[This episode originally aired May 21, 2020]
Internationally-recognized global leader on climate change Christiana Figueres argues that the battle against global threats like climate change begins in our own heads. She became the United Nations’ top climate official after she watched the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit collapse “in blood, in screams, in tears.” In the wake of that debacle, Christiana began performing an act of emotional Aikido on herself, her team, and eventually delegates from 196 nations. She called it “stubborn optimism.” It requires a clear and alluring vision of a future that can supplant the dystopian and discouraging vision of what will happen if the world fails to act. It was stubborn optimism, she says, that convinced those nations to sign the first global climate framework, the Paris Agreement. In this episode, we explore how a similar shift in Silicon Valley’s vision could lead three billion people to take action for the planet.
Christiana Figueres is a Costa Rican diplomat and global climate change leader who served as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016.
This book by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac outlines two planetary futures. One scenario describes what life on Earth will be like by 2050 if we fall short of the targets set by the Paris Agreement. The other scenario envisions a regenerative world with net-zero emissions – a future we can create if we confront the climate crisis with determination and optimism.
This New York Times article by Maggie Astor outlines the concept of the “Overton Window,” an influential idea Joseph P. Overton developed in the 1990s at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy that explains how policy overhauls fall in and out of mainstream conceivability over time.
The climate change arm of the United Nations produced this video to explain the basics of the 2015 international treaty to tackle climate change on aggressive five-year cycles.
This article in The Washington Post by Tony Romm narrates the formation of coordinated coronavirus task forces at technology companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM during a two-hour phone call between Trump administration aides, federal health authorities, and representatives from leading Silicon Valley companies.
Outrage + Optimism is a weekly podcast on climate change hosted by Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac, and Paul Dickinson. The trio speaks with politicians, scientists, artists, and business leaders to explore the mixture of outrage and stubborn optimism we need to build a better future.