Designing for the future

Its hard not to feel nervous about the weather that has greeted us in 2013.... The hotest day in recordede history, relatives in Queensland have had nearly 1m of rain over the last couple of days, while others are still experiencing bushfires. At the same time. We really are reaping the outcomes of our industrial age.

Following is an excerpt from the Climate Institute's 13 December 2012 newsletter:

If you are not scared or getting scared, you are not paying attention. Yet another rollercoaster year for climate policy and investment is ending as a remarkable chorus of conservative voices from the World Bank, the World Meteorological Organisation, the International Energy Agency and others state that climate change is happening and on track to get much worse in terms of danger and expense. These are realities, not just risks.

That the UN talks in Doha didn't reflect that urgency was frustrating. But they made painstaking progress towards a global agreement by 2015 covering all major emitters. By establishing a framework for monitoring and verifying the commitments and action of countries, such an agreement is required for the trust and ambition needed for the multi-decadal, multi-national challenge ahead. Getting the vastly greater ambition needed on to that platform (or sooner) requires a reset within member nations with leadership, not just from politicians but from community, business and investors.

Since its establishment in 2008, The Climate Institute's Asset Owner's Disclosure Project has both sought from and assisted leadership from Australian investors, particularly those looking after your and my retirement savings. This week with the AODP, now an independent body chaired by Dr John Hewson, we launched the results of the first global survey of superannuation and other funds' management of climate risks. As Dr Hewson said, it found greenwash and reckless mismanagement, among some signs of progress. We will continue our focus on these investors in the new year. In the meantime, congratulations to Local Government Super for topping this year's index.

We are about to enter an election year without the carbon price scares but with plenty of sound and fury across the political spectrum. Australia's high carbon economy is a high risk economy with high levels of political, economic and cultural inertia that needs to be engaged.
We should focus on reducing Australia's carbon addiction. But that shouldn't convert into carbon nationalism which ignores the off-shore atmospheric reductions that can be driven by our carbon laws.

We should recast investment and political agendas, though I admit to being troubled by war effort analogies. This is a rescue effort of mammoth and multi-decadal proportions. Some yearn for Churchillian efforts and other hero figures,. While I respect where they are coming from, I struggle to see how a war and sacrifice agenda can sustainably surmount our political, media (social and traditional), cultural and economic forces of inertia.

The challenge is one of redefining prosperity, re-focusing on carbon and energy productivity, re-aligning investment and risk horizons and re-engaging people as citizens not consumers. It is also a challenge of holding to account those in politics and business who refuse to recognise the risks and ignore the opportunities in responding to climate change.


So - what to do? PIDCOCK believes there are many positive approaches to how we chose to live in the future - ways that restorative and regenerative. The Living Building Challenge is a framework we are engaging with to enable us to help you achieve such outcomes - please contact us to see what this might mean.

1 comment for “Designing for the future”

Bill Bunting
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 5:08:05 PM

The last paragraph there summarizes excellently,...and "So - what to do" indeed. The problem is time, circumstance and opportunity. The challenge is to find the opportunities to participate. The one area where we make regular choices is in transport. Consider..
The next less often is in energy. Stay glued to this company
The third is the most common opportunity and that is to consume intelligently. Buy to last and resource deplete the least.
Advice for the young,...from multiple futurists,...learn java script. Java script is the primary basis for Android. If you want to share your creativity with the world now, there are 5 billion Android devices to date, and into the future this is the zero resource depleting medium of choice. At present.
I have a yachting mate from the past who decided to top up his income so started doing spreadsheeting courses for his rural community. Then out of the blue a mining company asked him to develop a piece of software to enhance their operation. He decided that Android was the best platform for that task so is crash learning Android script. He is 75.

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