Ask yourself, “What does this have to do with the future of America?”
When I think of surfing I imagine myself sliding down a hill of water, moving in harmony with the wave of aqua energy as it travels to shore. I maintain a somewhat precarious balance, shifting my weight to keep on the board. I realize that if I don’t continue to adjust my balance by changing where I am as the board moves, that I will quickly “crash and burn”. I will die on my ride, unable to continue.
Metaphorically, we are facing the same thing as a country. If we do not harmonize in a more productive manner, we are certain to “die”. Our country will not be the same. From an environmental perspective weather patterns are changing. Water levels rise. Increased incidents of droughts occur. More rain and snow fall in the east. People will be forced to move out of the increasingly parched west. Those large farms in California go out of business. Food prices rise. Water rights because a huge source of political and economic tension.
What type of opportunities present themselves to businesses if the oceans rise by 1 foot in the next 30 to 40 years? People will have to move, dikes must be built, new communities constructed. Businesses will be forced to relocate. New roads, bridges, tunnels and railroads will be built. There will be huge changes.
What happens to other parts of the environment? Rain, drought, wind patterns, the Gulf Stream, snow? Is this bad, or good? It will certainly be bad for many, however it can also be another opportunity.
The book Global Weirdness by Climate Central should be required reading for every American. Big environmental changes are coming. Denying it if you want, but the world is not flat and the Moon is not made of green cheese.
Via the Huffington Post:
Coffee lovers may want to get that caffeine fix before the treasured drink becomes a rare export. Starbucks raised the issue last year when the company’s director of sustainability told The Guardian that climate change is threatening the supply chain for the Arabica coffee bean.
Starbucks Sustainability Director Jim Hanna told the paper, “What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road – if conditions continue as they are – is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean.”
It is well worth reading this article summarizing the findings of a climate study by the Climate Vulnerable Forum by a partnership of 20 developing countries threatened by climate change. The full report can be found at http://daraint.org/
Responding to the report, Oxfam International said the costs of political inaction on climate were “staggering”.
“The losses to agriculture and fisheries alone could amount to more than $500 billion per year by 2030, heavily focussed in the poorest countries where millions depend on these sectors to make a living,” said executive director Jeremy Hobbs.
A summary of the Climate Vulnerability Monitor Findings:
This reinforces by belief that we need to organize efforts to minimize the impact and plan to turn this change into as much an advantage as possible.
I expect this to change a little over time, however this site is focused on the future of America. I am not thinking in terms of stockholders share prices. I am not worried about Fed rates. I am thinking about two things, what do we want our country to look like in 2050 and how are we going to get there. I am not naive enough to think that I can foretell the future. I can’t. If I could I would have won Powerball more than once. However, there are some things that we all know, or at least shall assume for our longer term discussion. We, as a species, will still be here. We will need to eat, keep warm, make money, provide for our families, be secure in our communities and be healthy. I imagine there are a few others, but I will add them over time. My mission is to generate discussion, gain some degree of consensus in our wacky world and build plans to realize a vision. This web site will be a start for me and hopefully many, many others to work on our future.
Via Paul Lassier, CEO, Me2You Media
I attended part of Yale’s Environmental Sustainability Summit last weekend. This chart from Paul Lassier’s wonderful panel discussion focused on the challenge of unifying narratives for action. I thought it provided some good food for thought. The panel included Margie Alt, Executive Dir. at Environment America, Miranda Massie, Exec. dir. The Climate Museum, Freya Williams, CEO, North America, Futerra and Michelle Wyman, Incoming Exec. Dir., National Council for Science and the Enviroment.