- The Deeper Nature of Global Warming
- Possible General Solutions
- Possible Specific Solutions
- iClimateCredits Rewards and Educates Everyone
Important components of the problem are as follows:
1) Physics doesn’t negotiate.
In the past most human social issues could be solved in due time.
We’re on track for a possible 4ºC temperature rise in our children’s lifetimes, and scientists tell us that if we only go as high as 1.5ºC, global warming will be unstoppable as positive feedback will bring even more heating with it.
It is hard to say if any life can sustain this relatively quick ramp up in temperature, but it’s fair to say: those species at the top of the food chain won’t survive.
Postmortem: Humans were an interesting evolutionary experiment, with the big brain and opposing thumb, but they were out of balance with their environment.
2) Are humans really intelligent?
Sounds like a stupid question. But at this moment, to an outside observer it would probably seem like humans are not that intelligent.
After all if humans are collectively headed for extinction, and by their own individual and collective decisions, and furthermore they appear in no hurry to fix what they now know for sure is very likely to kill them all, how intelligent can that be?
Why do humans act like it’s not that serious at this point?
What Paul Ehrlich and Robert Ornstein discovered was that even well educated people made the same mistakes as poorly educated people. Humans tend to do too little, too late. It’s how our brains evolved to survive, and it’s now well documented.
Our gut feelings rank the immediate decision today, as more important than long term decisions, even when the facts are otherwise, and even well educated people make this same misjudgment.
(If you don’t have time to read the whole book, there are some government decision-related examples that start chapter 5. A more detailed explanation of how the brain gets it wrong is in chapter 4. The book is dated, but the best source I’ve ever found on this subject.)
Our gut instincts worked correctly till now, but they’re not working correctly anymore in the modern, 7 billion, world.
So first, we need to become aware of the flaw in how our brains make decisions.
And let’s get over the issue of fault or blame. It’s not our fault that our brains don’t make good decisions. It’s not our fault that we THINK we are making good decisions, when in-fact we are not. We just need to accept this fact, and move forward, and over compensate now. … or we will all die.
By default, by the time most understand what we should have done, it will be too late.
This is an overview of the major classes of solutions available to us.
Option 3: Do nothing
Not an option.
Option 2: Not enough, & not quickly enough
A slower version of option 3 above. Not an option!
Option 1: Do as much as we can!
Even if we do as much as we can, still we might not collectively survive.
This time every human has to be on board, one way or another, helping to quickly get off fossil fuels.
So get ready for a human challenge much, much bigger than even the moon shot.
I think there are 4 approaches we can investigate to get humans off of fossil fuels:
Option D: Idle hope
Hope individuals find a way to get off carbon themselves. Hope for better, and affordable technology to save the day.
I think this is mostly where we are now, and while there is some progress, it’s not going very well because it appears the response is much to slow and thus the climate changes are ahead of our progress to stop them.
Option C: Public pain
Force (regulate) people to get off of carbon.
I think human nature goes against this option. When people are forced, our human nature is to drag one’s feet and rebel.
For example, we have this new HI law to force large parking lots to have electric car charging stations. This gets a few people involved in the right direction, but it also angers a few, and many will drag their feet, and in the end it misses a golden opportunity to get millions involved.
Option B: An end run around the public
For example, we could put a stiff tax on carbon, like a gas tax, and then use the money for large renewable public energy projects, like windmills and buses. This will not cause people TO WANT to use much less, so in the end, it will not meet the goal of “all we can do”. We will provide more capacity, only to see it quickly used up.
Option A: Education & Encouragement
Get people to put their heart into this transition. I think we need to bring out the best side of people, and encourage their inner desire to make things better. We do this by:
1) Making zero carbon the publicly adopted, State goal, of the people, and for all the people.
2) Asking, again, and again and again, for everyone’s help. All the while stressing how important this is.
3) Rewarding good behavior.
In other words, we use government resources to educate and reward rather than regulate.
iClimateCredits publicly says to everyone:
We are collectively,
heading down a new path.
And you, and you, and you, are included.
iClimateCredits is more than just an incentive. It also widely educates and encourages good behavior.
It will be you, the common man and woman, that has to make the most important changes in your lives. You will gradually re-invent a thousand things like where you live, how you get your food, how you live on 10% of what you had before, and even how you will remain happy and glad for your life!
We in government, really have no idea of how you will do what you need to do, but we will support you by helping make sure others around you are also putting their best foot forward.
This gives the whole group hope.