Can we grasp this moment?
We might look back longingly to the time before the pandemic and the restrictions it’s brought. But while life was easier for many of us, below the surface, often out of sight and out of mind, “normal” was a mess. “Normal” meant rising inequalities, with food banks getting ever busier across the country, mental ill health, loneliness, social and political divisions and, of course, the environmental and climate emergencies. These problems are still there and getting worse.
That’s why governments, NGOs, think tanks, business groups and even the Financial Times are saying that as we recover from the pandemic we must fundamentally rethink the economy so that we can tackle these social and environmental crises together. The massive shock to the system that we have experienced is opening up new opportunities to reimagine the future and for taking radical action.
Across the UK, the ‘Build Back Better’ movement is gaining momentum and lobbying the UK government to put in place a ‘Green New Deal’. You can add your voice to this here.
In Scotland, Sustaining Dunbar was among 80 organisations that signed this letter to the First Minister: as part of a broad coalition in support of the Just and Green Recovery being brought together by Friends of the Earth Scotland. You can join this campaign here.
Meanwhile, many groups are asking fundamental questions about our economic model. These short animations from Doughnut Economics Action Lab are a great introduction to a framework that explicitly links creating a social foundation for all with the necessity of staying within the environmental boundaries of our planet.
This framework of a ‘Doughnut Economy’ is gaining increasing traction and interest. You can find out more in this online event at 6pm on Thursday 25th June being organised by Transition Edinburgh with Katherine Trebeck from Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland.
And Common Weal have spent lockdown preparing a detailed plan for how we can build back to create a Resilient Scotland with good jobs, economic equality, environmental sustainability, social cohesion… which means we can deal with what is happening now – and be ready for what comes next.