This is an extract from Chapter 12 of my forthcoming book The Economics of Kindness: How to End the Economics of Selfishness and Build an Economy that Works for All, for which I am seeking a publisher.
So much has been written about the urgency of the looming climate disaster that I’ll skip straight to the solutions. I am a climate alarmist, just as Churchill was a Nazi alarmist in the 1930s. But I am not a climate doomer. I am of one mind with Paul Hawken, author of Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation,who believesthat we can do this if we put our minds to it. The alternative is too dire to contemplate.
It’s sunset, at the end of another beautiful day in Honolulu. The high tide is arguing with the seawall, which was raised another metre last year to protect the Capitol Building – but what’s new? They’re still not on good terms with each other.
My name is Ben Danner-Pualani, and tomorrow I will give the biggest speech of my life in front of all my peers. They say it will be broadcast to every schoolchild. I’m 87, and for my sins I have been granted the pomposity of being a Senator, so I’ve seen a bit, but this has the butterflies crawling all over my poor weak heart, under my great grandfather’s ancient robe.
In his book, Value(s): Building a Better World for All, former governor of The Bank of England Mark Carney, looks at value beyond dollars and demands your attention. Review by Guy Dauncey. First published in The MINT Magazine, September 2021.
When the world’s best-known central banker writes a new book, we should sit up and pay attention, especially since Mark Carney is one of the few central bankers who really gets the climate crisis.
It’s a quite personal book; his writing reveals a deep commitment to ethical values, and service to the wider community. He makes me feel that I know him, and we’d get along well over a pint of beer. He often shares stories from his time at the Bank of England, and as chair of the Financial Stability Board, which was set up after the 2008 financial crash, resulting in over 100 reforms. Will they work? Time will tell.
“We are facing a disaster of unspoken suffering for enormous amounts of people, so please, treat the climate crisis like the acute crisis it is, and give us a future.”– Greta Thunberg
For years, Guy Dauncey has tirelessly warned of the urgency of tackling the climate crisis and provided practical ways to achieve reductions in our emissions. While the crisis has only worsened, the window of opportunity to shift direction has shortened. Here is a blueprint for concrete action. Read it and act! – David Suzuki
300 years ago, the Enlightenment generated an inspiring vision of scientific, technological and economic progress. What was once global ‘progress’, however, has become a climate, ecological, economic and now pandemic disaster.
We need new inspiration.
When we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic we can’t afford
to go back to business-as-usual.
We need to build ourselves a new ecological civilization
in which we live, work and play in harmony with Nature,
We face not one but three simultaneous inter-connected crises: the COVID-19 Emergency, the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, and the Crisis of Capitalism. We urgently need connected constructive responses.
When you recall the movie When Harry Met Sally, your horny mind probably goes straight the scene in the delicatessen, and “I’ll have what she’s having”. Setting that aside, it took Harry and Sally a long time before they realized that they were natural partners. In my version of the story, Harry is the climate and biodiversity action movement and Sally is the COVID-19 community response movement. For each, the movement includes a wide mix of people, organizations, scientists, health workers, artists, businesses, banks and governments who have realized the urgency of their respective crises. Ideally I need a third character to represent the new economics movement, but since there was no suggestion of polyamory in the movie, I’ll settle for tradition. It would make for a great sequel, however.
The Mint Magazine despatches Guy Dauncey to Switzerland, a decade into the future, to report on the global summit.
It was pouring when we arrived in Davos. The local news channels were full of complaints about how useless the artificial snow-machines were in the rain. Everyone knew the continuing climate crisis was to blame. Their glum expressions said it all.
When the invitation arrived for The Mint to send a journalist I volunteered because I wanted to see how my Tesla Raven Model 5 would manage the 1,000 km, 12-hour journey on just one recharge, ride-sharing with three others. Success. We arrived with 154 km still in the battery.
How can I describe the mood among the delegates? The world had entered the final year of the 2020s, and the steady reduction in global emissions along with the full-on engagement by China and India made many people feel optimistic. But the ongoing litany of disasters, including the massive flooding in Holland and the forest fires in the Amazon, made most still feel fearful.
The pandemic has seized our attention, and so it should – but the climate and ecological emergencies haven’t paused out of sympathy, thinking “Let’s give the humans a break.” That’s not the way Nature works.
We can’t afford to relax our climate and environmental concerns just because we’ve got other concerns. We have to do both. And being stuck at home gives us an opportunity to do some serious planning. Serious, as in “Let’s make our family 100% climate and ecologically friendly within five years.”