Paradigm shift

Bank of Nature is a technical answer to the technical question, How can we change humanity’s relationship to Nature, for climate security and real endgame sustainability.

It is an answer that changes the paradigm for understanding our uniquely human way of being.

A paradigm is a conceptual framework for understanding how the parts of something fit together to form a whole. The current paradigm for prosperity is a paradigm of Nation-States that traces its intellectual origins to Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith, and his seminal work, An Inquiry into  the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, published in England in 1776.  The core premise of this paradigm is that all decisions made by society are the aggregated totals of the individual choices made by individuals as self-interested, utility-maximizing rational actors acting to match Supply to Demand (or Demand to Supply) through competition on price under conditions of scarcity in markets for maintaining market clearing prices.

In this paradigm, money doesn’t matter, and neither does finance. Institutions don’t matter, and neither does Nature.  All that matters is the individual, and the Nation-State.

Climate change is a challenge to this paradigm of the Nation-State, because Nature, and therefor climate, does not recognize the territorial claims of national economies. Climate is a whole-earth system. Local climate conditions are a function of the thermodynamics of the entire system. Local action within national boundaries do not just have consequences within those boundaries.  They bleed out into the entire system.

To take action on climate, humanity needs to act at the scale of climate, which is to say, at the scale of the whole earth.

Many imagine we can stay within the prevailing paradigm of individuals and markets and nation-states, and find a way to orchestrate the actions of the many different nation-states so that all the nations act as one, at the scale of climate, on climate and other changes in our changing times that require action at the scale of climate, which is to say, at the scale of Nature.

Bank of Nature imagines we need to make a shift to a new paradigm in order to take effective action on climate and other climate-scale changes in our changing times; a paradigm that is centered on institutions as social structures for social decision making, and the institutional logic of institutional decision making as critical to how society makes social decisions. This is a paradigm in which we, as individuals, are not the deciders, but in which we can and must exercise personal agency in holding institutional decision makers accountable for the institutional decisions that get made.

In this new paradigm, government is an institution. Enterprise is another. Civil society has its own institutions. So does Money, and Finance.  Each of these different institutions has its own unique logic for making choices, and its own jurisdictional limits on its authority to make decisions for society, according to its own unique logic for institutional decision making.

The most important of these institutions when it comes to taking action on climate, and otherwise changing humanity’s relationship with Nature is Finance, and within Finance, the institution of Fiduciary Money.  Because of all these various institutions that we use today to make social decisions for society, Fiduciary Money is the only one that has the mission, the duty and the scale to make decisions at the scale of climate, and as a proxy for Nature.