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President Macron coined the phrase “make the planet great again”, in response to President Trump’s call to “make America great again (MAGA)”. While I was at COP23, President Macron walked by the crowd. I shouted, “make the planet great again”. Immediately he turned and shook my hand. My claim to fame!

How can you help make the planet great again? Possible project types include:

  • regenerating. Regenerate the oceans. Regenerate forests. Regenerate wetlands and soils. Regenerate our agricultural lands.
  • reducing the planet’s degradation, These reduce the drivers of the climate crisis, such as fossil fuel combustion. Instead, use renewable energy and apply energy efficiency projects. Circular economy projects that use and re-use materials. Imagine no waste!
  • benefiting more people. Projects that benefit those who have missed out so far in economic development. Projects that provide clean, affordable electricity, for example. Projects that provide safe drinking water for all. Projects without air pollution.

Why don’t you and I do this? Because the GDP-focused model prospers a few and leaves many behind. Why not choose one that prospers all? The economy should prosper people, not penalize or hurt them. Why not ways of living and choices that allow people to thrive within our planetary boundaries. Maybe even making the planet thrive – again.

I propose a Radical Sustainability model that takes a real view of the world. The economy depends on people, who depend on the planet, which depends on what is beyond.

The Radical Sustainability model is a worldview that is based on reality. The abundant life on our planet Earth requires everything to be just right – its size, vast quantities of water, position in the solar system and galaxy, having a moon and an atmosphere, and more. Without the Earth, people would not exist. Without people, there’s no such thing as an economy or profit. This implies an absolute dependency on the planet and its biodiversity. Even on what lies “beyond”.

Making the planet thrive will take time. However, we have no choice. The alternative of not changing will be dangerous to your children, grandchildren, and those without a voice. They will struggle and suffer the most. Which path is better?

This Radical Sustainability model sets the priorities right – planet and people before profit. 

I suggest you work to phase out the old economic model and phase in the new Radical Sustainability model. I suggest you grow your technology toward the circular economy. You can grow your skills in easing the climate crisis and in applying the Radical Sustainability model. You can shift to regenerating the planet. You can share prosperity with the most marginalized people. And you can do this while still enjoying prosperity.

Ponder the reality of the Radical Sustainability model. Think about how it applies to any new initiatives you and your organization are considering. Work through the three choices:

  1. avoid permanent degradation to the planet
  2. gain significant benefits for people
  3. still make a profit by supporting the planet and people.