1528 Article, Brand, Culture, Hope, Identity, Purpose

This isn’t an overhaul; it is a transformation

The term just transition is the recognition that everything is interconnected.  Systems and organizations that are based on environmentally unsustainable revenue models have either had communities of dependents organically grow around them or they have actively cultivated these communities.  A simple example is the oil industry.  For years, Canada has struggled to know how to lessen its reliance on the oil industry without cutting the throats of the thousands of Albertans who directly depend on it to feed their families.  A just transition requires a willingness to change and adapt by those who need to (aka all consumers of oil industry) AND a willingness to by those who aren’t dependent to provide help and assistance.

So to what are we transitioning?  At COP we encountered an entity called Capitals Coalition who are seeking to “[redefine] value to transform decision making.” Capital, according to them, and I would agree, traditionally only referred to money, but, “capital describes any resource or asset that stores or provides value to people…natural capital, social capital and human capital work in much the same way as traditional capital – if we invest in them they create value, and if we degrade them we limit their value.”

They go on to say that we need to understand our relationship with these capitals, “How are we dependent upon them?” And, that we must understand the value provided by those capitals, as well as have the capacity to measure that value.  I would make the case that it is actually these naturally occurring capitals, social, natural, even human, that give financial capital (currency) its value.  These three capitals are independently and intrinsically valuable.  Whereas financial capital only possesses that value we attribute to it.  We have had it backwards, traditionally we thought things only possess value only in as much as they generate financial capital.  Instead, the value of financial capital is contingent upon the specific conditions of independent capitals.  Conditions that we are altering at an accelerated pace.

So what’s the take away?

  1. Big change is coming.
  2. It will take everybody to get everybody there.In other words, addressing climate change means loving your neighbour.
  3. Money will no longer be the standard unit of value.
  4. This will be/is extraordinarily difficult and the penalty for failure is extreme.But the payoff for success, oh the payoff will be so so sweet.

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