I recently stumbled upon this article from Postmedia’s award-winning national science writer, Margaret Munro. It was written in advance of June’s Rio+20 summit, which was widely viewed to have achieved limited results. That said, the article offers a good summary of some of the big systemic changes that we’re likely going to have to pull off on the long road to building a sustainable and resilient future. In other words, it’s going to take a whole lot more than riding a bike, recycling, and using cloth shopping bags.
The article has a bit of a Canadian focus, but the steps are universal:
1. Start a revolution
2. Energy game change
3. Put a price on carbon
4. Overhaul corporate motives and mindsets
5. Green Canada’s blackened record
6. Transform cities
7. Connect the dots before you buy
8. Eat less meat
9. Embrace education (and contraception)
10. Get politically active
You can read the rest of the article and an explanation of each of the steps here, but I’ll post the first one here as an example:
“For most of the last century, economic growth was fuelled by what seemed to be a certain truth: the abundance of natural resources. We mined our way to growth. We burned our way to prosperity. We believed in consumption without consequences,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last year. He went on to describe it as a “recipe for national disaster. It is a global suicide pact.”
“We need a revolution,” he said. “Revolutionary thinking. Revolutionary action. A free-market revolution for global sustainability”.