No Time To Waste

A school visited at the start of GB's biggest climate relay.

Britain’s biggest climate relay has had a tremendous start and it’s a joy to hear in our Carbon Copy Podcast special series from so many (extra)ordinary people along the way, about the things they are doing for climate and nature, and the impact they are making. For me, Running Out of Time exemplifies the mental model about our future that we need to encourage and promote.

In Beyond the Limits – the book that continued to model the consequences of our collective way of life, as a follow-on to work started in the earth-shattering report Limits to Growth – the authors describe three mental models to help us think about our behaviour, individually and collectively. Only one is hopeful, envisioning a better world:

The world for all practical purposes has no limits. This model allows extractive industries to extract and the human economy goes further beyond limits. The result is collapse.

The limits are real but there is not enough time. People cannot be moderate, responsible or compassionate in time, so the model is self-fulfilling. The result is collapse.

The limits are real and close, and there is no time to waste. There is just enough energy, resources, environmental resilience and human virtue to bring about a planned reduction in the ecological footprint of humankind, and to realise a much better world for the vast majority.

The mindset of ‘no time to waste’ represents an exciting opportunity to make things better and a belief in our combined abilities to make it happen. In the words of one of the co-authors, Donella Meadows, it’s about “a collective transformation that permits the best of human nature, rather than the worst, to be expressed and nurtured.”

If you wish to see this spirit in action, you need look no further than Running Out of Time and the thousands of people who have joined this mass participation event, inspiring both new and existing audiences.

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