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Necessary Revolution

Necessary Revolution

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Published by Alan Froggatt

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Published by: Alan Froggatt on Nov 17, 2010
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The Necessary Revolution: Creating a Sustainable Future
Peter Senge and Bryan Smith
 
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Te Industrial Era is endin.
Its extraordinar successes—advancesin literac, lie expectanc, uman rits, and tecnolo—ave propelled us eadlon into amriad o side eects: ood and water sortaes, cclonic destruction, proloned drout and risinsea levels. To dela acnowledin te need or liestle and business canes—“Te NecessarRevolution”—riss our ver survival.Wat onl a couple o decades ao was still a viorous scientic debate as become as close to aconsensus as scientic communities ever acieve: uman-induced climate cane rom reenouseases concentratin in te atmospere as reaced a tresold o sinicant social and economicimpact—and we are onl now at te start o experiencin te eects.Stabilizin atmosperic carbon dioxide will require a proound reversal: a 60–80% reductionin rowin worldwide emissions in te next twent ears. Tis is te “80–20 Callene,” and tismaniesto presents inspirin, real-lie examples o ow tis is startin to appen.:::Te Industrial Ae, te ae o te macine and mecanistic tinin applied to more and moreaspects o lie—rom te conversion o nature into “natural resources” to te recastin o umanbeins as insatiable “consumers”—is endin.Te mriad eects o tis istoric transition it te eadlines dail: proloned drouts, ood sort-aes, srocetin oil and ener costs, civil unrest, increasin weater instabilit, risin sea levels.Water, topsoil and oter critical raw materials—includin tose used in te manuacture o our iPod,cell pone and laptop computer—row scarcer as te “tae-mae-waste” drumbeat drones on lieit as or te past 250 ears. Just as te Iron Ae didn’t end because we ran out o iron, te Industrial Ae isn’t endin becauseo te decline in opportunities or urter industrial expansion. It is endin because individuals,
This article was adapted rom
The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations AreWorking Together to Create a Sustainable World
by Peter Senge,Bryan Smith, Nina Kruschwitz,Joe Laur, and Sara Schley, publishedby Doubleday in June 2008.
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companies, and overnments are comin to te realization tat its side eects are unsustainableand alternatives are possible. Indeed, creatin tese alternatives is alread sapin te most impor-tant innovation opportunities in te world.No one ad a master plan or te Industrial Revolution; no ministr was put in care; no sinlebusiness led te wa. Rater, countless acts o initiative and darin created a critical mass o unstoppable canes. So it must be wit te next epoc.Wat would an econom loo lie tat, in Bucminster Fuller’s words, operated entirel on “ourener income rater tan our ener capital?” Or tat enerated no waste, were “all waste equalsood or anoter sstem,” as reen desiners William McDonou and Micael Braunart put it?Or one in wic Marsall McLuan’s imae o te “lobal villae” was not merel a clever metapor,but part o our conscious understandin o a world o ever reater interdependence—were noneo us is secure i all o us are not secure?But tere are two bi dierences rom earlier times o proound cane:
 Toda, tese canes are appenin around te world, as new ideas and innovationsspread rapidl rom one place and one sstem to anoter.
 Nature as provided us wit a time cloc in te orm o risin levels o CO2 and oterreenouse ases in te atmospere.Altou uman-induced climate cane is onl one o several unsustainable side eects o lobal industrial expansion, it as te advantae o bein te easiest to measure loball.Toda, te world’s scientic communit can, or te rst time, tell us approximatel ow lonwe ave to eect a U-turn in te Industrial Ae economic sstem—and it is not lon.Te time or te “Necessar Revolution” is now.
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