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The Climate Conundrum


Sloane Ortel

Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Ethical Capital.

Here’s a grim reality: we were born on a dying planet.

This has probably occurred to you before, though perhaps not in those exact words. In fact, I’m willing to wager that an awareness of this reality is a huge part of what motivated you to get on our email list in the first place.

So what can we do with this awareness? Here are three distinct steps I want you to take in roughly descending order of priority:

  • Hold time and space to cope: Each and every one of us is a marvelous creature, but despite our many magnificences it bears mentioning that we didn’t evolve to deal with this unprecedented reality. It’s OK not to be OK while considering the impact of things that are outside our control.
  • Figure out who you trust: Don’t rush this. To gain a coherent sense of what’s actually happening on this planet, one needs to spend time with copious amounts of information. You can either do this yourself (not advisable) or get involved with organizations like mine which are openly committed to advocating for a just transition and interested in helping you understand what that means.
  • Learn how to ask for help: I consider this to be my largest personal growth opportunity. The world I grew up in taught me to be prepared at all times, minimize what I need from others, and never show weakness. But that’s silly and even a bit unrealistic. Complex problems get solved through community engagement, not the work of lone geniuses.

Your mileage may vary, but I’ve found that each of these three steps has been profoundly useful to me on a day-to-day basis.

Even just creating the understanding that coping is important has paid profound dividends for me over the years. And it’s helped me to be radically present for others in times of stress or conflict, which i find tremendously rewarding.

After all, the core of my job is to be deeply aware of these and other realities, understand their practical implications, and make sure your investment portfolio reflects our latest, best, and most holistic understanding of what to do about all of it.

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