Forget change – it’s disruption

The day job’s hard enough without contemplating the collapse of civilisation. Yet that’s what’s ahead unless we radically rethink our growth fixation, argues former Greenpeace CEO, Paul Gilding in The Great Disruption: How the climate crisis will transform the global economy. “We’re running at about 150 per cent of the sustainable capacity of the planet and we’re planning to grow the economy to three or four times this size by 2050 – it’s just not going to happen,” Gilding told ABC Australia’s Lateline program. He has an ally in Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author, Thomas Friedman, who has argued that the global financial crisis was a warning sign of something seriously amiss with the current economic model. It was our warning heart attack,” he recalls. “It was Mother Nature and Father Greed …saying you are growing in an unsustainable way …based on situational values. Do whatever the situation allows rather than on sustainable values.” It’s not all gloom, though – it could open up unthought-of opportunities. Some companies are already scouting for ways to benefit both business and the environment. World War Two showcased people’s adaptability in troubled times, says Gilding: “We’re really good in a crisis – (only) we won’t act before we have to.”

 

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