As far as I see it the world has a load of issues on its plate. These range from the rapid depletion of the earth’s resources, through global warming, to inequality, poverty and hunger. None of which bodes well for any improvement in our future levels of happiness.
The important feature of these issues is that they are no longer local or even continental, but fundamentally global. Therefore the solutions will need to be global, involving proper international co-operation.
Personally I don’t feel wholly confident about the ability of the existing global structures – namely the economic, financial, and political systems we currently operate – to overcome such issues that easily.
Hence why I’m actually optimistic about Climate Change. Because global warming is of such a magnitude, and will have such serious consequences that we will have no choice but to deal with it on a global basis. We will need to find new ways of overcoming new problems very rapidly and this will itself cause a shift in how we organise ourselves and build our future.
Once we have genuinely conquered one single problem together we will have truly moved to a new global paradigm. And at that point we will have created the template to conquer other problems is a similar fashion. This amounts to a massive shift in what some may term global consciousness.
The other reason why I’m actually optimistic about Climate Change is because solving it will necessarily involve a re-writing of the existing economic text books. We will have to acknowledge there are external factors over and above pure economics that govern how we behave and organise ourselves. Our well-being, in this case represented by our desire not to suffer the consequences of global warming, must placed above the designs of pure profit or economic growth if we are to survive. Which is of course where it most certainly should reside, only we’ve lost track of that in the midst of time.
It won’t be a simple transition. The attempts at reaching internationally binding climate change agreements already demonstrate that. But it’s the drive towards international co-operation which has the capacity to be game changing for our future well-being. This is especially important for our children and grandchildren.
If of course it turns out we solve some other big problem in a truly global manner before Climate Change all the better. Perhaps international exchange rates, tax regimes or greater efforts on human rights. And these would give us greater confidence to tackle resource shortages and global warming.
Either way, soon enough we will need to be solving these issues with all nations round the same table pointing in the same direction.
Imagine the power that real international co-operation will then hold. Global co-ordination against cancer, poverty or genocide. International focus on what matters to all of us in growing our collective well-being. It’s such a gigantic shift and an exciting prospect.
So I say bring on Climate Change and let our expansion begin.