“Drawdown” or “End of civilisation”

Climate change

At the moment I am reading two books on climate change. One dark book and one optimistic book.

The dark one

The dark one is “The end of Western Civilisation, a view from the future”.Written as if a hundred year in the future, looking back on how we messed up the response to climate change. The thesis of the book is that Western civilisation became trapped in the grip of two inhibiting ideologies: positivism and market fundamentalism. As a result destroying civilisation in most of Europe and the USA. Africa and Australia are wiped out. China survives. It is referred to in the book as the great collapse 2073-2093.

Eerie

A fascinating read with an eerie ring to it. A must read. Describing the absolute failure of scientists and politicians to grapple with what they knew was happening and could not resolve it. Starting with what is in effect market failure. The refusal to calculate the full cost of production which includes the cost to the environment.

Back to the future?

Everything we see happening now is described in the book. Spinning, industry lobbying by fossil fuel companies, blaming, ignorance, fake news, active denial, passive denial, neoliberalism, non-interventionism, interventionism, narcissism, reductionism, etc.

System failure

Nobody was taking a holistic view or joining up the dots. Too many scientists were working in silos, specialising in just one thing. Nobody speaking up. Inertia. Complete system failure.

The results

Resulting in heat waves, massive rise in sea level (Holland disappears), depopulation and mass migration, outbreaks of disease (typhus, cholera, dengue fever, yellow fever, black death, etc.), famine, deforestation, you name it. Read “Climate change” if you want more.

We know what we have to do

The hard part, according to the book, is that we knew what had to be done and we did nothing about it. Because the political, economic and social institutions had a vested interest in maintaining the use of fossil fuels. If you want proof of that, look where the subsidies are still going. The International Energy Agency estimates that, globally, governments provided $493 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels in 2014 (that is from “Climate of Hope“). If we would have spent that money on solar or wind……….

This could happen in our lifetime

If you believe that we will live to be a 150 years old (and I do), this will all happen in our lifetime. Again, eerie and a must read. It will make you think. After that, you should pick up “Drawdown”.

The optimistic one

It will cheer you up no end. Full of solutions, ideas, opportunities on how to tackle climate change. An endless list of possibilities. Here is the list. It is awesome. As an entrepreneur, as a citizen, as a politician, as a policy maker and as a father of two children, I pray we make the right choice.

Over 90 ideas to tackle climate change

“Drawdown” describes 92 ideas and developments. Here they are:

ENERGY

  • Wind Turbines
  • Microgrids
  • Geothermal
  • Solar Farms
  • Rooftop Solar
  • Wave and Tidal
  • Concentrated Solar Biomass
  • Nuclear
  • Cogeneration
  • Micro Wind
  • Methane Digesters
  • In-Stream Hydro
  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Grid Flexibility Energy Storage (Utilities)
  • Energy Storage (Distributed)
  • Solar Water

FOOD

  • Plant-Rich Diet
  • Farmland Restoration
  • Reduced Food Waste
  • Clean Cookstoves
  • Multistrata Agroforestry
  • Improved Rice Cultivation
  • Silvopasture
  • Regenerative
  • Agriculture Nutrient Management
  • Tree Intercropping
  • Conservation Agriculture
  • Composting
  • Biochar
  • Tropical Staple Trees
  • Farmland Irrigation

BUILDINGS AND CITIES

  • Net Zero Buildings
  • Walkable Cities
  • Bike Infrastructure
  • Green Roofs
  • LED Lighting
  • Heat Pumps
  • Smart Glass
  • Smart Thermostats
  • District Heating
  • Landfill Methane
  • Insulation
  • Retrofitting
  • Water Distribution
  • Building Automation

LAND USE 

  • Forest Protection
  • Coastal Wetlands
  • Tropical Forests
  • Bamboo
  • Perennial Biomass
  • Peatlands
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Land Management
  • Temperate Forests
  • Afforestation

TRANSPORT 

  • Mass Transit
  • High-Speed Rail
  • Ships
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Ridesharing
  • Electric Bikes
  • Cars
  • Airplanes
  • Trucks
  • Telepresence
  • Trains

MATERIALS 

  • Household Recycling
  • Industrial Recycling
  • Alternative Cement
  • Refrigeration
  • Recycled Paper
  • Bioplastic
  • Water Saving—Home

COMING ATTRACTIONS 

  • Repopulating the Mammoth Steppe
  • Pasture Cropping
  • Enhanced Weathering of Minerals
  • Marine Permaculture
  • Intensive Silvopasture
  • Artificial Leaf
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Solid-State Wave Energy
  • Living Buildings
  • Home Direct Air Capture
  • Hydrogen-Boron Fusion
  • Smart Highways
  • Hyperloop
  • Microbial Farming
  • Industrial Hemp
  • Perennial Crops
  • Ocean Farming
  • Smart Grids
  • Building with Wood

If this not cheer you up, nothing will. The future is bright.

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