I often worry that most climate change solutions are seen in far too narrow a context; here’s a view on that, in tabular form, that percolated up from my subconsciousness after an early evening slumber. Some of the key insights here come from:
- the planetary boundaries framework charted by Johan Rockstrom and colleagues at the Stockholm Resilience Institute,
- the ‘doughnut economics’ framework built by Kate Raworth on the back of the planetary boundaries framework,
- the very broad analysis of ways to not just slow, but actually reverse climate change, charted by Project Drawdown (led by Paul Hawken), solutions listed and ranked here, and discussed in a good interview by Dan Roberts of Vox.
- and the outline of the spiritual qualities suggested for global citizenship sketched by the Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda:
• The wisdom to perceive the interconnectedness of all life and living.
• The courage not to fear or deny difference; but to respect and strive to understand people of different cultures, and to grow from encounters with them.
• The compassion to maintain an imaginative empathy that reaches beyond one’s immediate surroundings and extends to those suffering in distant places.
Various academic papers have begun to outline the links between democracy and sound environmental regulation, and the link between democracy and combating climate change in particular has been argued by AC Grayling, among others.
So our ambition now, as humanity, if we wish to avert and retreat from catastrophic climate change and parallel environmental crises, should be to cultivate a renewed psychospiritual culture, deep democracy and social justice, and a restorative economy (that avoids the distractions of chasing GDP).
Only then, I think, will the practical solutions that tend to be the focus of thinking about climate change find their proper place and alignment. Only then, will we perhaps have a chance of averting the worst unintended consequences of technology.