If you have not yet lowered even a hesitant paw into the rabbit holes marked ‘climate change’, ‘environmental degradation’ and ‘economic collapse’, and have stumbled upon this website as a starry-eyed ingénue then clearly you are going to think my views beyond pessimistic. I don’t begrudge you that – eight years ago I would have thought the same.
At that point in 2011, I was busy being a father, a husband and provider in England. I had zero interest in the economy and just a nebulous concern about the state of the environment. I also thought, in so far as I thought of such things at all, that ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ were actually meaningful words in the context of humanity’s endeavours on the planet.
A convergence of personal challenges, the news of my wife’s second pregnancy and the ominous approach of my 40th birthday cast me into a bleak state of mind, and, for reasons I still do not fully comprehend, I felt compelled to reach the very bottom of all three rabbit holes mentioned above. Certainly my interest in climate change was spurred by the failure of summer to materialise in the UK in 2012, and indeed that turned out to be England’s wettest year on record. The BBC explained that the jet streams were further south than usual but their analysis ran no deeper than that. “WTF? *Why* are they so far south?” wondered the slightly younger Panopticon.
By the time my second child was born, I had ironically come to understand that the human race is (and indeed has been for decades) in colossal overshoot, living completely out of balance with the ‘natural’ world and that there is no technological fix for this. In fact our habit of attempting to solve the very problems of complexity by adding yet further layers of complexity for ever less material advantage is central to our predicament.
My interest now is in bearing witness as this unprecedented period of history unfolds and keeping an eye on the various areas of stress within the climate and economic systems. By cobbling together a daily patchwork quilt of stories from the mainstream press, we can, I have found, do this quite effectively.
If you visit climateandeconomy.com regularly, then I welcome you and am glad of the company.