On the brink of the unknown climate


Among all the grand societal challenges we face today, climate change is by far the most daunting and pressing one. The painfully slow and inconsistent policy responses from governments worldwide, and the constant interferences (for example, political elections, the COVID-19 pandemic, or the ongoing economic crisis) that side-track decisive actions, despite ongoing and mounting evidence that we are heading fast in the wrong direction.

Enter “The Climate Book”, a timely and powerful plea for humanity to urgently address the impending crisis of climate change. A volume curated by Greta Thunberg, the world’s most famous environmental activist, the book serves as a go-to educational resource for all climate-related issues. Thunberg's powerful and impassioned voice reverberates throughout the book, urging us to confront the stark reality of our planet's fragile state, and redefine our relationship with the natural world for the sake of future generations. While the book employs the ‘tell it like it is’ patented style of Greta Thunberg to make a substantive and urgent case for radical change, it also remains cautiously optimistic about our ability to listen to the science and act decisively before our window of opportunity closes.

While focusing on many of the technical intricacies of climate changes and its consequences, the Climate Book also presents opportunities for social scientists to develop specific research agendas around climate-related issues. As such, this review article published recently in Journal of Business Ethics presents several ideas about the importance of macro-policies highlighting past failures to fuel global collaboration as opposed to nationalistic agendas that perpetuate inherent international inequalities. Likewise, our collective failure to place moral and financial value on nature has resulted in pontification of everlasting growth agendas and ignorance of environmental degradation as an externality without any responsibility. In addition, organizations have also a moral responsibility to act by listening to their stakeholders and taking a leadership role in the radical transformation of many industries, well beyond current CSR initiatives. Finally, as individuals we also need to do our bid by changing consumption patterns, educating ourselves and engaging more in activism to spur bottom-up pressures on organizations and governments to act.

In the words of Thunberg, “Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come.”

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