Climate Change, Global Warming, and the Overview Effect

December 20, 2009 at 5:49 am by Frank White
Tags: Climate change, global warming, The Overview Institute, the Overview Effect

If ever there was a situation that needed "overview thinking," it's the current debate over climate change and global warming. The recent meeting in Copenhagen was a positive step in that many of the world's leaders came together to talk about one aspect of "planetary management." It was a step backward, however, in the way the process unfolded and was reported.

As I watched and listened, I couldn't help but wonder how the various heads of state would be approaching the topic if they were meeting in orbit, rather than in Denmark. I imagined that they might be gathering at a future version of the Overview Institute, where the setting would encourage them to think about the whole (Earth) rather than the parts (their own nations).

I hoped that they would be more inclined to think broadly about all aspects of planetary management, dealing with climate change as a subset of that larger endeavor. I also hoped that they would be more inclined to develop solutions that would be equitable for all the people and other living creatures on the Earth.

In the end, would the results have been different? I don't know, but I believe that this is the direction we must take as we begin to realize that the Overview Effect points us quite clearly to a new way of thinking about humanity's future.