Things aren’t looking good for this planet. The well-respected group of scientists known as the Royal Society is concerned about the combination of excessive consumption and population growth, and is suggesting increased birth control and global redistribution of wealth to combat that. Two things that are politically untouchable in this country at least. This is the problem I see…scientists look at the path we’re on and have recommendations for how to fix it, but the political and social reality is not guided by science, it is guided by other influences. Scientists, in general, just don’t seem to get this…they keep talking about what should be done to solve the world’s problems, without recognizing what can be done. We don’t need talk about ideal solutions, we need talk about practical, realistic solutions. Changes that you can possibly expect might be implemented. You can read more about the Royal Society’s position on these issues in Scientific American. And no, I don’t have the answer…I’m just really pessimistic about global governments’ abilities to enact change, and get frustrated when the best answer I hear from scientists is to let global governments solve these problems. It’s not going to happen, we need new ideas.
In separate, but related, news, the executive director of the International Energy Agency is warning governments around the world that, globally, fossil fuel consumption is increasing and we need to shift our focus to renewable energy sources. On our current path, we’re looking at a global temperature increase of 6C by the end of the century, triple the international ‘goal’ of 2C (though I’d argue that the goal should be zero!). We’re just nowhere near where we need to be, and there’s no real drive for change.
Bleak news, but then, it’s not really news…it’s just more of the same. We recognize the problem but instead of taking responsibility for our actions, we’ll pass this off to the next generation and make them deal with it. This is our legacy, but I hold out hope that we can find technological solutions to these social problems before it’s too late.