I talked about the strong, aspirational goals around climate change mitigation and adaptation. For some reason, because the boomers had really wild dreams and set their resources, and efforts to it then achieved just a small fraction of their dreams, we got scared of setting goals. Just because the boomers helped drive such a period of strong growth, stability and advancement, we are worried we can’t live up to our goals. We forgot they didn’t quite live up to theirs.
We sometimes achieved different things. “Back to the future” expected hover-boards but we got instagram instead. It doesn’t mean we have to be worried about setting wild aspirational goals.
At the same time, the boomers have taught us to keep thinking about making lives better. Living longer, being richer, enjoying more materials. But we forgot that giving people more time is good, and getting good natural environment is good – not just for the people but for earth as well. We can aspire towards nature, conservation and heritage – not just more gadgets and fancy stuff. So our goals about the climate can be bold even if it doesn’t improve lives the way we think about it traditionally.
Better environmental stewardship can lead to cleaner conscience, healthier bodies and better mental health. Our focus on economic growth, money and finance, the macroeconomic indicators of inflation and employment are all distractions compared to the issues around future of mankind. Yes we need to manage short term survival but not at the expense of mankind in the longer term.
So we need to learn to be bold with our goals, to take them seriously enough that they drive us nuts when we fail them. And we need to come together around them – regardless of whether we agree how bad things are in the current state. We need to establish that farther-ahead, clearer vision of where we all want to be as a planet.