Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Challenge is Here

California's climate change has kicked in now, since nobody paid attention to things around the first Earth Day over 40 years ago, when we began to see the early signs of climate impact and the results of our carbon pollution. Lots of discussion lately in the planning blogs as well as the State legislature about how to cope with our own seemingly unstoppable carbon emissions which are creating devastating weather impacts all over the planet and in the oceans. We need to put the brakes on pretty fast.

Over at The Planning Report, which is one of the more important public policy newsletters centered on planning in California, there are some notable discussions about how to implement the necessary societal and organizational change that this will require.

In addition to that, these climate impacts are going to cost the local governments and residents lots of money just to keep things status quo. Given the economic climate right now, it seems to be a daunting prospect; the solution to both of these major issues must involve very fast shifts to new technologies and ways of managing resources so as to regenerate the natural processes that we've spent the last couple of hundred years destroying.

Did we not understand that the natural world is what supports our civilization and provides the water, food and air that keeps our global ecosystems viable? Evidently that fact managed to escape us.

The large corporate utilities and the respective government agencies which are supposed to provide oversight have known this very well for years, and we now see that a discussion about solutions is taking place, with an understanding that emissions need to go to zero right away.

Unfortunately, they're still in the old mode of consume just a little bit less and keep the old systems going while they look around for some technology that protects profits. This isn't going to get us far enough fast enough to avoid systems collapse, so the costs and impacts will be borne by everyone living today. And a lot of people who aren't born yet.