Time is running out to design organisations that function in an oil constrained world
THIS TIME, FALLING OIL PRICES ARE NOT AN INVITATION TO PARTY ON CHEAP ENERGY. THEY ARE A SIGNAL TO INCREASE THE PACE OF TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY SOCIETY.
Signals: Falling oil prices could be a sign that a recession is on its way. And in a recession it can be hard to find the investment capital to do what needs to be done before the recession eases: invest in the new, renewable economy. Ironic. When times are good, everyone wants to invest in fossil fuels. When times are bad investing in renewables is out of the question. This has to change. And governments and economists want to move the change along with carbon taxes. Whole business models must change. At the right time, of course.
What we call Business As Usual (BAU) has been criticised as a temporary “blip” of fossil fuel-intensive lifestyle on an otherwise fossil-free planet timeline. The difficult thing to call is when it’s time to redesign your operations for lower energy density and renewables, and when it is time to wring the last profits from your fossil-fueled product and supply lines. Wise from running a program and project office I say it is never too early to start design work. Signals this month give you arguments and references to use to convince your management team of the timeliness of the renewable, circular economy approach. Some signals show this rethinking is starting around fees on carbon and on designing organisations to provide food security.
Professor Aleklett: falling oil prices signs of recession deepening.
Gail Tverberg has an M. S. from the University of Illinois, Chicago in Mathematics, and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Gail’s in-depth analysis of falling oil prices is that there is a debt bubble collapse on the way.
Design approaches: migrating from high embedded energy
Harvard Magazine: Time to tax Carbon
The Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation: time to put fees on minerals to drive in circular economy
A good way to understand flexible fees as a market based instrument is to organise a simulation.
Signals that businesses are rethinking include the rise in popularity of the messages around Water and Food security for all promoted by the HUMANITARIAN WATER AND FOOD AWARD which is exhorting corporations to cooperate across the board to promote food security.
Recent signals issue showed how peace and climate are corollaries, how greens are thinking security and the military are thinking green, in a remarkable fusion of approaches from two seemingly opposite viewpoints.
In October, Sacred Valley Dialogues provides a space on Mallorca for strategists to meet to reflect on how to approach the energy-economy-environment challenge in their specific contexts.
Unsure of how to proceed? Book Stephen Hinton for free one-hour consultation.
Links to buy Naomi Klein’s book online: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate