Discussion Papers


Over the past 15 years Paul has published extensively in a variety of leading outlets and has written a series of provocative thought pieces, including his analysis on what he sees as the crash of the global ecosystem now underway and its social and economic implications. These ideas are brought together in his new book, The Great Disruption. If you would like a quick overview of the book, the first Cockatoo Chronicles summarises the Great Disruption in 850 words.

The longer discussion papers referenced in the book can also be found below.

The One Degree War Plan

Featured in the book, this paper was written together with Jorgen Randers, one of the authors of the seminal 1972 publication The Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth. The One Degree War Plan is Paul’s and Jorgen’s outline of a rational response to the threat posed by climate change – and the response they believe we will see this decade. It shows that while drastic action is required, we still can and ultimately will act to limit warming to no more than one degree by the century’s end.

Click here to download the full paper (PDF).

The One Degree War Plan was also featured in an earlier Cockatoo Chronicles post.


Carbon Induced Financial Disruption  –  The investment risk in fossil fuels.

This paper was written with financial risk expert Phil Preston and considers the global financial impacts and investment risks associated with kind of sentiment shift likely when The Great Disruption takes hold.

Click here to download the full paper (PDF). Or see the Cockatoo Chronicles post summarising the key messages.


Sustainability and the global financial crisis.

“Anyone who argues the global financial crisis will sideline sustainability fails to understand that the world’s scientists are now observing, rather than forecasting, a global ecosystem crisis with enormous direct economic and social impacts. The change ahead will be driven by the physics and biology of the ecosystem rather than the good intentions of our leaders.”

This article was published in WME Magazine.

Click here to download the article (PDF)


Scream Crash Boom

This 2005 letter, written to mark the 10th anniversary of Paul’s company Ecos, is the original outline of Paul’s Great Disruption thesis. In Scream Crash Boom, he argues the inevitability of a system wide ecological crash and a dramatic economic transformation in response.

Click here to read the full paper.


The Great Disruption letter

Written in July 2008 to mark Paul’s departure from Ecos, this letter updated Scream Crash Boom and argued, before the credit crisis began, that the economic system had become so complex and intertwined that it presented the greatest risk to itself. He also argued that the ecological crash he had earlier forecast was now underway. To quote from the letter:

“The system is breaking down and we need to prepare for what’s coming. When we look back, 2008 will be a momentous year in human history. “

Click here to read the full paper.