(Drawing by Minty Sainsbury)

Humans don’t really want money. Humans want a complex range of things: friends, love, security, direction, health, and money doesn’t necessarily give us these things.

Money is a simplified proxy.

This is why pursuit of profit for profit’s sake is a global driving force that distorts and contorts civilisation.

It’s all the worse when that pursuit of profit takes a very short term view.

When you’re trying to make more profit, you want to get as many fish from the sea as can fit in your boat, as much oil out of the ground as you can find, and you want everyone under the sun buying your products, even if that means using more and more resources to make them.

The planet needs the opposite of these things. It needs moderation. It needs protection.

I’m a big proponent of re-inventing the monetary system to better ensure these things, as I’ve written about here.

But if we can’t reinvent the system, then at the very least we need to ensure that investors are all obliged to think with as long a term view as possible. Not 3 years, not 10 years, but minimally one human lifetime.

When investors put money into projects, they do so because they think they think they’ll get more money back.

But few can get money back in a world undergoing climate and ecological collapse.

By convincing investors that they’re going to lose money in the longterm by investing in polluting industries, we can start to make environmental choices seem like the most profitable ones.

Already, investors are starting to cotton on, and some groups of investors are even suing companies that they’ve invested in for not doing enough to mitigate the risks of climate change.

If you work in the financial world, or know people who do, please spread this very simple word. Pension funds, institutional endowment funds etc. are hopefully the easiest to convince.

Science Storyteller, Environmentalist, Teacher, Normal Guy // MChem (Oxon) // co-founder of AimHi

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