Summary: As humanity treads the road to recovery, we have to wonder…what could a better future look like? And what do we have to do to see it?
Original author and publication date: Jack Neighbour – July 12, 2021
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Do we really have a brighter future ahead of us, or is it just wishful thinking?
From the article:
COVID-19 won’t pose an existential threat to humans, thanks to science and a record-breaking, high-speed development of effective vaccines.
But there are still plenty of challenges that have the potential to affect each and every one of us, and some experts believe that our actions over the next 50 years will determine our survival through the next 10,000. Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic represents a bit of a factory reset in more ways than one: we’re at a pivotal moment—some might even call it a last chance—to do something about what is considered to be the single greatest threat to our future on this planet: climate change.
World-renowned naturalist David Attenborough calls climate change “the biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced”―many scientists and other experts agree with him. The challenge is global, and there’s no running from it: the 2020s are the decade in which we need to cut emissions by at least 45 percent to limit an overall global temperature increase to 1.5⁰ Celsius. Right now we are on track for a temperature increase over 3⁰ Celsius―more than double this critical number. The implications are catastrophic: mass extinctions, severe weather events, and food and freshwater insecurity. Coastal cities like Shanghai and Miami would cease to exist―simply swallowed up by rising seas. Events like this displace millions, crumble critical infrastructure, and exacerbate issues like hunger and inequality.
It all sounds very bleak, but it’s important to remember that these risks can be mitigated if we work together to act on climate change and its impacts. We’re already well on the way as more businesses, nations, and individuals seek to reduce carbon emissions and turn to renewable sources of energy per the Paris Agreement framework.
When it comes to transitioning from fossil fuels though, money does a lot of the talking. As economies begin to bounce back from the pandemic, more people are realizing the importance of investing in greener alternatives. As Anne Simpson, Managing Investment Director of Board Governance and Sustainability for the largest public pension fund in the U.S., the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), puts it, “The economic logic behind sustainability is what’s driving investors in this direction.” She believes that a business cannot function without a healthy ecosystem.