Do what's necessary

April 18, 2020

More time spent at home affords us with more reading time. I would like to share a fresh book I just read over Easter. "The future we choose" written by the architects of the 2015 Paris Agreement and part of the Global Optimism campaign. Fittingly in corona times it offers a message of hope and rebirth, if we so choose.

The book starts off by contrasting how our lives will look by 2050 if we don’t act decisively on this challenge and how it will look if we do. Instead of using degrees or ppm or technical terms, it just describes our daily lives in 30 years. Very effective at conjuring up images in our minds that stick with you.

Instead of jumping to the action list right away, the authors take time to point out the importance of our own mindset in this biggest of challenges. Unless we act from a radically altered state of mind, we cannot succeed. We need to subscribe to stubborn optimism, which focuses every step on what’s the next right thing to do and what good can be done. And not let the latest overwhelming bad news paralyze us. We can do this - period.

Next we need to conceptualize that instead of scarcity there can be abundance. Not competition for dwindling resources, but collaboration to support everyone must be our mode of operation going forward. There are plenty of examples why that is not only possible but logical. Animals show us how by not attacking each other at a watering hole in time of scarcity, but drink jointly until abundance reemerges.

Thirdly we need to grasp the immense power of regeneration. Our planet has proven its capacity to do so, in fact it wants to regenerate, but we must eliminate the pressures and give it help to get started. Again, there are many examples of this happening and we need to think of regeneration in every aspect of lives.

With that we are given 10 actions to pursue in the next 10 years. Amongst this good list is massive reforestation, end of fossil fuels and renewable energy. All areas that Red Rocks impact is actively invested in and seeks to expand its commitment to. But also strengthening gender equality, acting as a citizen, not a consumer and powerful political engagement by everyone will be required elements of survival. This list does not give detailed instructions, but sets themes of actions. For a more concrete list, we always look at Project Drawdown which has just published an interesting review report.

The book ends with a hopeful message from the experts: we can do this and it is possible - still. But we must act decisively in all aspects of our lives and start now. We must do what’s necessary, doing what’s possible is longer enough. Now is the time to act, we have no more runway. I strongly recommend reading this timely book, follow the detailed references in the appendix to learn more and start working even harder towards the only thinkable future - one of sustainability, abundance, democracy and equality.

Ralf Schroeder

Looking for ways to align my portfolio with my values and beliefs.