The third question, this one is a little more intractable. In short, there are no other managers who are available, it is down to us humans, we must manage ourselves on our Earth and accept the responsibility of that. Furthermore, it is not clear we would be comfortable outsourcing the management of earth to another species, albeit one might argue another species could hardly do a worse job.
Hence, question four and incentives. It is perhaps clear given our inability to manage our budget and the mess we are making, wildfires in Europe, rising greenhouse gas emissions and evermore degraded surroundings, as outlined in Australia’s most recent State of the Environment Report, that we need to shift to measures that matter.
As when we step back, the key tool we use to shape our world and inform our wants is companies, and their incentive is financial growth. Likewise, at a national level we measure progress through economic data, such as national income or gross domestic product, again with pressure to increase income and grow. Consequently, if the incentive is to grow, hitting the 28th of July, being back at pre-pandemic levels, hitting overshoot earlier next year, this is success. However, this is not a situation we want, it would be more sensible to live as if there is one earth and hit overshoot day at the end of the year. Yet there is evidence that growth doesn’t necessarily improve wellbeing, and surely it is wellbeing that matters.