At the top of the climate section is an article titled: ‘Macron warns of ‘end of abundance’ as France faces difficult winter.’ The political commentary about this statement that’s getting the attention, is a focus on the fact many people in France have never enjoyed the abundance he is referring to. Fair enough. It’s a valid point.
But for me, he is speaking to a much bigger idea. We have hit the end of abundance globally and those of us lucky enough to be in the 10% of wealthiest people in the world (salary $38,000+ according to Oxfam), are starting to feel this truth.
Whether we like it or not, the change has started. It could be the higher cost of goods, or just no availability of our favorite items, which is happening right now. This week, the supermarket shelves were empty where I live. In the news, we see famine on the rise globally, and it’s a combination of drought impact, war and supply-chain issues. This will become a much bigger issue we will all face as the world gets hotter.
Whether you’re just starting to pay attention, or have been for some time, we are heading into the greatest period of change this world has ever known, and while I know many fear this, I really want to encourage you to watch ‘The Great Simplification.’ It is not a scary message, it’s a beautiful one.
The challenge we face right now is, how do we go about this transformation?
Do we continue to hold on for dear life to all we have enjoyed up to this point? Because if we do, it’s going to keep getting worse.
Do we put up walls and protect our own and screw everyone else?
Do we sink into societal breakdown and the violence that comes with it?
Do we leave billions of climate refugees on our borders, suffering and dying?
Do we accept the climate getting worse, unlive-able for billions and the mass extinctions already happening? Equally, what ecosystem collapse will have the biggest impact on us? The pollinators? The coral reefs?
Do we accept a world that is becoming more and more uninhabitable and unpredictable, which means less certainty for all of us?
Or do we say, no?
I hope, for our kids’ futures, it’s a big fat no.
Because when we finally get to the point of consensus (a consensus we desperately need), we must start planning this transformation at speed and at scale. This means coming together as a united world (and yes there will always be those fighting against it, but we do it anyway) and then we look at the massive issues we face and work out the solutions together.
A few top-of-mind examples
We start building the infrastructure now to support the refugees. This is happening, they are coming, and they need our help. They also need to be safe and have the chance to live in dignity. Remember, 50% of the 100 million refugees today are children. We could have billions on the move soon.
We set up a global team of water management experts who go into each country and solve the challenge of water. If we can keep people where they are, we will have more peace in the world. Many countries in drought are not managing this very important asset. These people do not have to move.
We switch to a predominantly plant-based diet, and we support farmers in this transition. However, to make a massive impact, fast food chains must go plant-based, and let’s face it, the Amazon desperately needs this move. Please watch and read the content George Monbiot is sharing. I shared a video last week in my Weekend Reads from him on this topic. It’s a huge part of the solution and we can do it.
We invest in all the countries on the front line of climate change to help them adapt. This investment means there is a greater chance they won’t migrate. As above, if we can keep people where they are, it’s better for everyone. But those who can’t stay need to be supported.
We invest in our home countries. We change our transportation systems to be as green as possible as quickly as possible. This means making services like trains and buses public again and affordable. We invest in our water infrastructure. We make our towns and cities green. We focus on planting trees in the poorest neighbourhoods, so they survive intense heat. This is something we saw in India. The wealthier, tree-filled suburbs handled the heat wave this summer much better than those living in the poorer communities.
We sort out the media and its destructive impact on society (read ‘We have to stop normalising the absurd’), we need to rebuild trust in our societies, we must fix the institutions our societies are built on (education, medical, the law and more), we get fossil fuels off the table but we do it intelligently (it’s not going to stop overnight), we work out how to solve the divisions in our countries, we must stop war, we need a fully circular economy, Universal Basic Income is a must, we switch to a degrowth economy, and on I could go.
A big call? Well, when everyone keeps telling me there is no hope (and maybe they are right), I keep seeing this answer. It’s a HUGE transformation ahead of us, and it’s enormously challenging too, but if we can dream bigger than we ever have before and commit to coming together to get the job done, we will build something better.
Let’s design a world where we can take desperation out of our societies. There’s too much desperation everywhere – except for those at the very top of course. Enough.
Our world has been built on the back of environmental devastation and human suffering. Our opportunity is to change that and we want to change it, don’t we?
Anyways, get stuck into the reads and please always remember, we are the hope we are looking for. All of us. I know it’s hard to hold onto sometimes, but we can do this. We can. Let’s all get involved.
Friend’s content and mine
Humble-bragging to greenwash: the seven sins of sustainability professionals on LinkedIn – great read by Robin Hicks
I really enjoyed doing this podcast with Samantha Gayfer – The path out of eco-anxiety is ACTION – tips when sitting in the grief. A big part of facing the climate crisis is going through eco-anxiety. Why would anyone want to do that? So I thought it was really important to capture what it feels like, so hopefully, it will show us all we can face it and get on with the job that needs to be done.
If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Or donate to the UN Refugee Program, Medicine Sans Frontier, PowerOf , Kiva.org , Soi Dog Foundation. It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.
Content to read
And here’s the content I’ve been reading or watching this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.
Frankly#6 The End of Abundance
Yangtze shrinks as China’s drought disrupts industry | AP News tks Susanna Hasenoehrl
Europe’s farmers look to a future of long-term drought
Net Zero is Seriously Worth It!
Murdoch inquiry in motion as Daniel acts on media concentration (crikey.com.au) tks Phillipa Edwards
Business and technology
Social issues and humanity
Why are rich Chinese consumers selling their Rolexes? Passing on your luxury watch or Hermès Birkin bag might get you cash quick in China’s struggling economy – but prices are dropping | South China Morning Post (scmp.com)
Can Christians be Woke?
Passion, humour, history
Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!
Three environment resources to help navigate this challenging territory. 1. Knowledge, constantly updating. 2. Individual action and awareness, so we do our part. 3. Resources for those struggling with eco-anxiety. Please share with your community.
Uncommon Courage: an invitation – my latest book
Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 has given us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.
Better yet, order it from your local bookstore, so you can #SupportLocal.
You can read the reviews, including a new five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another on Book Commentary and Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.
Come and join the conversation in my new Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.
The Know Show
Check out The Know Show. It’s a fortnightly wrap up of the news! Starting again, September 2nd.
18 Steps to an All-Star LinkedIn Profile (2022 edition)
Listed by Book Authority in the 100 Best LinkedIn Books of All Time and 22 Best New LinkedIn eBooks To Read In 2021 and 2022 categories. Grab it today if you want to take your professional presence to the next level! When it comes to LinkedIn, it really is time to ask — can you really afford not to have this book in the hands of every employee?
Connect with me
Have I done a great job for you? Can you write a reference on my LinkedIn profile or on my Google Business page? If not for me, why not write one for someone else who inspires you or has helped you? Join the #GivingEconomy.
Are you a Social CEO? The Social CEO: How Social Media Can Make You A Stronger Leader.
Want to claim your stage? Unleash Your Voice – Powerful Public Speaking for Every Woman