The impact, urgency and solutions for the Climate Crisis

October 5 2021

Three days ago, research in the respected journal Science combined extreme event projections from sophisticated computer climate models, detailed population and life expectancy data and global temperature trajectories from the IPCC shows the impact on climate change or emergency on our youth.

The analysis showed that a child born in 2020 will endure an average of 30 extreme heatwaves in their lifetime, even if countries fulfil their current pledges to cut future carbon emissions. That is seven times more heatwaves than someone born in 1960. Today’s babies will also grow up to experience twice as many droughts and wildfires and three times more river floods and crop failures than someone who is 60 years old today. These new findings reinforce our 2019 analysis which showed that today’s children will need to emit eight times less CO2 over the course of their lifetime than their grandparents, if global warming is to be kept below 1.5C. Climate change is already exacerbating many injustices but the intergenerational injustice of climate change is particularly stark. This also applies to the climate differences between people living in the North of the world versus the South.

General Considirations

In the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said two weeks ago in the most important dialogues in the Parliament (‘General Considerations’) that three degrees temperature rise in the year 2100 would be a devastating threat for the Netherlands. The Western part of Holland will be under water when the permafrost in Siberia melts significantly and methane will be released at a massive scale. Rutte mentioned that Schiphol Airport is four meter below sea level and will be lost as a result.

Today, at least 0,5 percent of all global CO2 emissions are from the Netherlands. Nevertheless, it is necessary to start addressing this huge challenge today. Why? Ecological, ethics (social, intergenerational justice, legal nature rights etc.), economics (the Dutch are strong in food production and water management which is a necessity now for all countries close to sea level, e.g. Pacific islands), employment, finance and so much more. Last week Rutte announced the central government will invest almost seven billion euros as a starter. Additional tens of billion euros will be announced in the next year. The current climate investments focus on electric vehicles, wind and solar energy installations, CCS, less biomass, more nuclear fission, heat pumps, green hydrogen. Included is an employment transition budget for people who will lose their jobs in fossil fuel companies to new jobs.

Climate emergency is the number one priority for the government

Rutte claimed the climate emergency is the number one priority for the government now after decades of ignoring this issue and the Netherlands wants to become one of the best regenerative nations in the whole world in 2030. It seems like Prime Minister Rutte wants to embrace the reasoning of Mariana Mazzucato with her book on Mission Economy. What we can suggest are additional investments to realize this bold ambition:

  • Meat reduction by promoting alternatives (plant based meat, stem cell based meat, insects etc.)
  • Nuclear fusion (already in China since 2018 at lab level)
  • Solar panel innovations
  • Solar nanocoatings
  • Quantum tunneling energy
  • New energy storage technologies (flow batteries, supercapacitors etc.)
  • Reduction of flying (short distances as a starter)
  • Stronger investments in alternative fuels for airplanes (electric, hydrogen, third generation biofuels etc.)
  • Construction (3D/4D printed, modular, open source, regenerative components if feasible)
  • Clothing (biobased, slower cycles, slow fashion)
  • Pilots with living technologies in line with principles of nature: how viruses can be manipulated via their RNA to create next level batteries, how a protein like aquaporin is being used in successful commercial water filtering systems and how new engineering tools allow for acceleration of phenotype-based selection of more resilient and more productive food crops.

Breath in Leadership program

In sum, the combination and convergence of biology and engineering is key: living or regenerative technologies which will be addressed in our Breath In Leadership program. Additionally, we will address all the above mentioned solutions and developments with the best global pioneers in these fields:

  • Mariana Mazzucato (mission economy)
  • Douglas Rushkoff (future of work, job transitions)
  • Alexandra Cousteau (oceans)
  • Laura Storm (regenerative leadership)
  • Daniel Christian Wahl (regenerative cultures)
  • Azeem Azhar (exponential technologies)

Yuri van Geest, author of the management book ‘Exponentiële organisaties’ and co-founder of Conscious Learning Tribe, had been considering with the idea of developing an innovative leadership program since October 2019: “A program that goes far beyond technology and organizational innovation. On a psychological and spiritual level, there are still steps to be taken, as leadership is about much more than simply making money. It’s about making the most of your team’s abilities and qualities. A good leader makes sure his team is robust, that everyone loves what they do and that people have room to grow and develop.”

The Breath in Leadership program consists of 7 modules (16 days in total, 13 offline and 3 online) and starts on 25 November 2021. The kick-off is at Nyenrode Business University and the program is concluded on Ibiza. The program can be followed both online and offline. Find out more about the complete Breath in Leadership program here.

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