The next generation won’t look back at us and wonder how we dealt with a prolonged economic recession, a deficit or the question, to frack or not to frack? Future generations will look back on us as the generation that either acted on climate change or didn’t.
We may be the last generation that still has a chance.
So what will the future hold? At Community Forests International we believe that the best way to predict the future is to create it. When imagining a better tomorrow, we need to think like an ecosystem. An ecosystem thrives on efficiencies. Energy and nutrients flow across complex, decentralized and open networks. The life that doesn't last becomes the fodder for new growth – there is no waste in a complex cycle where every niche is filled. We strive to use what we have (knowledge, people, financial and natural resources) efficiently, creating cycles of activity where no idea, person or resource is wasted. Every action feeds into the next stage of life. We’re already laying the foundations, through supporting community energy projects, strengthening the local food movement and leading the shift towards a socially-oriented business culture.
In the future our communities will be truly global. The playing field will be equal and good ideas will count no matter where they come from. An African-led solution will solve Canadian problems and vice versa. Our world will become truly multicultural, where we won’t expect others to act like we do, but we will seek out different cultural frameworks in order to get a fresh take on an old worldview. We will create and hold the space for true collaboration. The surest way to think outside of the box is ask someone who sees the world differently. We won’t seek to confirm our way of thinking, we’ll actively seek to disrupt it.
Conservation will become a consequence of how we live and work on the land. In the West, environmental protection has always been put in contrast to economic development. Jobs vs. conservation. We can and will do better. We know how to cut trees in such a way that the growth of a forest increases. We can already grow food in such a way that sustains soils and provides an array of ecosystem services. The planet is full and we will learn how to live within its means. All land will become a conservation area and all land will provide for the people that depend on it.
Energy will be free. Our generation has the tools, the technology and the integrity to create communities where energy is clean, free and renewable. Once the fixed costs of green energy infrastructure is covered, the marginal costs are minimal. No more fossil fuels period. Jurisdictions can create their own energy portfolios based on a combination of wind, solar, tidal and certified biomass. There are already prime examples around the world, such as the Colchester-Cumberland Wind Field Inc outside of Tatamagouche, NS.
Let’s change the conversation and start sharing ideas around what our communities could look like. The answers are right in front of us, we just need to look to nature.