Part 1: “You can’t just have an adaptation strategy. There’s no chance of that working.”
You can see Paul Gilding in DC Saturday at 5:30 pm — and Portland tonight and Seattle Friday (details here).
You may remember Paul Gilding, former executive director of Greenpeace International, from Tom Friedman’s column on how the global economy is a Ponzi scheme. I was quoted in that column, too, and as a result, I have gotten to know him.
On a visit from down-under, he came by my house a while back for a chat. I taped some “Lip camera” video interviews of him about his new book, The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World, which I highly recommend,. As you can see from the sub-title, Gilding is an optimist, though a certain kind of optimist.
He doesn’t think averting catastrophic global warming will be easy, but he believes we will do it through a World-War-II-scale effort, since the alternative is almost beyond imagining and certainly beyond what people euphemistically call “adaptation.”
In this first video, he talks about the unbelievable drought and then equally unbelievable flooding that hit his home country of Australia, and why he remains optimistic in spite of that:
Failure to remake the economy is just not an option. Fortunately, the solution, though not easy, is eminently doable, and that should be “reassuring,” he says:
When I say reassuring, this is against the scale of the collapse of civilization. Not reassuring as in “all will be okay” but reassuring as in if we get this wrong, we are talking about global economic collapse and the potential for breakdown in a very serious way of civilization. That’s what I think we can still prevent.
More on how to do that in Part 2.