“The beginning of wisdom is to acknowledge the facts. Fighting reality is in vain. It can’t lead to success”
J.K Paasikivi, President of Finland 1946-1956
Paasikivi’s words are good reminders for all who dream about a sustainable future, and especially for all of us that are willing to go the extra mile to create it. There are many realities to acknowledge.
Firstly. We are loosing the safe space within which humanity can operate and flourish.
Nine interdependent “Planetary Boundaries” define a safe operating space for humanity. Crossing them imply a risk of irreversible and abrupt change. Climate Change, Biodiversity and Nitrogen boundaries are already crossed. Many of the others, i.e. Ocean Acidification, Freshwater use, Land use change, Ozone layer depletion, Aerosol, and Chemical pollution boundaries, have the same course.
Secondly. Humanity is increasing its burden on the planet.
Population is growing. That’s a given. Elimination of poverty is a top-priority economic and social concern for emerging economies. This means that economic growth is also a given. It will imply increasing resource use and greenhouse gas emissions in a situation where we already over-emit and over-consume. Hardly anyone will voluntarily decrease the current level of comfort. The strain on planetary boundaries will further increase.
Both realities pose huge challenges, and their combination summarizes the challenge of our lifetime: How to take care of our wellbeing as a species without causing harm to our (future) living conditions? The question could also be put differently:
How to deliver economic growth and stay within the planetary boundaries?
Delivering answers to that question give the sweet spots for Cleantech companies.
For condensed information on Planetary Boundaries, Climate Change and how the future will look like, please, go to http://awecore.com/download/ .