Twelve years to A Finer Future for all?

by: Sara on 11/13/2018

Guest blog from New Society Acquisition Editor Rob West.

As oil consumption skyrockets towards 100 million barrels per day, the IPCC dropped a bombshell in early October in the Special Report Global Warming of 1.5C.  Approved by 197 countries, the report assessed 6,000 scientific papers and concluded unequivocally that the biosphere is on a human induced crash course with disaster. We have but twelve years to cut carbon emissions almost in half and decarbonize the global economy entirely within thirty years to avoid the worst of climate catastrophe.   

A few weeks later, the WWF Living Planet Report indicated a staggering loss of wild animals from the Earth since 1970. A product of the human economy grinding up everything in its path and converting the Earth, as so eloquently stated by Nate Hagens, into nothing more than ephemeral dopamine hits, before chucking it into landfill, the oceans, and the atmosphere.  

So how do we, as a global community, cut this Gordian Knot?

Responding to a call from the Club of Rome to determine whether humanity can avoid complete ecosystem and economic collapse, Hunter Lovins, Stewart Wallis, Anders Wijkman, and John Fullerton took a long hard look at the evidence. In A Finer Future, they show that humanity has a chance – just – to thread the needle of sustainability and build a regenerative economy through a powerful combination of enlightened entrepreneurialism, technology, and innovative policy.

But, as they argue, it’s not just about switching to renewable energy and buying electric cars. To the contrary, it’s about challenging the core story of our civilization, in which meaning is welded to consumption and more, as tracked by GDP, is necessarily better. So, the key challenge facing humanity is to write a new collective story, or stories, in which we find meaning in our lives as individuals and societies beyond the material, in the work of regeneration.

The starting gun has sounded and the clock is ticking. We have the means but do we – do you? – have the will?

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