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  • Writer's pictureZsofia NAGY

What if we don't manage to align on a new economic & societal model?



Let me start with that I'm going to use the energy generation side of our lives to make my point, i.e. the fossil fuel industry situation.

In the media and in our daily lives, the "box match" between the fossil fuel industry folks and the climate activists, sustainability professionals is getting worse by the day.

I see cynical, snarky, downright unprofessional comments, spewing bile and throwing virtual (and very real) punches, scientists and NGO leaders shouting with industry leaders while industry leaders don't give a damn about what they should hear etc.….the picture is grim.

I don't see constructive critique, solutions and professional exchange happening.

I don't see a reasonable dialogue happening.

The deterioration of our climate and thus the weather conditions, which have a serious impact on our overall wellbeing, health, daily life, our professional life is very real.

It comes in waves, but these waves are increasing and the negative impact from all aspects is getting worse (if someone missed these, please open Google and read up), the cumulative impact is even worse.

At the same time, most of those in power (either economic or political or both) are still debating:

  1. The actual existence and impact of climate change

  2. The symptoms of climate change (worsening air/water/soil pollution, breakdown of climate cycles etc.) and deteriorating living conditions

  3. If the new, regenerative economic models developed by respected professionals are viable

  4. The actual necessary course of action and its financing to make the transformation happen (including energy resources!)

With all due respect, we are past the point to debate any of these by now.

We have more than enough scientific evidence (many from the fossil fuel industry's researchers and scientists themselves - in public domain by now) that the fossil fuel industry's activities are very much part of the equation and are critically detrimental to the environment, along with many other human activities, including our setup of extractive economic behaviour.

I am one of those, who acknowledges the fact that how the fossil fuel industry supported the improvement of life and technological advances is undeniable in many ways. We have derivatives in our lives everywhere (also in medicine for example) that help humanity, not just destroy it. They provide energy and a workplace for many people globally.

So the change from the current structure to the new, regenerative economic structure must happen in a way that doesn't leave those behind, who work* in the fossil fuel industry and at the same time, it doesn't forget about those, who were negatively impacted by the fossil fuel industry either (*here I strictly mean those who work in the industry and not those who extract profit from it as shareholders).

Now, I'd respectfully ask people to think through these few coming points for our hypothesis:

  1. With all the research and evidence in our hands, it is still possible that either side is wrong in their calculations and anticipations regarding energy sources. The only sure thing is that our extractive & transactional economic models are deadly (= we don't live within our resources).

  2. Climate activists say the climate change is real and the links to the fossil fuel industry are undeniable, a large portion of the damage comes from there (especially due to the massive proliferation of derivatives in our lives), therefore fossil fuel industry needs to be restricted and we need a larger transformation/change to regenerative economy practices.

  3. Fossil fuel professionals say that the climate change is not real, it is merely part of longer climate cycles that are part of the Earth's life and they will come/go and their impact is not as great as the other party says it is, therefore their activities can continue unrestricted and rather should be even more supported to provide further economic development.

If we agree on these points as our hypothesis, we can move on to the next part of the consideration:

  1. If climate activists are wrong, yet we do restrict the fossil fuel industry while investing in regenerative energy sources, then the worst case scenario is inconvenience (by all means, I can list all the impacts, but it remains a category of inconvenience in the grand scheme of things for humanity).

  2. If the fossil fuel industry and their representatives are wrong, yet we don't restrict their activities, the outcome is that we run out of resources and the climate change will have a severe impact on human existence (if not deadly, based on latest research).

Now comes the most critical question to consider:

Which scenario carries a bigger risk for humanity?

I'm a humble business professional and specifically as a supply chain expert, I regularly conduct risk assessments and mitigation planning.

Even if my hypothesis here is simplified, wouldn't it be worthy to sit around the same table and have a healthy, professional dialogue, instead of this absolutely abysmal chicken-fight?

In all fairness, I haven't seen a comprehensive plan from any of the fossil fuel industry representatives on the mitigation of the current climate situation and what steps they would take, if they are allowed to continue operations as/is….even though the current volatile weather conditions impact their existing operations as well by now (doesn't show in their profits yet, but it will show sooner or later).

If anyone has seen such a document, please share it with me - I'd be honestly curious to read it through and see if it makes sense.

All I see circulating openly is climate and sustainability professionals trying their best to find & implement new solutions while being chased by a ring of fire (id est, the climate breakdown and further subsidies going to the extractive methods instead of regenerative methods) and going wrong in the process, succeeding in some cases.

Once again:

Why is there no real, humble and open dialogue between the different parties?

Are we really this arrogant to continue like this?

Even in extraction-based economic models, the current situation is considered high-risk with a cost associated that is impacting business performances globally (so even uncle Donald Duck will have less money to swim in, if you know what I mean...).

From what I've seen, the climate activists have been more than ready for a dialogue for long, that's why they try to break down doors (quite literally), while the fossil fuel industry hasn't been forthcoming, the least to say.

So this reflects poorly on the fossil fuel industry. Transparency would be key to convince the other side that they are able to look beyond their next pay cheque and quarterly bonuses.

If I look at the economic models we live by, the fossil fuel industry is a direct example of what we are doing: extraction at unsustainable rates and at the expense of those creating that value being extracted.

The only way we can do better is by open, honest dialogue and immediate implementation of regenerative solutions via channelling existing subsidies and funding from extractive methods to regenerative methods.

How about finding a way to agree on the way forward for everyone's sake?

We have all what it takes to make this change happen.


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