“I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”–Greta Thunberg, 2019
“Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”– Kenneth Boulding, 1953
Welcome to Enduring Green Globe. The magnificent blue and green world we occupy is a mere speck in the cosmos, but it is home to a rich diversity of organisms, microscopic to immense. Our species has come to consciousness, learning our place in the universe. In the process, we ourselves have become an elemental force, modifying the action of the classical four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. We now inadvertently jeopardize the future of millions of species, including ourselves.
What must we do to ensure that this world continues to be green, to maintain its rich ecology? How can we ensure that our green world endures?
First, we must act decisively to contain the climate emergency. The world is warming, reaching temperatures unknown since the dawn of civilization and projected to rise beyond values ever experienced by humankind. It will warm further, but our actions will dictate how much.
For decades scientific evidence has accumulated along with heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Why has it proven so difficult to act? Thirty years ago, after the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, nations acted decisively to phase out the use of the chemicals implicated as agents of the ozone loss. However, those chemicals represented just a small fraction of one industry, which already was developing alternatives. In contrast, nearly 30 years of international negotiations on climate have failed to yield decisive action. The reason is that greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning, mostly come from essential economic activities.
Economic dogma maintains that growth is synonymous with improving human welfare, but evidence abounds that the economy has surpassed what our green globe can sustain. Growth has become uneconomic, and climate change is just a symptom. The underlying malady is humankind’s already excessive, but endlessly increasing imposition on the resources, waste capacity, and ecological resilience of the planet.
The climate crisis results from conflict between the need to curtail emissions and the ongoing economic drive that increases them.
The imperative to address the climate emergency in the immediate future is now recognized around the world, except perhaps in Washington, D.C. This offers hope of action to weaken the link between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. However, treating the symptom of climate change will fail without undertaking the even deeper challenge to relinquish the economic dogma of unbounded growth.
EGG represents both acronym of Enduring Green Globe Consulting and metaphor for its motivation.
The egg in the logo is sweating from global warming and it is cracked. The crack represents the uncertainty surrounding the climate emergency: Will the egg of Earth’s future break under climate stress?
Containing climate change may keep the egg from breaking, but will the egg actually hatch into an ecologically balanced and prosperous future? Incubation of the egg, allowing metamorphosis of the global economy into a sustainable steady state, will not occur quickly—if at all. The alternative, however, invites devasting consequences to humankind and the ecological endurance of planet Earth.
Enduring Green Globe seeks to help local and state governments and businesses recognize the emergency, minimize its immediate impacts, and develop contributions to mitigating it. This blog aims to comment on the challenges of containing the climate emergency and also altering the dominant paradigm of the global economy.