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Are we at a Point of Collective Climate Leverage?

In Climate, Insight, Moments, Sustainability by Scott

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Just a moment

Are we at a collective climate tipping point in the UK?

If the pandemic brought humanity together in a collective consciousness that contributed to the Great Resignation, are this year's global climate events enough to create another point of human collective leverage?
The Great Resignation and 

Collective Bargaining

A recent email from Gartner got me thinking again about the phenomena known as the Great Resignation, and whether we are about to experience similar societal forces in relation to climate change.

Let's back up a second...

I've just repatriate to the UK after living abroad for two years, and as I look at the scorched earth I do question why I left the lush green forests and mountains behind.

But the landscape is not the only thing I've noticed to have changed in the last couple of years.

Every shop or store I go into has a vacancy notice in it. As I sit and drink a coffee waiting for my electric car to charge, I hear staff complain about how difficult it is to get a full roster. When arriving at the airport, my bags were delayed for multiple hours because of "operational reasons" which turned out to be "lack of staff". Couriers are running "streamlined operations", and call centres are operating with 1-hour queue times.

Where has everyone gone?

In Britain this could be a confluence of multiple factors, COVID and Brexit being one of them, but the Great Resignation is beyond the bounds of these Isles, so there must be something bigger at play.

The Great Resignation and 

Collective Bargaining

The email from Gartner lead me to this video interview with Chris Howard, Gartner's Chief of Research. In the video he talks about how the pandemic made people question the trade-off they were making in their lives between time, health and work.

Chris believes this questioning and purpose-seeking was already in play before COVID, but the global catastrophe brought us together, giving us a collective bargaining power with employers at large.

It's very much like a collective human bargaining, people are actually using this as a point of leverage to say, I want something different in my life.
Chris Howard, Chief of Research, Gartner

With this, employers of all sizes are now having to redefine how the think about, engage with and support there staff. In another of his videos, Chris says this conversation has rapidly evolved beyond nearly pay and job titles, and now employees are now demanding their employers value and support them as a human, not just a worker.

I see this as the continued transition away from what I feel to be a de-humanising term "Human Resource" to a great focus on Human Beings.

But wait, wasn't this post supposed to be about Climate Change? Yes, let's get to that now...
Collective Human Leverage, 

A Climate Change Tipping Point?

For a few years I've been boring my nearest and dearest with lessons from my work on this website.

Trying desperately hard not to preach or lecture, I pass on insights and observations on all sorts of topics from economics, technologies, future of work and of course, climate change.

One topic that seemed to finally resonate with some of my family was my point about water scarcity.

46% of the UK live with water scarcity

According to the data from's World Water Clock, in 2020 46% of the UK's population lived in regions designated as water scarce. In the years 2000 that was just 39% and by 2030 that is expected to have risen to 50%.

I've shared this insight several times, but it was only this summer when the ground turned brown and front gardens cracked that there was an "aha!" moment for some of my family.

"So this is what you were talking about!" was the exact phrase I received. To which I replied, "Yes! And much more".

Dangers lurk behind distractions

In my lifetime in the UK we've experienced several "hose-pipe bans" during the summers, and while this is a mild inconvenience for many households, for others, and for industry the impact has already been felt much more acutely.

However, from a general public point of view it is difficult to see the true risks ahead because of the incessant media noise about who's going to be the next unelected prime minister or celebrity nonsense. Ok, to be fair, and to add some balance I should acknowledge that on today's BBC home page there are at least two climate related articles - heat waves and energy prices.

A dry slap in the face.

As we approach another 'heatwave' (soon to be known simply as 'Summer') in the UK, that is predicted to be longer than the one a few weeks ago, I can't help but wonder whether this will be a big enough slap in the face for the general public to actually realise climate crisis is happening now, and water is far more precious than we actually appreciate?

Will a simultaneous, collective and first-hand experience in the UK, combined with the sever droughts and heat in the US, Southern Europe, along with the the floods and other unusual weather patterns spark a moment of collective human leverage with policy makers, governments and industry in a way we've not currently been able to realise?

As I discussed with my 10-year old daughter today - I very much hope so!

One small of the things I've been doing 

Whitewashing my house

Realising hot summers are going to be the norm, rather than the exception. I started to look for solutions for keeping my family (and workspace) cool enough to be habitable.

I looked to countries hotter than ours and noticed an obvious difference in the housing stock.

White walls.

So with that, I found some specialised solar reflecting paint and have begun to transform the parts of my house that are most exposed to the sun.

Watch the short video below to see the unbelievable difference in surface temperature between painted and unpainted brick work!! I can tell you, even though we're not yet complete, the difference in the house over night is already noticeable.

In an effort to better equip my home for the hotter summers, I looked to the Mediterranean and decided to whitewash the house. I found a specialised solar reflecting paint and the results speak for themselves. These temperature readings were taken at the same time on painted and unpainted wall sections at 5pm after a day of strong sun and ambient temperatures above 30C.
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Scott is an Independent Technology Analyst, Content Writer and Connector of interesting people. Scott is a technologist at heart, with a history of technology innovation and marketing leadership roles. As the founder of this website and several other businesses, he is passionate about helping technology companies communicate their relevance and awesomeness in a way that engages and excites everybody. Get in touch with Scott here or connect with him on LinkedIn. Learn Scott's tips for content marketing, download his free template here..