A litany of cataclysms (social, environmental, economic) already engaged is well known, but we are not taking action. Why?

A wide consensus has emerged: humanity (or at least a part of it) is responsible for the degradation of the environment. Human activities are impacting and modifying the planetary system so much that scientists can quantitatively define a new geological time: the Anthropocene.

In other words, our techno-liberal society is radically transforming nature, while on the other hand we keep proclaiming the impossibility of modifying society and its dominant socioeconomical paradigm. It seems we prefer to imagine the end of the world than considering limiting ourselves.

We are concerned about the future of our civilization and believe the window of opportunity to face environmental, social, and economic crises is closing.

Still, we are convinced a better world is possible.

This page does not aim to provide answers. Instead, we publish below discussion material. Let’s start imagining the world of tomorrow!

Grow wiser through sobriety

“A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not to grow. We urgently need financial, political and social innovations that enable us to overcome the dependancy on growth!” Kate Raworth – Doughnut Economics.

New Paradigm Non Virtuous

20th century economy

21st century economy

Energy is the master determinant of most that happens on Earth. As such, it clearly appears to drive our civilization in a non-virtuous cycle linking economic growth to ever-increasing energy consumption with associated resources uptake and environmental damages, resulting in earth systems degradation as we are reaching (or even exceeding) planetary boundaries.

The concept of a transition, consisting of replacing the current fossil fuel-based system by a renewable one on one hand, and on the other hand, that climate technologies and geoengineering would sequestrate GHG from the atmosphere, simply ignores the Earth planetary boundaries. Moreover, it hardly seems achievable. (See illustrations below)

The Green Growth Dilemma

After 50 years of sustainable development, can we still believe that an absolute decoupling between global GDP and energy consumption will happen and save our climate?

The current Green New Deal suggests that carbon neutrality by 2050 will be reached thanks to:

(1) A (hypothetical) massive deployment of new renewable energies

(2) A drastic diminution in fossil energies demand (while these are necessary to the industrialization and deployment of new renewables and finally

(3) The success (which remains to be demonstrated) of carbon capture storage technologies

Sources of Illustration: & World Bank Open Data (Adapted from Vaclav Smil (2017) & BP Statistical Review of World Energy). Icons: Designed by @Freepik. CC BY.

Shouldn’t the lion share of the transition be found in a reduction of energy consumption?