Wade Davis in Copenhagen: “There is no serious scientist alive who questions the severity and implications of this crisis”
In Partnership with Nissan’s A Journey to Zero Project:
There is no serious scientist alive who questions the severity and implications of this crisis, or the factors, decisions and priorities that caused it to occur. It has come about because of the consequences of a particular worldview. We have for three centuries now, as Thom Hartman has written, consumed the ancient sunlight of the world.
What intrigued me about this notion of a Journey to Zero was that it wasn’t really a slogan, and it wasn’t just a description of a technological goal – which of course it was in terms of a goal of zero emissions. But it also was so deeply metaphorical about where we all have to go.
Our economic models are projections and arrows when they should be circles. To define perpetual growth on a finite planet as the sole measure of economic wellbeing is to engage in a form of slow collective suicide. To deny or exclude from the calculus of governance and economy the costs of violating the biological support systems of life is the logic of delusion.
This conference is critical. It’s ultimately a measure of the human capacity to do what it’s almost never done, which is plan for, and anticipate, the future. I’m optimistic because of the very existence of this process, which is really unprecedented.
Thirty years ago, just getting people to stop throwing garbage out of car windows was an environmental victory. No one spoke about the biosphere, and idea of global warming was practically in the realm of science fiction. Likewise, in thirty years we’ve seen sociological transformations that would never have been imaginable. African Americans have gone from the woodshed to the Whitehouse; women have gone from the kitchen to the boardroom; and gay people have gone from the closet to the altar. As a father I can’t afford to be anything but optimistic. I really do believe pessimism is an indulgence.
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