The End & the Beginning
From Epochs to Economics : An Introduction
Humans have developed into a geological force to be reckoned with.
The term Anthropocene popularizes the idea that humans have made such an impact on the Earth’s systems that the resulting geological Epoch will be named after us. Yet Peter Brannen describes this egocentric idea that we deserve our own Epoch as a “joke”. He argues that millions of years from now, the evidence of humans on earth will barely even show up on the geologic record.
Intellectual classifications aside, let us embark on a vision of a future world in 2070. National Geographic published an issue in 2020 that produced two scenarios of earth at this time, and it really got me thinking. If all goes well, this is roughly the end of my natural life. It is also when we will confidently know the answer to the question:
“Did we avert disaster?”
The main schools of thought for solving the climate puzzle could not be further apart in premise. Restorationists have us downsizing and reconnecting with the land, radically reducing our literal footprint. Technocrats argue that we can innovate our way out of the problem, applying advanced technology across point source industries with a toolbox full of 1s and 0s.
Many others fall along this spectrum, such as the Ecomodernist approach to decoupling environment and economics. A nice theory, but the imagining of this quasi feudal system is disturbingly reminiscent of the Hunger Games.
We are on the verge of a rift in our functioning macroeconomic system - a system some say is very broken. What I am interested in is how the postured solutions of our day could interact with the cornerstones of our society - revisiting the good ole “Economy, Ecology, Equity” vin diagram from the 1990’s. The cornerstones of free market economics (which is still just a theory) rely on consistently diluting the value of ecosystem and human resources. Top down policy and incentive-based market drivers have not gotten us close enough to our targets, and we are running out of time. The revolution of our resource management will arise from innovation.
Dystopia and Donuts is my outlet to posture the effectiveness of these market and industry solutions, while examining the principles shifting us into a representative 21st century economic landscape. I emphasize representative because never before in history has the intersection of race, gender, finance, environment, and commodities been so intertwined. Contrary to any news feeds you might see today, our collective perspective is instinctually broadening.
So I’m picking apart each climate problem with an air of possibility - looking dystopia right in the eye while taking a big bite of a bear claw. There are many others doing this good work that I will reference often. Project Drawdown is a great place to start. Human ingenuity is hard to quantify, and there is going to need to be a lot of it as we prepare for a beyond 2-degree world.
Alas, I have not even introduced myself.
I am an independant consultant and a writer focused at the intersection of climate solutions and business development. I like to work on marketing, financial, and research challenges within innovative start-up and non-profit ecosystems. I most recently served as the founder and CEO of a sustainable womenswear clothing line, and have applied my environmental science degree as a data analyst for municipal waste systems and in regional land conservation. I spent the first half of my 20’s as a producer of large-scale events, where I learned the 80:20 rule and also how to be proactively organized.
I am not happier than when I am amongst trees. This drives everything I do. I am always asking why and how, and seeking the right frameworks to answer the hard questions. If the earth was not burning, I would probably be the drummer in a Queens of the Stoneage cover band. I also really like baked goods.