Mark Carney is the former Governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England. He is the British Reith Lecturer for 2020, in four lectures, he talks about, amongst other things, the impact of the climate crisis, This is a link to the last lecture on that subject.
I encourage you to check out all the 2020 Carney Reith lectures.
He expounds on what we need to do about the climate crisis as countries, companies, and communities. He speaks of a crisis in values because we have put market values ahead of human values. He points out the fundamental change needed is a societal shift to attribute a Value to things based on our Values, not just the supply and demand pricing models.
Consistent with that sentiment, we have to remember an economy is a construct of society. It is what we make it to be based on the values we choose to have and express. It is driven by the decisions, and choices we make, individually and collectively.
“The market is becoming the organizing framework, not only for economies but also increasingly for broader human relations with its reach extending well into civic and family life,” he said.
He also said, “In parallel, the social constraints on unbridled capitalism, religion, and the tacit social contract have been steadily eased.”
I remember a day when the economy was there to serve society. It’s the reverse is true today and it’s getting worse with the Gig-Economy and the impacts of exponentially distruptive technology and accelerating rate of change. The current inequalities are enormous, damaging, and unsustainable, even without considering the climate crisis.
We will see an inevitable GDP measured growth spurt coming out of COVIC lockdowns and with generally universal vaccination. We in Alberta have to be very careful about that how we perceive any growth spurt. We have been conditioned to living in a series of relatively extreme Booms after harsh Busts in our commodity price-driven economic cycles.
Any release of accelerated “post-pandemic” economic activity will be due to pent-up demand created from social-distancing and self-isolating psychological constraints rather than rational market forces. It will be a pyrrhic victory as the long-term costs of short-term personal negligence of ignoring sustaining public health prudence will far outweigh the unfounded euphoria of re-opening the economy, the schools, and restored social-entertainment opportunities.
Once we’ve weathered the COVID crisis, we need to immediately delve deeply into the Climate Crisis. Will we have the necessary political, business, and community leadership to make that happen? Can we find and support that kind of leadership? I believe so if we are serious about our role as Citizens and use the Power of Personal and Assertive Citizenship to Press for Change. Reboot Alberta is a place to Press for that kind of Leadership and that kind of Citizenship.
Alberta is in a state of flux and while that creates anxiety it also creates opportunity, In either case, it will be a test of our personal and common characters, as persons in this place and time.