Context is so important
I heard or saw a quote the other day - "there is no better place to start than where you are right now". Someone's response to this is very dependent on their context when they hear or see that quote.
Yes - we can always start from where we are. There are always things we can do to make the future more just and sustainable for those around us. But the context we find ourselves in places constraints on that ability. For example, today the UK Government announced a ban on new petrol or diesel cars by 2040. Two of the barriers to personal action to switch to Electric Vehicles are the price of EVs and the limited availability of effective public charging infrastructure. That's the context. The context also varies by region. There are EV charging 'hotspots', eg in Oxford and Milton Keynes, so the charging infrastructure is much better in those areas than in vast tracts of the North of England and Scotland. Affordability of EV's will improve as manufacturing volumes increase, and with availability of finance on Hire Purchase or PCP packages, but not all drivers have good enough credit rating and income to be able to be able to secure financing for an EV. More context.
And on a wider scale, action on carbon emissions by many Governments is already in progress. Activists used to bemoan 'business as usual' and rightly so, in order to spur Governments to act to avoid runaway unsustainable outcomes. That was the old context. But now, we've started a transition to a lower carbon, more sustainable economy, and I question whether "business as usual" is any longer a relevant concept.
That is our new context - a context of existing within a period of dramatic change (in historical terms). We will probably not actually realise or know we've emerged from the other side of this era of change until a long time afterwards, when a new stable system of systems becomes apparent. So we need new ways of describing progress in a new, changing context.
Context, so often taken for granted, becomes an important part of the description of the journey. Without making it explicit in some way, we're even more likely to talk to each other at cross purposes or with lack of understanding. Context is so important.
The Planetary CFO - working towards a sustainable World Balance Sheet.