It’s at times like the current environmental and climate change catastrophe that you realize just how deeply fearful and conservative people can be.
For example, leading and well respected proponents of green economics and resilient society are still rabbiting on about how we can avoid rises of over 2°C by 2100. Makes me want to scream…
Then there are the politicians. Where they do engage with the issue its all about how to save the environment but only if we can save the economy as well. But if the economy gets destroyed, they say, there’s not much point in saving the environment.
Sorry? Isn’t that just a little arse about face(*)?
As an example, I was infuriated this morning to hear a business leader whining about the high cost of maternity leave, as though raising the next generation of consumers was of no matter to any business. D’UH! Wealth today and screw the consequences, that seems to be the mantra of our economies. ”Stupid” just doesn’t do it justice.
Then up stands Christine Milne. She’s a senator in the Australian Parliament and leader of the country’s Green party. They’re not a fringe party but hold a crucial 10% of the Senate’s seats, remaining resolutely non-aligned to either of the main parties.
And she lets rip. Her opening salvo includes:
That our economic system is broken and needs fixing is not just the view of the Greens. It is the view of the World Economic Forum, (which says) .. “Business as usual no longer works (and) governance and policy structures are unlikely to sustain the standard of living societies have grown accustomed to.”
Shortly afterwards there’s that delicious quote in the headline, followed but a systematic demolition of current economic models using their own methods and conclusions.
You can read the entire speech on the Australian Greens’ website and the video of it is at the bottom of this page. It’s a brilliant resource and wonderfully forthright in typical Aussie style.
Definitely one to tuck into your back pocket and keep!
Please world. Wake up. 2°C has gone. If drastic action had been taken when the IPCC was established (1988, a whole generation ago) then perhaps we would have had a chance. But it’s been pretty hopeless for years.
4°C is looking dodgy, my money’s on up to 6°C … and that’s only if governments and business pull their thumbs out of their backsides and start fixing how we do business and who benefits from it and who shoulders the long term risks.
“Mitigation” is now too weak a word to describe how we need to react to climate change. It’s time to batten down the hatches and hold on tight. And please, stop making it worse.
(*) a delightful British phrase meaning doing things in the wrong order.
Chris is a seasoned sustainability journalist focusing on business, finance and clean technology. His writing's been carried by a number of highly respected publishers, including The Guardian, The Washington Post and Scientific American. You can follow him on twitter as @britesprite, where he's one of Mashable's top green tweeters and Fast Company's CSR thought leaders. Alternatively you can follow him to the shops... but that would be boring.