“Who” and “what” are two of the most powerful concepts in every language. But when climate resilience is discussed, these words are often largely absent.
At Battelle, the “who” and “what” are critical climate questions that must be asked so that change begins taking place right now:
- Who will be the next innovator to step up and claim ownership of the problem
to solve the unequivocal climate change challenge we all face?
- What will be the breakthrough innovation that sets the globe on a new, transformative trajectory into the future?
In other fields such as medicine and engineering, scientific innovators are competing to produce knowledge and deliver technological solutions that change the world. They do so by fundamentally introducing creative, orthogonal approaches for how scientific challenges in those fields are solved. Contrast that with climatology, where effort is myopically focused on the assessment or proof of climate change and the prediction of what it might do to health, environment, infrastructure, and agriculture.
Given the urgency of climate resilience, we don’t need esoteric blandishments that speak to a distant, intangible future. To achieve real innovations in climate resilience, we must support and encourage a new approach that moves beyond the proof of climate change. “We all understand that we have to do as much as humanly possible as quickly as we possibly can.” Gina McCarthy, the White House National Climate Adviser, said recently.
Bold people with an entirely new approach are needed to create future innovations and deliver them for today’s society.
We need an outcome-driven, scientific approach committed to delivering breakthrough technologies and capabilities—ones that leverage the fundamental knowledge of the past and apply it in new mission-driven methods that reach beyond what is thought to be possible today. This will enable new solutions for how society interacts with the environment, constructs its cities, feeds its people and protects human health.