The stubborn inertia of our political and energy systems in the face of stark climate change realities has been the great frustration of the past decade (or three), and is at the root of the discouragement and despair that’s growing in many of us. Our society seems intent on waiting too long to act. But Paul Gilding has become a leading voice for an alternate view, one that sees the past decade as prelude to a tipping point we can embrace rather than dread. His book, The Great Disruption, laid out his view that when push came to shove with climate change, the market and the big-monied economic elites would spur a WWII-scale refocus of the economy toward carbon-neutral energy. For the past couple of years, he’s updated the book’s themes with fresh analysis every few months, based on the latest global developments. He’s now convinced that 2015 is the year that the “Dam of Denial” breaks, and his latest missive offers further encouragement that the long-sought disruptions are at hand:
For over a hundred years, energy markets have been defined by physical resources, supplied in large volumes by large, slow moving companies developing long life assets in the context of slow moving shifts in markets. The new emerging energy system of renewables and storage is a “technology” business, more akin to information and communications technology, where prices keep falling, quality keeps rising, change is rapid and market disruption is normal and constant.
If you haven’t tuned into Gilding before, this is a great place to start. The new piece includes links to several of his key articles over the past two years, and will likely leave you feeling a tad—or a lot—more optimistic about our prospects. Read on here for a few more nuggets from this most recent article:
For sixty years, the King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has been expounding on a development philosophy he terms The Sufficiency Economy. It’s based on putting moderation and balance at the center of development strategy, emphasizing the Buddhist concept of ‘the middle path’ as a leading principle for appropriate conduct of people, businesses and government at all levels. As illustrated at the top of this post, it bears a striking resemblance to the three-tiered expansion of “self-interest” that fires what we call the invisible heart of resilience, which unleashes the real power and promise of resilient investing.
John Elkington, the long-time sustainability champion who coined the term “triple bottom line,” has released an intriguing—dare we even say entertaining?—new treatise on how companies and individuals can adapt to survive and thrive in the face of today’s growing confluence of social, environmental, and economic pressures.
Michael Kramer’s 45 minute television interview with Jay Fidell of Think Tech Hawaii covers the core themes of The Resilient Investor as well as the sustainable, responsible, and impact investment approach used by Natural Investments.
The Responsible Endowments Coalition is a resource to support responsible investment among colleges and universities.
Its goal is to support environmental and social change by making responsible investment common practice in these settings by offering new tools and resources for the next generation of activists. Visit website.
This essay by Australian economist John Quiggin offers an overview of several factors that make a Muddle Through Up future plausible, and thus reinforce the Dealer response to our times. In particular, Quiggin looks at ways we can successfully share the economic prosperity pie to include today’s excluded populations while living within the planet’s ecological limits. Read essay.
A network of hubs of of young leaders, centered on cities/regions. Participants are chosen for their leadership potential and desire to serve society. Hubs lead local projects to improve their communities, and shapers are able to participate in the worldwide network of Global Shapers as well as other World Economic Forum events. Visit their website.
The Simplicity Collective is a resource on leading a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity. Leans toward the philosophical side, with resources and reflective essays on a wide variety of topics, along with links to books, and a user forum. Visit website.