“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen,
those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”
(John M. Richardson, Jr., American Academic, born 1938)
Welcome! By promoting poverty reduction, climate justice, environmental sustainability, education and research this website aims to create a better future for the world’s poor. Five webpages feature relevant research, videos, publications, presentations, and a “zero-emission society” essay. Let’s work together to create a friendly, equitable and livable future for all.
All over the world climate change is manifesting as the defining human development challenge of the 21st Century. Failure to rise up and tackle that challenge will progressively slow, stall and reverse progress made on global poverty reduction over centuries. In a warming world the poorest are increasingly suffering the earliest and/or severest setbacks, even though they have contributed least to the problem. Poverty is the overwhelming reason why people are vulnerable. Being poor means being forced to live in inhospitable and marginalised locations where recurrent droughts, floods and storms relentlessly erode opportunities and reinforce inequalities. Meanwhile the scientific evidence indicates that the world is inching ever closer to a point at which irreversible ecological collapse may become unavoidable. Unless there is an immediate transition towards a decarbonised global society with near-zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases, future development setbacks will likely register on a scale not hereunto witnessed by humanity.
But the future doesn’t just happen. The future is made. There is no more inspiring motivator of societal reform than an attractive and achievable vision, widely shared. While the past is sealed, the future is still up for grabs. We should care about creating a livable future — we will spend the rest of our lives there. Scientists say action on climate change is urgent. Humanity has less than 10 years to change course. Let’s be daring instead of defensive, hopeful instead of despondent, devoted instead of divided. As Nelson Mandela has said in Lessons of Leadership: “Courage is not the absence of fear — it is inspiring others to move beyond it.” In a world characterised by inequalities and disparities it is easy to forget that we are all members of the same human family, collectively owning the same Planet — our shared home — with the future as our shared destiny. Let’s work together to ensure that climate change does not flick human development into reverse gear. By promoting poverty reduction, social justice, leadership development, societal transformation and global sustainability, contents on this webpage aim to make a contribution.