Living in a bubble… On self-imposed ignorance.

I have just finished exams! After just over a year, I have clicked submit on the final of my Masters exam submissions and in exchange, I have finally got my evenings and weekends back! I feel as though I have emerged from an underwater cave – especially dark and cold these last few months as my life has been consumed by textbooks, academic journal articles, hand scrawled notes and highlighter fumes. And now that I am once again above the surface, I am astounded by just how much I missed while submerged.

In just the last few months, while my mind was preoccupied with portfolio theory, South Africa’s PCCCC released its paper on the Just Transition, the country announced its new NDCs and a net zero by 2050 commitment, and a Climate Change Bill was adopted!

At the same time, allegations of greenwashing have grown out of control with some of the world’s largest asset managers under investigation for misrepresentation of their investment approaches and products.

And this attitude extends toward national governments, some of whom are looking for ways out of the article 6 financing commitments to which they had agreed in the lead up to COP26 as it inches ever closer.

All this got me thinking, if I could miss this much, in such a short time, when keeping abreast of this kind of information is not only my job but my passion, how on earth is anyone not inclined to be particularly interested in any of this to remain in the loop?

On one hand, there is an aspect of unwilful ignorance. You don’t know what you don’t know. On the other, there is the choice to live life in a self-imposed bubble.

When it comes to the climate emergency and what is or isn’t happening with regards thereto, there is so much information out there that it can be – and is for many – a literal full-time job just to keep up. It is potentially overwhelming. In this context, where new frameworks, institutions, associations, initiatives, and acronyms are introduced on an almost daily basis, it might be understandable to choose instead to opt out. To abstain from information overload and dive instead into your own underwater cave of mind-numbing Netflix content. I urge you though not to do so.

Yes, there is a lot of data to process. And, no, not all of it is relevant to you – not only in your individual, but also in your professional capacity. But this problem does affect you – very likely in both capacities. And it is not going away if you ignore it – in either capacity.

In trying to get back up to speed, and in a never-ending search for tools to assist me in getting others up to speed also, I have happened across a couple of truly engaging and user-friendly resources. I will share them below. Next time you have a half hour free, instead of scrolling through your recommended watches, they are worth taking a few minutes to explore.

In addition, it is also worth keeping up to date on the news from COP26. This is important because the decisions made (or deferred) at this conference will have tangible, disruptive impacts on your day-to-day life. You can keep abreast of the conference goings on here.

Please take the time to build your capacity on this issue. It is worth it. As comforting as it is in the bubble, it is imperative that you come up for breath every now and then – even if it is just to gather data on how much less pleasant your cave conditions are set to become if we aren’t able to mitigate against the worst effects of climate change.

If you are interested in having your team caught up on the latest trends in global or local climate response, with a focus on how these developments will impact your business – especially considering the key decisions taken at COP26 – please do drop us an email and we would be happy to assist. If you prefer to gather and relay the information yourself, please do check out the resources below. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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