Yes, We Can! Meet Everyone’s Needs and Save the Planet too!

Instructor:  Paul Kando

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM

The common thread of my earlier course offerings, “After Capitalism” and “An Optimist Looks at Climate Change,” was that our current economic system is on a collision course with nature. Climate change is but one consequence. Capitalism routinely overshoots multiple planetary boundaries, yet it fails to deliver on the basic purpose of an economy—to meet the basic human needs of every member of society.

This is where our exploration begins. Though the temptation may be great, this course, however, is not an invitation to vent. For no matter how eloquently we can recite what’s wrong, why would anything ever change for the better, if we cannot clearly state what we would do to set things right? 

Our task is not to fight capitalism. Nor can we effectively address climate change by swearing off certain diets or modern conveniences. Our hands-on task is to create a new economy that outperforms the old and meets the human needs of every member of society without violating the natural limits imposed by the finality of Planet Earth—even if we meet this challenge one human need, one human right at a time.

Paul Kando was educated in Hungary and is a scientist and researcher by training and inclination. In 2006 he trained with Al Gore on how to present complex science to lay audiences, using his research on which his “Inconvenient Truth” film was based. He has given over 120 climate-related presentations since then and written a weekly energy column for the Lincoln County News. As an engineer working internationally for decades, he has learned that the success of any system depends on whether it matches the needs it is expected to fulfill. Since arriving in the US 60 years ago, he has been employed exclusively as a researcher in various fields–textile chemistry, chemical energy storage, solar energy, building technology, and more–the fields changing as markets, the US economy, and society have changed.