Dystopian or utopian future? In the top Happy Eco News story this week, Ida Auken (a member of Parliament in Denmark and author of “This Is What 2030 Could Look Like if We Win the War on Climate Change” describes a future that could best be described as utopian. Could this be the future, post climate crisis?
One of the main reasons I started this blog was to help people to overcome their fear of the future. It is only possible to increase efforts to do the right thing for the environment if we believe a positive outcome is possible. In this article, the author depicts a future that is far from the 2019 Los Angeles of the 1982 movie Blade Runner (yes, the futuristic movie with flying cars and runaway technology is now set in our past).
I also believe that the current system of resource-based economy will soon shift to another system. Economist and researcher Kate Raworth calls this new way of measuring the economy Doughnut Economics.
Rather than focussing on a system that is measured simply by money, this new system takes all inputs and outputs into consideration and focusses on people and inadvertently, because it is important to our heath, also on the environmental health of our planet. This, or some variation of it, may in fact be a template for the global economy of the future and I for one certainly hope so.
The millions of students that participated in the #fridaysforfuture climate strikes are now organizing, gaining confidence and gaining strength. Bullied by adults, called naïve, irrational and unrealistic simply for being worried about the health of their own planet, they are not going away or giving up. No they persevere and soon their voices will also be heard at the voting stations. These kids embrace an economy based on some form of Green New Deal and they will vote for leaders who champion their cause. Those politicians who do not (the grey haired old men who stand in the way of change and who brought us to the brink of catastrophe) will be cast aside.
Unfortunately, I’m an old guy. And yes, I am getting some grey. But I and others like me stand for something different. I truly believe that the future will look different than the dystopian future predicted in movies like Blade Runner. I believe that some form of Green New Deal will empower and employ millions (maybe hundreds of millions) worldwide. I believe that economic indicators will shift from simple monetary growth toward healthy society and healthy environment as the metric for prosperity. I am also a realist, therefore I believe there may be some discomfort in the short term, but all said there are many indicators that we are finally starting to move in the right direction.
Clean, renewable energy is now cheaper to deploy than fossil fuel infrastructure and provides greater resiliency. Single use plastics are now being banned all over the planet. Automakers are now announcing timelines to completely eliminate fossil fuels from their products and all of them now offer some form of low emission or zero emission vehicles. Change is coming and a tipping point will soon occur. When it does, a new economy will begin to emerge.
In other top happy eco news stories, a recent study shows that offshore wind farms could provide all the world’s power needs. Scotland is restoring it’s peat bogs to help them continue to sequester carbon, Humpback Whales are making a comeback after being hunted to the verge of extinction and Asia’s second largest bank dropped out of its last coal financing project after announcing it would discontinue funding fossil fuel projects back in April 2019.