50 years ago, the research center Club of Rome shook the world with its report “The Limits to Growth”. Today it is considered the most influential publication on the impending overload of our planet. Based on computer simulations, the research group warned at the time that if the global economy did not change, the economy, the environment and quality of life would collapse — and sparked debates that still have an impact today. There is now a new report published in German on Tuesday.
“Land for All” is no less than the most important measure by which a worthy future can be achieved for humanity. It’s never too late – that’s what the report, the result of a two-year research collaboration by several experts, makes very clear. Its descriptions are clear, and the proposed solutions are easy to understand and often very specific.
Data on the state of the earth also plays a role in the new report, but above all it is about what needs to be done concretely to turn the tide of human development for the better. The future of humanity depends above all on the “Five Extraordinary Faces”: eradicating poverty, eliminating stark inequality, empowering women, building healthy diets for people and ecosystems, and transitioning to clean energy.
The lead authors are Sandrine Dixon Dicliffe, co-chair of the Club of Rome, and Earth system scientist Johann Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. For the report, the group used a computer simulation, the “Earth4All” model. From a variety of possible scenarios, two scenarios were selected for the book, titled Too Little Too Late and Giant Leap.
More equality and justice are the silver bullets for a future worth living in.
Too Little Too Late shows what would happen if the currently dominant economic system continued in one form or another as it has in the past 50 years. In contrast, “Giant Leap” questions what would happen if the economic system was reshaped through bold and extraordinary efforts to build a more resilient civilization. Possible developments in the coming decades are evidenced by the illusory fate of four girls from China, USA, Bangladesh and Nigeria who were born in the year 2020.
The experts at work stress time and time again that they see greater equality and justice as a silver lining to a future worth living in. The warning stated that an excessive level of inequality was extremely damaging “even for the wealthy”. “She prefers conditions that are dangerous for everyone.”
Another factor that experts consider very important: education that teaches critical thinking and complex systems thinking to girls and boys alike. “Because the most important challenge of our time is not climate change, biodiversity loss or pandemics,” the group said. “The most important problem is our collective inability to distinguish between fact and fiction.” There is an industry of disinformation and disinformation on social media, which fuels the polarization of societies and contributes to “our inability to work together or even agree on basic facts in the face of collective challenges.”
One of the challenges in the transformation of the global energy system is the “very real risk” of social destabilization in the context of the energy system transformation. “When the poorest majority are the hardest hit by rising energy costs, these people will protest energy policies.”
“We know what you’re going to say now,” he said at the end of the speech. “The tasks are enormous, the obstacles are huge, the dangers are enormous, and our time is short.” The most difficult tasks must be dealt with in the fastest economic transformation in history in the first decade.
But no matter how frustrating the range and speed of transformation may seem, there may be good news: In some areas, development may already be more than expected and all that is needed is a nudge to finally start working. Although ambitious, the guide presented in Land for All is also “consistently optimistic.”