New climate report offers surprising hope

To mitigate the risk of societal collapse, five “extraordinary reversals” are needed. One of them: changing our diet.Image: imago images / aal.photo

analysis

Josephine Andreoli

There are five “extraordinary faces” needed to significantly reduce the risk of societal collapse and Earth system shock.

No more or less.

“These extraordinary turnarounds can be achieved by 2050, that is, within a single generation. But we must act now.” The authors around Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President of the Club of Rome, and Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), are convinced of this.

Club of Rome

The Club of Rome is an association of experts in various disciplines from over 30 countries and was founded in 1968. The non-profit organization is committed to a sustainable future for humanity.
The international think tank became known through the report “The Limits to Growth”, which was sold over 30 million times.

Together with other environmental experts, in their new report to the Club of Rome – “Earth for all. A survival guide for our planet” – Wrote a manual on how to save the planet and ourselves from collapsing.

What is the price of a safe world?

The book is the response to the first report to the Club of Rome. In the research paper “The Limits to Growth”, published in 1972, researchers at the Massachusetts Institutes for Technology (MIT) warned of the consequences of constant growth in world population, industry, consumption of raw materials, food production and environmental pollution.

“A collapse can be avoided.”

Co-author “Earth for All” Owen Gaffney

What seemed like an unreal horror at the time has become a reality today, 50 years later.

The good news: “A collapse can be avoided”Owen Gaffney, sustainability analyst at Stockholm Resilience Center and PIK and co-author of the survival guide, tells watson.

It is still possible to initiate a systemic transformation. And the costs still have to be paid for it.

According to the experts, eradication of poverty is one of the most important issues.

According to the experts, eradication of poverty is one of the most important issues.Image: imago images / photo library

About two to four percent of global gross domestic product would have to according to the authors is spent each year on sustainable energy and food security.

“We want to give people hope and optimism.”

Co-author “Earth for All” Owen Gaffney

Gaffney adds, “We want to give people hope and optimism.” After all, the world population is no longer growing exponentially, but will stabilize – at a manageable level.

The five “extraordinary U-turns” for a better world

It is unlikely that this investment will occur solely through market forces. It is all the more important to realize the “extraordinary about-faces”:

  1. end poverty
  2. Eliminate the glaring inequality
  3. empowerment of women
  4. Building a healthy food system for people and ecosystems
  5. Transition to the use of clean energy

The list of scientists sounds like wishful thinking, a utopia. “The magnitude of this transformation can seem daunting,” the authors also explain. But only with the help of “the fastest economic transformation in history” can the improvements so urgently needed be achieved.

“Yet the progress is disproportionate to the scale of the risks we face.”

Co-president of the Club of Rome, Sandrine Dixson-Declève

“Scientists have been ringing the alarm bells about the climate for 50 years,” Sandrine Dixson-Declève told watson. She is co-president of the Club of Rome and co-author of The Survival Guide. Since then, some fundamental advances have been made – solar energy, for example, is the cheapest form of energy in history.

“Yet the progress is disproportionate to the scale of the risks we face.”

Solar roofs are part of the typical cityscape in more and more areas.

Solar roofs are part of the typical cityscape in more and more areas.image: imago images / imagebroker

Exponential curves would start out slowly – and eventually reach an inflection point. “I think we’re at this tipping point right now,” Dixson-Declève said.

To show how different the world can look – depending on politics and society’s reaction – the experts in the book show two scenarios, both beginning in 1980 and ending in 2100: “Too Little Too Late” and “Giant Leap”. The potential development in the fictional destinies of four girls born in 2020 from China, the United States, Bangladesh and Nigeria is illustrated.

“I think it would be naive to think that a book can change the world.”

Co-president of the Club of Rome, Sandrine Dixson-Declève

The science-based report addresses the issues of poverty, inequality, equality, nutrition and energy – and clearly chalks out what needs to change to create “an indispensable foundation for a more resilient civilisation”. Above all, the experts emphasize the importance of equality and justice. Otherwise, social tensions would presumably rise in the mid-21st century, conflicts would intensify, trust would be undermined – and governance would be severely tested.

“Earth for everyone. A survival guide for our planet”, 256 pages, 25 eurosimage: oekom

The researchers draw a gloomy future scenario. But they are trying to make it clear that it is we who have the future in our hands.

Everybody.

“I think it would be naive to think that a book can change the world,” explains Dixson-Declève when asked by Watson. “But we hope that we can show that it is possible. And we hope that those calling for economic change will see ‘Land for All’ as part of a toolbox with which they can make that change happen Spoon.”

After two pandemic summers, the tourists are back on Mallorca. The Germans in particular can be found more and more on their favorite island. Much to the chagrin of the locals, fans of the Balearic Islands are once again flocking to Majorca’s hotspots, like the natural beach in Es Trenc, in Valldemossa or on the Cap of Formentor.

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