The World We Made by Jonathon Porritt
If 2050 looks anything like the world set out in Jonathon Porritt’s The World We Made then we’ll be lucky humans indeed.
With a bold visionary approach, he avoids a ‘told you so’ tone of doom, giving us instead the fictional story of Alex McKay, a history teacher working on a research project that explores the years between now and 2050.
The picture he paints is one of progress, economic stability and environmental sustainability. Lifestyles have changed, there’s been pain along the way – but ultimately people have made the right choices, just in time.
Why was this book such a breath of fresh air?
It dares to hope that we can be big enough and brave enough to make the (sometimes tough) choices that will transform our way of life.
There are a few leaps of faith in there – for instance, that politicians around the world will start to think beyond the next election. That may stretch our imaginations, but let’s allow ourselves that miracle.
The appeal of ‘The World We Made’ lies in the completeness of the thinking, reaching everywhere from education and employment to energy sources and food supply.
This is no quick fix but a decades-long exploration of all the ways that we can change – have to change – to shape a world fit for future generations. And to talk of it all without wagging a finger is delightful.
It made me happy that much of what the book explores could already be on the way to becoming reality. From an increase in use of renewable energy to sharing rather owning things like cars. Only this week I heard about Peerby – an initiative in Holland that helps people share goods, saving resources, saving money and building community. They are planning to expand Peerby internationally which is exciting. Change is happening, sometimes maddeningly slowly, but it is out there. The positive vision set out by Porritt is a vital shift, we need to cultivate this sense that things can be good for us in the future if we strive for it today.
What does it take for us to make this world? Well I don’t want to spoil the ending for you… let’s just say that sharing rather than consuming is the altered face of capitalism. How we operate as societies needs to change globally at a fundamental level, enabling people to make sustainable choices that feel natural and beneficial rather than as some form of environmental compromise – as explained well by Joss Tantram of Terafiniti.
Can we do it? I hope the world is indeed turning and in 2050 when we look at the world we made it will be with a smile – and perhaps a sigh of relief.
© Featured image photo credit: Festival Chronicle
© Solar Farm – photo credit: Activ Solar via photopin cc