Parts of London were brought to a standstill by the Extinction Rebellionlast week. The protesters seek to bring to the public’s attention the ticking time bomb that the human race faces by not addressing climate change seriously or quickly enough. The Extinction Rebellion is more an orderly assembly of rational modest citizens, many of whom have never protested before, than anarchists such as anti-capitalist / global protestors.
A seventy-year-old women who was arrested and wished not to be named said, “I have been a nurse and a childminder most of my life. The world we are leaving for the children and grandchildren is going to be horrendous and we let it happen. It happened on our watch. So we have to stand up and fight or lie down and fight.” The movement’s message is frank and direct: governments, business leaders and citizens are too complacent in addressing the “existential” risks humanity is facing and must take urgent action before it is too late.
Grete Thunberg, the young Swedish environmental activist drove home this “burning platform” as a guest of the UK parliament, “when your house is on fire and you want to keep your house from burning to the ground, then that does require some level of panic.”
2018 was the fourth warmest year since records have begun. Regardless of where you stand on the science of global warming the data trend is not good. We dump 10 gigatons of carbon into our atmosphere and up to 12 million tonnes of plastic into our oceans every year. Most sensible people will agree dumping toxic pollutants in our environment is not good for the planet or humanity and must be cut.
“Philanthropic organizations are responding to this challenge,” says Margaret Towle, a social entrepreneur and former Bank of America Merill Lynch Wealth Manager, “we are observing the growing importance of “audacious philanthropy” in tackling a host of complex environmental and social issues – including climate change – in 2018, a global alliance of 29 philanthropies pledged over $4 billion to combat climate change.” So what can we the people do about this beyond peaceful protest and using the democratic tools (if we have them) at our disposal?
If you are fortunate enough to have a pension or investments, consider directing these funds to Sustainable Finance – money talks. Sustainable Finance is a term “industry” has appeared to settle on covering a host of different investments that have an environmental and/or social impact: ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)focused, UN SDG (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals),impact investing, ethical investing, faith-based investing, to name a few of the big ones.
“We have to stop framing climate change as a future problem. The evidence of climate change is all around us and we can no longer ignore the risk says Jeff Gitterman, the co-founder of New York based Gitterman Wealth Management and a seasoned ESG investor who advises on more than $1 Billion of sustainable investments.