We’ve all seen the 2015 TED talk video of Bill Gates predicting our current state of affairs.
And subsequently, we’ve all been listening very closely to Bill in his new role as C19 pandemic data-scientist.
So, when Gates appeared on national tv last week to give a pandemic assessment update - I put down what I was doing.
Somewhere in the midst of trying to make sense of where we are, and where we are going, was a one-minute Bill prognostication that went something like this:
What we’re really not prepared for, that will make the cost of the C19 pandemic seem like the 2008 financial crises, is the fast-approaching environmental disruption from climate change.
Specifically, the shortage of clean water that is exacerbating the severity of the global pandemic.
The agricultural stress and resultant nutrition deficiencies that affect all, and will shortly force the first 100m~ people to migrate to survive.
The warming ocean superstorms that will make the cost of the pandemic pale in comparison.
Then It became oh so clear; we kicked the cost of pandemic mitigation down the road for 75 years hoping the day would never come,
while at the same time refusing to price the cost of environmental damage into the annual world GDP.
What has GDP really been over the last 75 years with the cost of environmental damage actually priced-in?
We’re about to find out.
Unlike the pandemic, there is no vaccine to stem-the-climate-change-tide next year, and no masks to provide temporary protection prior too.
And as Bill pointed out, C19 has created yet another impediment to the global focus required to slow climate change.
The first step in solving the problem: quantify it.
Time to start subtracting the cost of environmental damage from each countries annual GDP.
Perhaps then we’ll see a dramatic shift in the value each country, industry, and company really creates.
From that, perhaps a corresponding shift in what we all do each day to earn a living – and live.
Maybe the C19 experience will scare-us-straight into the environmental focus we need.
I once saw a National Geographic documentary that predicted all of the superpowers would eventually go to war over Patagonia
to control the last source of abundant clean water on Earth.
I’ll go out on a limb and predict that It will be infinitely more cost effective to go to war on climate-change today.