A future that is sustainable and full of diverse lifeforms, that is healthy and fair to all, has a stabilising climate, and features a reasonably stable global economy, is possible. And it’s certainly desirable. No one wants to live in a denuded, drought-afflicted, ravaged world – but that’s what we’re creating if we don’t switch tracks and move away from a fossil fuel based economy and towards a sustainable way of living on Earth. We just need to make the switch. But how?
What does being sustainable actually mean for me, or my business, my community or my government?
We can all make decisions that steer us away from climate catastrophe and biodiversity collapse which threaten life now and into the near future. We must do so now. And we must do so decisively and consistently before the final window of opportunity closes. We can make a real difference to the future beyond 2030. Our decisions now can avert a future characterised by social decline, economic crisis, and climate chaos wreaking havoc on everything from food production, to ocean health, air quality, the frequency of extreme weather events, species extinction, human quality of life, and sea level rise. Our choices literally make the future.
Whether it’s a decision by an individual, household, community, council or shire, small business or big business, non-government organisation, city or rural jurisdiction, state or national government, it is an opportunity to create a flourishing future, avert climate catastrophe, and be fair and equitable while doing it.
Let’s make it so. Let’s implement #TheSwitchStrategies.
Broadly speaking, the switch to a sustainable future means we need to:
- Switch to 100% renewable energy – zero carbon emissions is required
- Disallow all new coal, oil, and gas projects immediately and forever – leave it in the ground
- Tap into super-fast communications technologies to enable working from home, online meetings, learning, and social connection
- Drive less and ride share, bus, train, tram, walk, scoot, and ride more – if you must drive, keep your tyres well inflated and accelerate smoothly to lower fuel use
- Switch to electric vehicles of all kinds – trucks, buses, taxis – where we need them at all
- Fly less – consider other ways of exploring the world and meeting other people
- Eat more plant-based foods and less meat and dairy – grow some food
- Provide food that is local, in season, organic/biodynamic/regeneratively farmed, free range, sustainable certified
- Grow lots of trees and plants in our plots, streets, rooftops, suburbs, verges, paddocks and plains – let them get established, old, and abundant
- Protect the remaining habitat and biodiversity we have from further land clearance (deforestation)
- Switch to energy efficient appliances and devices, passive solar building design, with insulation and plants factored into the design as standard – for more comfort, lower energy bills, and clean, oxygen-rich air
- Buy less stuff, with less packaging
- Require all manufacturers to create things that are made from a percentage of recycled materials and that are repairable/upgradable/readily recyclable
- Recycle/compost everything – if it can’t be recycled or composted, consider not buying it
- Manage toxic waste where it is created and invest in alternatives to it for the future
- Train workers with the new skills they need
- Support businesses to transition
- Provide quality, well-resourced, equitably funded public education for all, especially girls and women around the world
- Provide a dignified welfare safety net for everyone – difficult times will come to most
- Provide free healthcare to all – preventative, reproductive, diagnostic, surgical – the full suite
- Sequester carbon – in forests, bushland, gardens, soil, seaweed, in whales (yes!)
- Let animals grow large, elderly for their species, and populous
- Use less water, reduce water pollution
- Talk to others about climate change, the biodiversity crisis, and what you’re doing about it – people like to be in tune with their peers
- Divest your superannuation, savings, and investments from those that fund fossil fuel projects – make your money work for climate justice and social equity instead
- Act and advocate for peace – humanity needs to work together as one
- Vote for representatives whose policies support The Switch Strategies.
These are not difficult things to do or to advocate and vote for or to work towards. At the very least, we can make decisions that lay the foundations for these to become the norm more often. We have the technology to implement these now and to invest in further research and development to improve technologies and practices into the future.
The best part is that by acting in alignment with #TheSwitchStrategies we preserve and build jobs in science (research and applied), in health, education, landscaping and revegetation, food production and soil regeneration, technology, infrastructure adaptation, and more.
We can switch directions. We must – the alternative is untenable.
A global transition to flourishing, sustainable, peaceful life on Earth is what we want. It is possible and we can all create it by aligning our decision making with The Switch Strategies as often as we’re able to. Play your part and encourage others to do the same. This is #TheDecade to change the course of life on Earth. Share #TheSwitchStrategies and together we can create a sustainable, flourishing world.
Further reading for the why, what, how:
- 2040: A Handbook for the Regeneration based on the documentary 2040, by Damon Gameau, 2019, Pan Macmillan, Sydney – this is an excellent resource for anyone wanting the facts in simple language, clear actions you can take, and where to get more detail.
- The Once and Future Earth, by JB MacKinnon, 2013, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, New York – a comprehensive insight into Earth’s geo-history in barely 200 pages.
- The Future We Choose, by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, 2020, Manilla Press, London – climate change focussed and full of insights into the UNIPCC processes and the Paris Agreement and the clear choices we have.
- Oil and Honey, by Bill McKibben, 2013, Black Inc, Australia – how fossil fuel extraction and use is impacting nature and people and how the organisation 350.org came about.
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
- United Nations The Decade https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/what-ecosystem-restoration
#TheSwitchStrategies were developed by Palitja Moore in May 2020 and are free for re-publication, including images. Please credit ‘Originally published at plotchment.com’ or get in touch to discuss use of the strategies in a new way. Collaborations are sought to improve on the strategies and maximise their distribution for the good of all living things.