Sustainability has been one of the most often used words when envisioning thriving, healthy societies of the future but sustainability will not help us now. If we had adopted sustainable practices 50 years ago on a global scale, then maybe it would be a different situation for us today. Sustaining the natural resources we currently have, which are in accelerated decline for at least the past century, will not be enough. It is time to replenish, not sustain. Since environment, government, economics are all intertwined, what is needed now is to actively reverse some of the deteriorating trends we face. It is time to ReGenerate and Restore our planet for the future of humanity if we are to have a future at all, and we can do it!
Environmentalists have their notions about planting huge swaths of trees to sequester CO2, to stop oil companies from drilling, and to have renewable energy power our society. This is a great dream and it may happen one day soon, but the truth is that they have been saying this for at least 40 years and things have not been going their way. It is time to face the reality that the American Dollar is backed by oil, and the oil cartels have final say on our policies, especially in the era of Trump. This is 2017, it isn’t a 1970’s hippy version of how we’d like things to go, this is triage. Luckily there are a number of solutions waiting for us as soon as we come to terms with this reality.
Economic systems are a big part of why we have collapsing eco-systems. We are currently incentivised financially to consume rather than replenish. This is changing with the blockchain and crypto-currencies which allow a peer-to-peer or decentralized monetary system. This system will allow incentives that account for regenerating, along with replenishing the environment and will also encourage more cooperative instead of competitive business models.
"We live in a world with more computing power inside the smartphones in our pockets than NASA used to get us to the moon, yet the way we govern our societies and companies remains a comparative pocket calculator... Society is hurtling into the future, but our democratic processes are stuck in the past, falling behind the rest of the world.” -Jamie Skella, Introducing Horizon State
Yet climate change is banging on our door and we do not have a spare moment to wait so we must work within the current system and incentivise technologies that help us address the CO2 problem in our atmosphere. This is not a silver bullet that will solve all of our problems, but it will buy us some time and slow the warming while these emerging systems come online. This is not geo-engineering, this is an investment of time and energy towards technologies that can literally remove carbon that we have put into our atmosphere.
The immediate goal is to make sure we can get back to 300 PPM (parts per million) of CO2 by 2050. Up until the last 60 years our planet has been below 300ppm of CO2 for the entirety that humans have been here. It’s only since the industrial revolution that CO2 has begun to rise and it has steadily risen to a point that we are now above 400ppm of CO2. Scientists are clear that humanity will not survive at these current levels. This is not only necessary, it’s possible and there are real people in the world taking real action towards making these changes a reality.
What is needed are initiatives and policy at all levels to enact change in our communities, and the United Nations Peace Week is just the place to begin the conversation.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals give us a blueprint. During International Peace Week, and peace is a Millennial Goal, some of the most brilliant minds on the planet are met to discuss a direction forward that accounts for the current situation. We are witnessing social movements that overlap between issues of peace, energy, economics, climate and more. On this week in 2014 the People’s Climate March was the largest in history with coordinated events in cities across the planet. As we continue to come into a more integrated understanding of the ways that we need to cooperate across academic disciplines using new business models, that account for our environment, while embracing indigenous wisdom and contemporary science/technology. This is the emerging intelligence that is inclusive of the social, economic, environmental, policy components that nations must employ to shape the future of humanity.
“This is a critical time for us to take on what we really want—to give our children the same climate our grandparents gave us. For fifty years we’ve hoped that we would not have to clean up our carbon wastes—that settling for two degrees warming would be ok. It’s not ok. This year, at barely one degree of warming, the extreme floods, storms, and fires have shown that it’s too late for hope. We need to remove the pollution if we want to give our children what we want them to have. And means engineering: set a clear meaningful goal and then follow through. That climate goal is getting back to 300 ppm by 2050” - Peter Fiekowsky, MIT and Silicon Valley Physicist and Founder of the Healthy Climate Alliance.
This important discussion will be occurring for the foreseeable future. This campaign kicked off on opening day of the UN General Assembly, Monday, September 18, at 8:30am at the Sustainable Development Goals Media Zone in UN Plaza. The event called 300PPM By 2050 Breakfast for Climate Restoration has started a global wave of conversation about solutions. With the support of The Be Earth Foundation (a UN Intergovernmental Organization), and The Healthy Climate Alliance, and many other organizations and individuals, this is destined to become a global movement. What are the key issues related to Climate Restoration, and the impact this pursuit will have on business, governments, the UN and the future of humanity? The time to ask, and answer these questions is now.
Also in New York during Peace Week, key initiatives gathered support for other Sustainable Development Goals including Peace, Climate Action, Universal Health Care, as well as New Economics Systems. The Future of Humanity launched a series of decentralized networked communities based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals with a key focus on Sustainable Development Goal #13 - Climate Action focusing on Climate Restoration; Sustainable Development Goal #14 - Life Below Water focusing on our oceans; Sustainable Development Goal # 3 - Good Health and Well-Being focusing on Universal Health Care for all; and in creating two new Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #0 - Earth Wisdom, focuses on Indigenous Wisdom from cultures from around the world, and SDG #18 - Future of Humanity, in bringing people together to celebrate and to solve the greatest challenges that face all of us at this time.
This is no time to despair, we have much to be hopeful for! You can take action by visiting here. The Future of Humanity website can give you a deeper look at what is unfolding. You can also participate in the exciting International Peace Day Challenge which will continue long after Peace Day and includes people from across the globe. Let’s add fuel to the growing fire for positive change! This celebration of ingenuity, solutions, and love is a very special time for all of us to embrace the deep compassion that is needed for healing and the evolution for our species. UPLIFT also released a wonderful film to commemorate this historic moment called Build Compassion on September 21, the official International Day of Peace.
It will only be through compassionate action, and a deep love for life that we can make the leap to this next planetary level. Each of us was born at this very special time to witness and participate. Please help us spread the good news!
*Updated after Peace Week*