Discover more from ESG on a Sunday
Week 31: It's survey time!
In this issue: ▸ Summer, breathe in ▸ The future and the past ▸ Survey: How do you like ‘ESG on a Sunday’? ▸ Eight ways of looking at the climate crisis
I hope that all of you have enjoyed the summer break and the time to breathe in. Summer. It took me couple of weeks to land, to breathe in. The intensity of the times we live in, the spiralling feeling of nothingness. The severity of the climate crisis is becoming physical. Heat, droughts, water shortages, fires.
It has landed casually in our realities, not asking for approval, out of control, our control. An overwhelming feeling of urgency, despair over lack of collective consciousness and action. News outlets around the world are reporting, or rather stating, this is how it is. The world is burning, stop using your AC, take cold showers.
We have abandoned the ‘why’ in this context. The questions about where it leads us, what will happen. Us, now being spectators to our own badly directed and produced film. Silence. Forest. Sea. Nature heals. It does not ask, nor does it tell. Just is. Majestic in its beingness.
Before, when cyclical time reigned, people valued patience, ritual, and relatedness of parts to the whole and the healing power of the time-within-nature. Today we value haste, iconoclasm, the disintegration of the whole into parts, and the power of the time-outside-nature. Before people prized the ability to divine nature’s energy and use it. Today, we prize the ability to defy nature’s energy and overcome it.
The future and the past
History is seasonal, and winter is coming. President Franklin Roosevelt once said: “There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation (…) has a rendezvous with destiny.”
What is our destiny? When we deem our social destiny entirely self-directed and our personal lives self-made, we lose any sense of participating in a collective myth larger than ourselves. And we need them, myths, we need them so much right now. Situating us at some intermediate moment eons away from both the beginning and the end of history, it leaves us restless, afraid to stand still, to breathe in.
“The farther back you look, the farther forward you are likely to see,” Churchill said. The challenge is to look at the future not a long the straight line of factual events, but around the inevitable corners. To know how to do that we have to practice looking at how the past has turned the corners. The future is the past again, entered through another gate, as someone else once said.
Survey: How do you like ‘ESG on a Sunday’?
In the spirit of understanding what worked and did not work in the past, and in order to enter the past in the future so to speak, I would like to ask all my subscribers – yes, that includes you – for about 5 minutes of their time to answer this short survey about my ESG on a Sunday newsletter.
It will enable me to understand what works, what doesn’t work and what could be better. Many thanks for your time and for subscribing to ESG on Sunday!
Eight ways of looking at the climate crisis
The past months have been let’s just say chaotic for ESG. Of course, given its increasing importance, ESG will emerge even stronger after the current skirmishes that have mostly been self-inflicted by the financial industry itself. But now, reckoning needs to happen, and focus needs to be on the results. We need depth and relevance over marketing.
Here are eight ways of looking at the climate crisis and the time we live in:
The tech angle. Tech will not save us. Big Oil has known for decades that carbon capture is not a fix.
The economic angle. Our economic model we run doesn’t work. Is green growth possible?
The institutional angle. We need to reimagine our institutions.
The responsibility angle. Who is responsible for the climate crisis? Well, just 90 companies are to blame for most climate change, a 'carbon accountant' says.
The regulation angle. The way we regulate does not work, as you pretty much take away from this ESMA report.
The who’s to pay angle. Who’s accountable for our lies? African countries push for rich nations to help the continent’s climate transition ahead of COP27.
The offsetting angle. Offsetting CO2 with forests does not work. Wildfires destroy almost all forest carbon offsets in 100-year reserve, study says.
The net-zero targets angle. Net-zero targets are not really net-zero, and large asset managers are lagging on net-zero targets.
I wish you all a future-in-the-past week. Remember, there are many doors.