We all know this will happen – and we continue to ignore it. Generation Z, the triple bottom line and the Creative Producer can help change that.

Humans have changed the climate of the Earth. A few of us continue to deny this scientific fact, which is a big challenge:

Fritz Kohle

But it is not the only challenge. Dwindling resources, mass migration, food security are going to be major challenges in the coming decade. In 1972 the Club of Rome published the bestseller ‘Limits of Growth’ (LTG) which explains the worlds economic and massive population decline within this century.

Or in other words: the Earth will not be able to support the billions of people living on it if we continue to fuck this planet up. Research lingo is distanced and impersonal – but that is what ‘population decline’ means:

more poverty, starvation, inequality and suffering.

A recent peer-reviewed Yale study revisited LTG and findings confirm that we are on track for massive population decline according to the ‘business as usual’ model or BAU.

Fritz Kohle
Fritz Kohle
Source: Herrington Gaya. 2021. Update to limits to growth:
Comparing the world3 model with empirical data. Journal of Industrial Ecology 2021; 25: 614– 626

The study reviewed available data and identified additional outcomes to the original BAU model. BAU2 is a likely outcome, which, if you follow the population graph is also not a cake walk for mankind. The anticipated population decline is still dramatic.

The CT option stabilises population but requires massive technological intervention. The SW option is least likely as the authors do not think the needed changes in societal values and priorities can be achieved.

What is blindingly obvious is that climate change is only one aspect of each scenario. Don’t get me wrong – I am glad that climate change is finally on our daily agenda. For too long it was not. But climate is only one factor in the coming disaster. Yes, pollution will turn planet Earth into a stinking pile of faeces, but this is accompanied by a steady decline in resources, i.e. fossil fuels, metals, minerals to name just a few.

Millions of people are at risk of being displaced over the coming decades due to climate change and dwindling resources.

Politicians, worried about popularity and votes, do not talk about this. Fossil fuel lobbyists do not want to talk about this at all – none of it is new news. We know about all of this since LTG was published in 1972.

What did we do during the last 50 years to avoid the coming disaster? Pretty much next to nothing, other than ignore the problem. But the Covid pandemic gave us another wake-up call, it has shown all of us how fragile in-time delivery supply chains already are. Our governments know this. Experts and politicians are very much aware of this study – but they are not informing us, the public, with the needed urgency.

Capital, lobbyists, our entire way of life needs much more drastic change than any of our governments want to admit. Future survivors of the cataclysm to come will look back on the 2020’s as the decade of missed opportunities which will result in tragic suffering and the loss of life around the globe – unless we act now.

Our media are saturated with fake news, lies and denial about the catastrophe we are heading for. Humanity is speeding at 200 km/h towards a massive concrete wall and we have not even began to slow down. Even if we hit the brakes now – there will be a crash. But we can limit the suffering if we come to our senses now, listen to science and vote for politicians that are not afraid to speak the truth.

The Creative Producer can help make that change.

For too long the truth is the victim in the media, especially fast-paced TV out to entertain more than inform in the chase for easy audience ratings. The Creative Producer can expose fake news for what they really are: media conglomerates owned by billionaireswho want to push their agenda with a taste for power and financial profit. They are not afraid to distribute fake news widely if it serves their purpose. Media producers need to shape up and recognise the responsibility they have to change societal values, to inform, to inspire audiences and turn them into activists before it is too late. But how can this be accomplished? Maybe Producers can begin distributing more videos like this one:

Producing videos like ‘How to eat for a mroe sustainable future’ is one example. 25 years ago John Elkington coined the term ‘triple bottom line’. The triple bottom line ‘was supposed to offer a radical new way forward, as businesses learned to stop focusing solely on profits and expand their focus to include improving the lives people and the health of the planet.’ But it clearly did not happen – otherwise we would not be where we are now.

Instead society continues down the road of a capitalist system designed to exploit and generate as much economic growth as possible – no matter the cost, for example by cutting in half duty on domestic flights in the UK.

At the same time as BBC Politics posted this interview with Greta Thunberg, Boris Johnson (I prefer to call him BoJo) had the nerve to lecture the G20 members in Edinburgh on the urgency of climate change, while his government is reducing duty on domestic flights.

It is this hypocrisy that turns the younger generation away from politics.

Well, older people like myself are also turned off like this. But perhaps we are more conditioned to accept the bullshit coming from populists like BoJo. I hope that the new generation will call politicians out for nonsense like this and start the needed revolution in politics to rid ourselves from this kind behaviour.

Generation Z does not care about ideology, left or right politics. The younger has an acute understanding of what matters: saving the planet. And our politicians and governments are not offering them the future they need. Especially populist-led administrations are not taking the action they promised.

The triple bottom line offers an approach where the economic costs for the people and the planet are included in the calculation.

Of course, Producers must generate financial profit to stay afloat. But financial profit alone will not save the economy. This kind of thinking will lead us directly into the BAU catastrophe. As a society we can change our values to protect people and the planet by means of taxation and regulation. And that is a huge a challenge considering that our world is dominated by capitalists who despise regulation at any costs. Their big claim is that the ‘market regulates itself’ and that ‘greed’ is good.Nothing could be further from the truth – greed and selfishness are destroying our planet.

If anything the covid pandemic showed us that nations regulating health services and safety protocols have fewer casualties compared to countries that refuse to accept the reality of the pandemic. Regulation works – if they are well thought through and implemented with competence and consequence.

The Creative Producer can transform the way people see the world,

by telling them the truth about what is coming, and by turning people into activists for a much needed and overdue social revolution.

The old party system is crumbling, politicians are wondering why the younger generation is not joining their ranks, not exercising their democratic privileges. TV talkshows are bursting with experts scratching their heads why Generation X, Y & Z are not engaging in politics. They question if the new generation is smart enough to grasp their ideology which is all about preserving the status quo.

And that is why the new generation is not voting for them: all of the old mainstream parties are full of ideology, more of the same bullshit, propaganda and slogans – none of it is fit to face the challenges we face as a people: the possible extinction of mankind within this century, caused by ourselves.

Generation Z knows this. Our children are not stupid. They see the mess my and my parents generation have created. I hope that this generation will wake up sooner than expected and really shake things up a little before it is too late. The Creative Producer must be part of that change. He, she or they can not afford to be passive bystanders any longer as we head towards BAU or BAU2.

I know all of this sounds alarming. And it should alarm you. Just look at BAU and BAU2. We have no one else to blame but us if these scenarios come true. But there is hope. All the studies say that we can still avoid the worst – if we act now. And as a media professional and teacher in the field I work with Generation Z every day. There are some very smart kids around – with a little guidance and encouragement they can develop, produce and distribute a narrative that will inspire, inform and activate audiences to make the CT or even SW scenario possible. I wish them the best of luck – they deserve all of it.

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