Saving our planet
What’s the problem?
Do you ever wonder how on earth we are going to make the changes we need to in the face of climate change? You and I can keep recycling and consuming in ways which improve our lives and those of the rest of the planet, but what we really need is a much larger, more systemic change of direction. Don’t you ever think that our economies are not changing fast enough? Or that they are only making small changes and those almost exclusively when and how it suits short-term profit motives?
What’s so bad about that?
We need large scale structural change to our economies and societies, including to our energy systems, our agriculture, our patterns of consumption and to what we consider to be “the good life”. We need urgently to live well within limits. We face catastrophic warming and large scale species declines and extinctions if we don’t make changes.
We urgently need our economies to change direction and a key element of that will be redirecting finance to solutions to help us in the transition to a new economy and society. Until finance is energising new projects and new ways of thinking and doing we are unlikely to get the change we need. It won’t be enough on its own, but unless finance is on our side it will be extremely hard to achieve.
What’s the alternative?
Finance should be given a strong direction to direct investment, credit and liquidity to projects which help us make the transition to living within the planetary limits.
How will it help?
Change can come surprisingly quickly, but we need to start, and we need to change the behaviour of our corporations, including financial firms. This starts with measuring and disclosing the impacts that businesses have on the planet. Financial firms should, through bans, quotas and incentives, shift money to projects that enable us to manage the transition to a new economy and society and to negotiate energy descent. Enormous financial resources, largely funded by the pensions, insurance and other savings of normal citizens, are still directed towards industries that are actively harming the planet, and they need to be urgently redirected to projects, both large and small, that will help humans live as part of and in balance with the rest of life on this planet. The mission to save the planet will need new thinking about we value things, large amounts of private and public investment, and plans for a just transition so that people who rely on high carbon industries for their income are not left behind.
What steps could we take to get started?
- Coming soon