from just talking. Please Mother Earth forgive our foolishness.

What if … We Keep Faking Sustainable Development and Climate Action?

After the negative highlights piling up, I do wonder, what might happen if we don’t change. Not at all. And hope for a magical panacea to come out of nowhere?

Change Resistance (shutterstock_210479080 licensed)


This week’s “highlights” being a post that 179 out of 197 countries (<90%) did not provide the required climate goals update to the U.N.

António Guterres being right claiming ahead of COP27 that we do #fartoolittlefartoolate and COP27 announcing the worlds worst plastic polluter Coca-Cola as sponsor.

On my article on 3 Ways to Identify Greenwashing a U.N. Climate Official confirms >95% of the #impactinvestments being #greenwashing, promoting a raisin-picked something without any meaningful real impact. You remember I shared a family office principal’s assessment with the same experience.

But listening to an interview with Daniela Barone Soares, I still have hope that there are some investors somewhere that really try to make a (systemic, meaningful) change.

Comment by Ged: We are constantly and consistently let down by our leaders and governments on the environment. If you’re not angry at the situation, you clearly don’t understand the situation 😔 Great article as always Juergen. Keep up the great work 👌

Added Link by me: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/rajthamotheram_opinion-imf-world-bank-meetings-are-the-activity-6983730414209089536-xIkp

27-Sep-22: What if … We Start Today?

What if … We Start Today?

What if … we #stoptalkthetalk and go for #climateactionnow? #carbonneutralflying is possible 2030, when IATA generously commits to 2% #sustainableaviationfuels to be blended into fossil kerosene…

IATA goal: 2 percent SAF blending means use of 98% fossils


What if … we would seriously start doing something today and not postpone it to 2050 and coming generations? #climateactionnow … 2030 is now suddenly in sight… And while we busted the 1.5°-global warming goal already, we’re on a fast track to 2.8°C by 2050 – too close for comfort to the 3°C worst-case scenario.

Go Carbon-Neutral This Decade

Heresy. I know… And so far just #talkthetalk from self-proclaimed green impact investors.
Man in the Mirror [Michael Jackson]

Comment by myself: And no, this is not just about aviation, but all “the other things” too! Like buying glass bottles instead of plastic, use a cotton bag for vegetables when shopping, reaching out to my store (they replace plastic with paper bags for their bread now). It starts with the (wo-)man in the mirror! And that ain’t new either.

What if … We Would Punish Linear Consumption?

We must #thinkholistically. Not just for plastic, but also i.e. in aviation. What’s our impact to our world. Can we stick to #lipservices, #delays and #diversions and keep going like if there’d be no tomorrow?

Circular Economy


Attending a six-week United Nations Program on Circular Economy and the Agenda 2030, not aviation, but plastic is the black sheep. And in a discussion, Mie confirmed just this week that Plastic Waste is everywhere!

We can’t keep going like this. So what if we charge i.e. the fossil industry a CO2-added tax (CAT)? Plastics are a fossil by-product. Renewable energy would become cheaper than fossil. Etc. – What other repercussions if we tax linear production and products?

And as change starts with the (wo-)man in the mirror: What can I (you) do to avoid waste?

Added Remark by myself: What if we would follow Danijel‘s idea to charge CO2-tax to aviation? Globally. I predict a lot of airlines being bankrupt within a few weeks. And very quickly, there will be SynFuel solutions beyond 2% blending that IATA so ‘generously’ commits to. Want change? Help us get Kolibri funded now!

Comment by Richard: We take reusable bags to the grocery store so that we don’t get plastic bags to throw out at home.

What if … We Refocus on Production?

Are you system-relevant, a leech or what’s your contribution? This is time for change. Where do you want to go today? Happy to hear and discuss your opinions.

Managers vs. Executives


I stumbled over this (very) old picture today again. Given all those discussions in the pandemic about #systemrelevant jobs, I found myself being not. Not really. No.

So is your job truly “system-relevant”? How many sit in your company at the table? How many row the boat? And how about your entire industry? Who’s down on the bank?

What do you think?

What if … I Hold You Accountable

What’s your legacy? Did you live up to your own standards? Are you happy?
#cognitivedissonance #lipservices #wishfulthinking #excuses #honor #reliability #selfesteem #whatif #personalhonor #ethics #readmylips

Greenwashing Demon (shutterstock_1170455851)


What if I hold you accountable for what you are saying today? For the claims you make about yourself. How much of your life is based on #cognitivedissonance?

Man in the Mirror [Michael Jackson]

In the end, we must look at the wo-/man in the mirror and question, if we live up to our words. To our own standards. If not, maybe there is time for a change? Are you up for it? Don’t get me wrong, we often depend on others, our plans may fail. But back in 1986, Michael Jackson sang that it starts with The (wo-)Man in the Mirror.

The thought is strongly related to “what’s your legacy?”

What if … We Simply Go Back to Normal?

Wouldn’t going “back to normal” be so much easier? Why and where do you think we must adjust and change our thinking and processes? And why?

Claus Rasteed - The Rules Just Went Bye-Bye
Image courtesy Claus Raasted from a keynote 2 years ago…


What happened to all those good ideas for #thenewnormal and necessary post-pandemic changes, so they never happen again? What if we keep flying on kerosene and use (liquid) hydrogen and electric flight as welcome distractions to delay #sustainableaviation?? Are we ready for the next #blackswanevent??

Comment by Heinrich Grossbongardt: Today’s normal fortunately is different from yesterday’s normal. And I hope, tomorrow there will be a different normal again. This process is called evolution (and sometimes revolution). Unfortunately and inevitably its includes pursuing dead end roads, which are sometimes paved with gold – like the stupid idea, that EVTOLs might be a climate saving means of mass transportation. As said already said in Rome: Errare humanum est.

My Response: My Food for Thought Air-Taxi Whitepaper. I’m sure you recall the Aero International editorial I was kindly allowed to publish translated inside the whitepaper. In fact,, you’ve been named there 😏 And it’s a nice distraction from the lousy sustainability status quo in aviation…? 😧
Rose Sokolova

Comment by Richard: It is not you, Juergen that doesn’t want to hear the answers. It is all the other people, who don’t even ask the question.

My Response: That’s my intention for “What if …” – to ask questions I like to discuss and find solutions and learn from the replies. We have too many living in blissful ignorance and I happen to hope my network here is to some extend different… #hopedieslast 😂

Another Comment by Richard: Provocative questions, Juergen Barthel. We would rather not ask a question to which we do not want to hear the answer. Answers to each of the three segments is a tome.

And my response: But a. I want to hear the answers from my network. And b. I can read well. And c. LinkedIn limits replies to 1250 characters, so keep yourself short 😇

What if … the Fossil Countries turn to Green SynFuels?

What if ...


Arab Synfuel? Most of them have sun aplenty, most also have coastal seawater too and synfuel could use the very same refineries and logistics they have in place.

Patrick commented: Like this, you mean? 🙂 https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_UAE_Power_to_Liquid_Roadmap_2022.pdf

And I replied: Exactly, thanks, I hadn’t seen that one yet and had been taken into a related discussion in another part of the Arab world 😊 Simply makes sense… Though. What could the impact on politically promoted e-mobility be? Outside aviation.

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