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A craving for the positive.

August 18, 2015

[A beached tanker on Staten Island | Hurricane Sandy 2012]

 

After 4 years in 'the climate trenches', I've seen and heard my fair share about the negative impacts of climate change.

 

I've also too often witnessed human beings' negative side as many of the those in government, business and broader society put self-interest above the interests of a threatened society.

 

They seem to be forgetting that we're all part of the same species with just the one communal home.

 

The negativity became relentless.

 

More and more evidence piling up about the likely impacts - and reality then playing those 'likely impacts' back to us in real time with hurricanes, floods, droughts, famines, melting ice caps and species'extinctions. And theongoing tragedy of people losing their lives.

 

At the same time, more and more experts have been providing ideas and frameworks about how we could manage the climate risk with the least impact on society. Some of the people I've met have been doing so since before I was born - yet there's seemed to be less and less action with each passing year.

 

At least that's the overriding impression you get from the mainstream media.

 

Now I'm certainly not naive when it comes to the reality of the climate challenge we face. But I also think the constant stream of negativity is partly to blame for paralysing the concerted and coordinated action we need.

 

In the last year alone I've seen countless examples of people, communities, governments and businesses building climate solutions at a multitude of scales. 

 

To name just three: global battery storage costs have plummetted, Australian household solar has continued to grow rapidly (in spite of the policy back-steps) and China and the US made their historic Joint Announcement on Climate Change.

 

There are countless other examples of steps being taken, solutions being found and people getting on with finding ways to address the climate challenge. They're just too often drowned out by the cacophony of negativity from the so-called climate deniers.

 

I've found myself talking about this more and more in recent weeks. About the craving in broader society to see more of the positive efforts to address climate change. Stories about the people doing all in their power to change things. The successes being had. And yes, the money being made by the entrepreneurs who recognise the economic opportunity in the cleantech (r)evolution we are about to go through - and the economic and social risks if we don't get ready for this increasingly inevitable transition.

 

I think it's time we all shouted a bit louder about the positive.

 

Because change of this scale is always hard. Mistakes will be made and mis-steps taken. But you'll encourage a whole load more people to step up and help overcome the chalenges we face if you amplify the positive and start painting a picture of the future we're heading for, rather than the past we need to leave behind.

 

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