Climate Talks – COP27: Avoiding the Apocalypse

As global Leaders attend COP27 talks few have any idea how to tackle the twin crises of cascading ‘wild weather’ events and the larger existential threats of climate breakdown that could easily follow. This series of TED talks outlines the new thinking needed to avert the worst outcomes and the refounding of meaningful democracies that must come with it.

Alan Simpson describes himself as ‘a recovering politician’. An MP for 18 years, he then worked as a consultant to Friends of the Earth and was Advisor on Sustainable Economics to the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP. He would still like to save humanity from itself.

Today’s Four Horsemen are the looming crises in food, energy, wild weather and eco-systems repair. All must be tackled within a framework of rapidly reducing, annual carbon budgets. This cannot be delivered within today’s conventional economics.

It needs fresh thinking, different metrics and inverted priorities. The opening session will look at this existential challenge and the new global institutions (and ground rules) needed to meet it. These are not piecemeal changes. Only the radical is now reasonable. In 2021, the World Bank noted that, “relative to 1970-79, the numbers of droughts and floods were nearly threefold and tenfold respectively, by 2010-19”.

You can see this from Pakistan to Puerto Rico and across Japan, Europe, California & Central Africa. We are living on a global roller coaster already creating mayhem. To survive, we will need to learn from the past and borrow from the future: looking at the societies that failed; what an economics of repair and adaptation entails; and how circularity, carbon budgeting and democracy become the cornerstones of survival.

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