International members of the PLM Green Global Alliance (PGGA) met recently to discuss the timely new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.” The panel discussion was moderated by PGGA co-founder Jos Voskuil with participants Klaus Brettschneider, Lionel Grealou, Patrick Hillberg, Ilan Madjar, and Richard McFall.
That author Bill Gates, who admits upfront in the book that he is an imperfect messenger, wrote what many of us often think about the climate crisis:
“It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of a problem as big as climate change. But you’re not powerless. And you don’t have to be a politician or a philanthropist to make a difference. You have influence as a citizen, a consumer, and an employee or employer.”
He closed his book with the comment that he hoped it would spark conversations. We within the PGGA believe this call to action is especially relevant for professionals in our industry who use, develop, support, teach, market, research, or write about Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) enabling strategies and supporting technologies and software solutions that can contribute to a sustainable lower-carbon circular economy. Our industry in particular has an impressive record of innovation and deep experience with developing new technologies that can improve the performance, efficiency, safety, sustainability, and environmental impact of products, processes, and systems. This is urgently needed to respond to the herculean challenge of reducing over 50 billion tons of annual GHG emissions then removing and sequestering existing CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. (Further discussion of this can be found on the PLM Green Theme website pages.)
PLM Green co-founder Richard McFall said that he nominated the book for discussion because “I have a shelf of books and digital folder of whitepapers that talk about the science behind climate change and all the challenges that will confront human kind this century. But until this book was published I did not have one that went beyond the doom and gloom with a more hopeful and well-structured overview of the solutions we will need to decarbonize industrial sectors and complete economies. The challenges and opportunities that will be created by all the green tech investments and innovations to attain 2030 then 2050 GHG emissions goals will be the greatest most of us will experience in our lifetimes as working professionals.”
The discussion moderator Jos Voskuil commented in his PLM blog that “Some people believe that Bill Gates, due to his wealth and ways of living, is not allowed to write this book. Others like the transparent and pragmatic approach discussing the related themes in the book.”
Participant Lionel Grealou wrote in his book review “Overall, Gates’ book is a massive contribution to the subject of climate change; though the problem statements are somewhat described in basic terms, the book covers a significant brainstorming of solutions and “options” to address such a complex issue. From chapter 4 to 9, the book is “full on” with well-thought ideas and numerous examples — focusing on how technology and innovation can help getting from 51b tones to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by 2050.”
We invite you to listen for yourself to what our panelists thought about the decarbonization pathways that the book proposed as priorities, including both pro and con comments from the perspectives of representatives from five different nationalities around the world. The recording may be accessed on YouTube HERE.
Follow our ongoing discussions about solutions that PLM can provide to avoid a climate disaster and thus create a more sustainable, lower carbon circular economy, by registering to receive our news then joining the PLM Green LinkedIn Group.
Great summary – looking forward for others to chime in. Don’t be shy if you have read the book.