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Climate change gridlock

I spent this morning reading an article called: How climate change is rapidly taking the planet apart. Here is an excerpt from the introduction: 

“According to Naomi Oreskes, a great number of climate change scientists (she interviewed most of the top 200 climate change scientists in the US) suffer from some sort of mood imbalance or mild or serious depression. It is easy to understand why: we see the climate change taking the planet apart right in front of our eyes. We also clearly see, right in front of us, what urgently needs to done to stave off global disaster on an unprecedented scale. We need carbon taxes and the reconversion of industry and energy towards zero CO2 emissions systems. This route is without any doubt technically and economically feasible, but politically it seems to be permanently locked. If we do not unlock it, the future looks bleak, not to say hopeless, for humankind.”

It’s clearly not a positive article. But it is an important read. We know we need to immediately and drastically reduce CO2 emissions (for all the reasons explained in the article), but we simply aren’t doing that.

Part of the problem, I think, is that it’s easy to lull ourselves into complacency. We read about it and we notice the erratic weather patterns, but for the most part the status quo isn’t all that bad for most of us. Life just goes on.

There’s evidence that revenue-neutral carbon pricing could actually increase productivity levels. It would force innovation. But it doesn’t yet appear to be 10x better than what we have today – which is often what you need to get people to accept change.

So instead we hold largely ineffectual climate change conferences, which allow us to tell ourselves that we are, in fact, doing something. But I don’t think we’re being bold enough. And that’s too bad.

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