Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake

The snapshot above is from an excellent little infographic from the Guardian, in response to the new IPCC report released last Friday. A summary of the problem outlined by the IPCC Report produced for policy makers shows the terrifying range of climate possibilities in the future.

As you can see, the last step in the charts basically says that no matter what the prediction is, it's "infeasible" to cut carbon emissions enough to keep temperature change below 2C. I see. The grandkids can just fry, no food and no water, tough luck.

Not only is this a despicable position to take, and remember that Marie Antoinette got her head handed to her for it, it's not even true. Not only is it fairly straightforward to severely cut carbon emissions and allow the earth to regenerate its forests and natural wetlands, it's even profitable. Unfortunately the big fossil fuel conglomerates are more in love with their profits than with their families, and are standing in the way of a tremendous green revolution driven by social media. But not for long; I think when people understand that it's entirely possible to change this scenario quite rapidly, then it will happen. To hell with these corporations and their damn money at the price of life across the globe. Climatologist and former NASA scientist Jim Hansen has even testified on the feasibility of this:

According to a paper he will soon release, “simple economic modeling shows that if you put a moderate rising price on carbon — $10 a ton, going up $10 a ton for 10 years — by the end of 10 years you would reduce United States emissions by 30 percent. And that’s 10 times or 11 times more than the volume of the Keystone pipeline. So there are much more effective ways of assuring our energy independence and contributing to stabilizing climate than trying to develop more fossil fuel sources.”

This and other strategies, such as lawsuits against governments that fail to protect their citizens, are part of his agenda.

The money therefore goes to a different place and into different pockets. Instead of coal and oil, we have decarbonization by 2030, and we have no need to start wars for oil, especially if the energy comes from distributed local sources, avoiding global shipping.There are many feasible approaches, and the politicians are wrong - 100% renewable energy is entirely possible.

The Rocky Mountain Institute, headed up by Amory Lovins, is fully taking on the challenge of getting to 100% renewable energy systems by implementing their program called "Reinventing Fire". This thinktank has examined the methodology used by Germany to severely reduce their emissions in the energy sector, providing a robust example for other countries to follow. An initiative undertaken by the architects in the USA and the American Institute of Architects is called the 2030 Challenge which intends to arrive at zero carbon in construction in 2030, in the US building sector - which consumes more energy than any other sector. This is being implemented ahead of any regulatory requirements by the building industry.

Many strategies, in concert with global cooperation and implemented by regulation, are capable of moving us all rapidly off of the dirty fossil fuels and into a sustainable form of existence for the sake of life on this planet. I am not buying this "inconvenience" argument for one damn minute. It's now time to take the necessary action. It can be as simple as Wangari Maathai's Hummingbird, and it can also be about "coming unstuck" and using planetary levers.