June 7, 2023

Navigating the Climate Crisis: A Call for Consistent and Resilient Progress

Navigating the Climate Crisis: A Call for Consistent and Resilient Progress

The ND-GAIN Country Index summarizes a country's vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges in combination with its readiness to improve resilience. It aims to help governments, businesses and communities better prioritize investments for a more efficient response to the immediate global challenges ahead.

I often contemplate these charts, pondering their implications and the potential outcomes for each continent in the face of the existential challenge of climate change. Undeniably, this issue is a global one that will impact every corner of the world to some extent. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that its destructive nature will vary depending on the geographical location of each of us.

For those who hold a personal connection to Africa (or any region depicted in orange or red on the charts), the worst-case scenario is truly alarming. Recent events, such as the heartbreaking example of Pakistan, highlight our flawed perception of the risks associated with climate change. These risks, characterized by their unpredictability in timing, occurrence, and magnitude, often seem intangible to most of us. Consequently, we tend to downgrade and rationalize them in our minds until it is, unfortunately, too late.

Perhaps it would be helpful to conceptualize climate change as a hostile imaginary country governed by an aggressive, unreliable, and ruthless dictator, whom we shall refer to as "The-one-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" or "The Lender." The Lender has strategically encircled every continent with missile launchers and dispatched skilled undercover agents to engage in sabotage missions aimed at crippling each continent's economic engines at will.

It is important to acknowledge that this country, which we shall name "No-Man's-Land," was initially established as a highly profitable joint venture enterprise among all continents. Since its inception, it has lifted countless people out of poverty, improved living standards, and advanced the knowledge base of our societies through the production of goods and services. However, as one would expect, something went awry along the way. The production of goods and services was financed and supplied by the vast financial and raw material resources of The Lender.

The contractual understanding seemed to be as follows: borrow or purchase whatever desired at a minimal to no cost now, with the promise of payment at an undisclosed and variable rate in the future. Undoubtedly appealing, right?

Every continent eagerly seized this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They borrowed from The Lender through the joint venture year after year, although not all with equal fervor. Without discounting the positive externalities and noble aspirations of the joint venture and its shareholders, it is regrettable that some participants exhibited greater hunger, bordering on greed. Nevertheless, can we truly blame them? Collectively, we benefited immensely from this arrangement, even if it potentially strained the borrowing capacities of certain shareholders.

After decades of relatively stable and sustained growth, thanks to the favorable terms provided by the discreet Lender, The-one-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named began hinting at potential rate hikes during the annual gatherings of the shareholders. Naturally, this sparked concerns among the shareholders, as the precise rate upon which the contract hinged remained unknown.

Each shareholder commissioned a special task force to meticulously review past and future interactions with The Lender, searching for patterns or clues in the briefing notes that might shed light on the impending rate hike.

To their astonishment, the task forces made the following discoveries:

  1. The joint venture will never be able to fully repay The Lender, necessitating debt-to-stranded-assets swaps. Consequently, the creditor gradually assumes the role of de facto ruler of No-Man's-Land.
  2. The intricate relationship forged with The Lender has exposed vulnerabilities among the shareholders. Unbeknownst to them, The Lender has been clandestinely funding cutting-edge military pursuits, aligning them with a now-revealed political agenda and intending to exploit any vulnerabilities mentioned earlier.
  3. No-Man's-Land's expansionist tendencies are twice as likely to target regions that have borrowed significantly less from The Lender, as these regions may lack the resilience and adaptability necessary in defending against such attacks.
  1. The rate hikes will be characterized by randomness in their size and unpredictability in their pace. They may occur concurrently with physical military strikes, causing unfortunate harm to unprepared and innocent individuals.

This unexpected turn of events has shaken the shareholders, who have enjoyed abundance for many years. After enduring numerous rate hikes and enduring deadly attacks from The Lender over the past three decades, a consensus has slowly emerged among some of the joint venture's shareholders. They recognize that The Lender's resources are inseparable from collective growth. However, sustainable growth can only be achieved by alleviating tensions and renegotiating a new contract between all parties involved, including The Lender.

While we work towards reaching that point, the threat posed by The Lender and No-Man's-Land necessitates a reevaluation of our approach to long-term growth. It calls for the development of innovative infrastructures and business models that can supply both existing and new goods and services within this new paradigm.

Our goal must be resilience, and our path must be one of flexibility. It is with this in mind that Valhko Labs has chosen to build, acknowledging the challenges we face and embracing the need for adaptive strategies to navigate the complex landscape of climate change and its global impact.