Today in our critical reflexion on typical causes for delaying, downgrading, or rejecting climate change action, we look into “Appeal for Well-being””, which falls under the category of disruption fear.
Progress is closely linked to the availability of sufficient energy. After coal was initially considered the most important source of energy, the exploitation of oil and natural gas made it possible to tap into much larger quantities of energy, which gave technical progress an unimaginable boost. For a long time, this seemingly inexhaustible source kept cranking up the hunger for energy in the most advanced countries. Even when fears were raised that these sources might dry up, there were always new possibilities and life without ever-increasing amounts of energy seems unimaginable.
However, this path was deceptive. Instead of using energy wisely, we have become accustomed to highly energy-intensive lifestyles. We consider it normal, even necessary, to travel in cars that are oversized for most journeys, to take up more and more living space per person, and to consume far more than we actually need. We have forgotten that opulence does not make us happier than sufficiency. Therefore, we think that less developed countries also aspire to the same level of abundance, and even have a right to it. But this is perhaps only a pretext, because what we are actually saying is that we ourselves think we have a right to it, and because we do not want to do without it.
Sufficiency, however, does not mean that we have to abandon something. It means neither sacrifice nor excess, but the right amount. As much as necessary, as little as possible. This should also be the direction in which our progress should be directed in order to be less wasteful. And we should assist other countries to move their progress in the same direction, to avoid making the same mistakes as we did. KNOWING shows how innovation can promote the development of sufficiency lifestyles by involving people in the design of their future, and thus achieve a climate-neutral, liveable future.