Sponsored climate change Masdar Abu Dhabi

Published on January 3rd, 2016 | by Tina Casey

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Winning World War III, Climate Change Edition

January 3rd, 2016 by  

The impacts of climate change have long crossed the line of plausible deniability and we are now deep into a period that has all the hallmarks of a world war in terms of human suffering and the destruction of infrastructure and resources. So, if you were to ask us something like “what are the policies that governments should take to encourage public-private partnership and enable the private sector to develop the goods and services necessary for a global transition to a low-carbon economy by 2030,” we would say that government should require itself to speak with a unified voice on climate change, just as it would answer any other human threat to its existence.

Is that so hard?

climate change Masdar Abu Dhabi

Public-Private Partnerships For Climate Change Action

The aforementioned question comes to us from the Masdar 2016 Engage Blogging Contest. The topic of public-private partnerships is of critical interest to Masdar, which is a subsidiary of the company Mubadala, which is this:

In 2002, Mubadala – the Arabic word for ‘exchange’ – was established by the Government of Abu Dhabi as a principal agent in the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s economy.

[snip]

Mubadala was established to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s growth potential, and to help the government meet its socioeconomic targets…

While Mubadala’s first major venture involved natural gas production and transportation, in 2006 it created Masdar as a subsidiary, which quickly went to work and formed a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007 to create the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

The Masdar Institute should ring plenty of bells with CleanTechnica readers. We’ve been following Masdar’s work on solar energy, including last summer’s opening of the new “Masdar Solar Hub” R&D facility.

Masdar has also been active in the field of aviation biofuel, focusing on salt-loving plants that can thrive in arid conditions, including a “closed loop” system that integrates biofuel crops with food production.

One For All, All For Climate Change Action…Or Not

In an early piece on Masdar back in 2011, CleanTechnica referenced the institute’s work on the energy-nexus in an article titled “U.S. Fiddles While Others Work For New Energy Future,” and that brings us to the point.

The U.S. stacks up pretty well when it comes to developing strategies for transitioning to a low carbon economy by forming public-private partnerships, but there is one key difference.  The economic value of the sustainability policies being pursued by the Obama Administration has been drowned out by an aggressive public relations effort in support of the fossil fuel industry, spearheaded by powerful federal legislators such as Senator James Inhofe and Senator Ted Cruz, who is currently running for the Republican nomination for president under a platform that includes abolishing the Department of Energy, and abetted by state legislators and executives such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (yes, this guy), who is also running for the Republican nomination.

The problem is that the experience of climate change has already crossed the barrier from theory to reality, so while government policy has enabled the development of the necessary technology, the pace of progress has been slowed artificially, by the fossil lobby.

In a “free” market nation like the U.S., the missing piece needed to accelerate the pace of change is the engagement and enthusiasm of consumers at every level, as individuals, businesses, institutions and government agencies.

The last time that happened was during World War II under a unified government campaign in support of the war effort, which was coincidentally the last time that the U.S. was attacked on its own shores by another sovereign nation.

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Image: via Masdar.

 
 
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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.



  • thinkmorebelieveless

    It is easy to demonize the FF industry or dysfunctional governments as the cause of this problem. The FF companies and the Utility companies are acting to benefit the shareowners, and who are these folks ; you and me. Stop buying their products ( or so much of them) and they will get the message, remember now we have options. How can governments act boldly when the citizenry are buying more pickup trucks and SUV’s than high mileage / zero emission vehicles, building mega-mansions, and consuming more products and energy than anyone else in the world ?

    I don’t see this as WW3. This is more of a civil war where in the US the forces that resist change and the forces that profit from “war” will fight it out with those that want long term sustainability.

    The private sector should be leading this with government in tow ( to do the paperwork). Lets not wait for the next juicy government handout so that our climate change effort has a ROI of two years or less. Why has our efforts degenerated into doing something for climate change only if we make a buck ?

    We need more responsible citizens

  • I’m Inventzilla

    they should get out of congress

  • Roger Lambert

    ““what are the policies that governments should take to encourage public-private partnership and enable the private sector to develop the goods and services necessary for a global transition to a low-carbon economy by 2030…”

    I would question why does the private sector even need to be involved? Why is it always assumed that there MUST be a private sector involvement? Because capitalism?

    What if the best answer was purely public sector driven? What if we had a new renewable energy utility sector that was entirely publicly-owned? That was non-profit? That was centrally-planned as a whole? That provided benefits to all of us equally and at the lowest possible price? That shared the costs of building infrastructure equally among all, making every single one us essentially an equal partner in our energy future?

    That’s how most municipal water systems work. How water treatment plants work. How Fire Departments work. How Police Departments work. How our system of national K-12 education works. How K-college works in most of the world. How health care works in most of the world. How health departments work.How Social Security works and Medicare.

    It is how about 1/2 of our electricity sector already works. So why is every article here (and at science blog I have seen) excluding the lowest cost option which is always non profit?

    Might I ask a nasty question? Where does this web site get its funding? Could it possibly be from the private sector?

  • Brooks Bridges

    There is a guy running for president consistently drawing large crowds but being totally ignored by mass media. ABC gave him like 8 seconds of coverage compared to over an hour on Trump.

    He says climate change is our biggest problem. His name is Bernie Sanders.

    • Marion Meads

      Clean Renewable Energy is only half of our problem. We need to plant 3 Trillion Trees in order to restore balance. We have cut about 53% of the world’s trees since the beginning of the human species, with 2 trillion trees cut down in the last 100 years. If we can restore back the 3 trillion trees we could reverse climate change.

  • john

    The last line of the article mentions during world war 11 when the USA was attacked on home soil.
    The method of attack was comical in the extreme paper balloons I seem to remember which had a small payload of explosives which actually did injure some people on American soil.

    • Bob_Wallace

      And Pearl Harbor – not American soil?

      • john

        True Pearl Harbor was American soil you may be surprised to learn that Darwin had more bombing than Pearl Harbour

        • Joseph Dubeau

          How many british battleships were sunk by those Japanese paper balloons at Darwin?

          • john

            No paper balloons the Bombers were guided into Darwin by large clouds towards the target, as to British I can not say however the facts are that Darwin had far more bombs dropped on it than Pearl Harbour.
            My father told me that no one was told in AUSTRALIA that this happened during war time information is always positive no mention of any setbacks is made.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Tragically, during World War 2 Australians would have been better informed about what was going on by listening to Japanese propaganda than their own government.

        • Ronald Brakels

          Imperial Japan did a good job of flattening Darwin, but Pearl Harbour did get it much worse. I don’t know about bomb tonnages, but Pearl Harbour was attacked by close to twice as many planes as Darwin and more than 10 times as many people were killed. While Darwin was pretty much finished as a naval port afterwards, it wasn’t a very good naval port to begin with and the loss of ships and fighting capability at Pearl Harbour was far worse.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Okay, I looked it up. Japan dropped more bombs on Darwin than on Pearl Harbour in its first raid, but the total tonnage was 15% less. (I doubt the torpedoes that were used at Pearl Harbour are included in that tonnage.) Since Japan was trying to sing battleships which are hard targets, I suppose it made sense for them to use fewer, larger bombs, while Darwin was a softer target.

            However, Pearl Harbour was only bombed once while Darwin received additional raids would would have pushed the bomb tonnage over that of Pearl Harbour. However, since Darwin was mostly abandonned after the first raid, these bombs didn’t kill anyone, but did cause some material damage.

          • john

            Thanks Ronald
            Yes Darwin was not exactly a hard target.
            And lets just remember it was so very far from any help in those days as I suppose was Pearl Harbour.
            I seem to remember some report of a gunner in his shorts trying to shoot down the planes.

      • Strictly speaking Hawaii is on U.S. soil but not on either north nor south American soil.

        • Bob_Wallace

          It’s on American soil. As in the united states that make up America, the country.

          • America is continents, as in geography. The U.S. is a country, as in politics. There is no country America. There is a social understanding that the U.S. = America, but that is sloppy thinking.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There are two continents in the region, North America and South America.
            There is one country called the United States of America. We commonly shorten the name to America.

            There is a country just south of America called the United States of Mexico. We commonly shorten the name to Mexico.

          • Oh I get it all right. I just think it is sloppy thinking. Perhaps it would be better to replace the word soil with father-land or home-land because we are using the word in its political sense rather than its physical sense. Iget that many here use soil as a metaphor for homeland because the physical stuff is untainted by political boundaries. Meaning the soil on one side is the same soil as on the other side. And since Mexico is no longer America, by your understanding, then soil will no longer work as a generalizing metaphor.

          • Bob_Wallace

            There is no continent named “America”.

            Mexico is not part of America. Mexico is located on the continent of North America.

            Word have meaning. Deconfuse yourself….

          • If I could deconfuse myself I wouldn’t need your help.

            Funny but I always thought that there were actually two continents named America. I always think of Mexico as on the American continent identified by by “North.” And don’t many Mexicans call gringos “North Americanos”. Suggesting that they think of themselves as the “real” Americans. And the Portuguese have a term just for citizens of the U.S. “norte-americano”; and it even excludes Mexicans and Canadians. The more I think about it and the more I check the internet the more confused I seem to becoming.

            Perhaps I could use some more of your help.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You might wish to consult a map. Any map of the western hemisphere.

            On those maps you will find one continent called “South America” and one called “North America”. You will not find a continent named “America”.
            Now I leave you to play your silly games….

          • Matt

            “which was coincidentally the last time that the U.S. was attacked on its own shores” is talking about USA. And while HA did not become a state until August 21, 1959. It was part of USA at the start of WWII.

            Now does the naming of USA, America, NA, and SA prove confusing at times; yes. Want even more fun look up the Dutch.

        • john

          I took the statement of ” U.S. was attacked on its own shores by another sovereign nation. ”
          as being the homeland not external areas a reasonable assumption.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            Britain is an island and Hawaii is an island.
            I could make an argument for Canada, instead..
            The last great victory that UK had was the Falkland Islands.

          • john

            I was thinking the same Joseph the Falkland Islands can be regarded as British Soil however rather tenuous at that.
            At least one thing came out of that campaign; when some one suffers injury immediately reduce their body temperature because in the Falklands personal who were injured due to the cold had a better recovery rate than for instance in Vietnam where it was obviously hotter.

          • TinaCasey

            Fair enough, though the contiguous or mainland is usually used to clarify. I meant Hawaii.

          • I am simply arguing that the U.S. soil is not the same as American soil. Hawaiian soil is U.S. soil but not American soil. One is a political distinction the other a geographic one. Soil can belong to either category.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Jeff, “US” and “America” are both shortened versions of The United States of America.

            The article did not talk about North American soil, but American soil.

        • Ross

          Hawaii was ruled by Great Britain before being Annexed by America and then somewhat later being made a US State. Transfer of power from the old to the current supreme power in the world 🙂

          • Only part of America annexed Hawaii. The rest of America saw little benefit from the annexation. I suppose some here might say that when Great Britain controlled Hawaii that it was a part of Europe, right?

          • Bob_Wallace

            No, at that point in time Hawaii was part of Great Britain. It was not part of the British Isles.

          • You will need to address the meanings of “part of” and “controlled by” to Ross as it was Ross who introduced the notion.

  • Harry Johnson

    The fact that 70% of Republicans believe we should increase renewable energy immediately indicates that their politicians truly only care about and work for the 1%.
    This is truly a moral issue and Democrats need to drive this home every time they talk about it which should be often. Waiting to care later will just make the misery worse.

    • john

      Truly 70% of Republicans are of a view that renewables should be utilised?
      I would then surmise that there is a problem in the elected representatives to reflect their constituents wishes.
      Why is that?

      • Bob_Wallace

        I’d say the largest reason is that not enough people have put renewables/climate change at the top of their “must address” lists. Many people are more concerned about other issues.

        • john

          I guess your correct Bob.
          I am in the process of writing a story for my descendants to be opened in 2100.
          We now have the ability to do this due to education and immediate access to computers only dreamed about just 60 years ago

          • Abel Adamski

            Depends on the medium and whether they will have the education or even be able to read

          • John Ihle

            States and local communities have capabilities which may not be well understood partly because of tax law, too often complicated finance and the fact that electric energy is transitioning from central station to more of a dg system. “Options” to ff usage aren’t well understood. Electric utilities have newsletters and very large mouthpieces providing all sorts of conflicting information with a single goal of protecting their business interests, AND, there ARE real jobs at stake in the transition.
            Maybe, if the industry can quell a communities’ concern about job loss and if there were a buy in or a way to make money off one’s rates while keeping rates low, protecting the economically disenfranchised, with clean energy, then, maybe, there would be much more enthusiasm regardless of other important issues.
            So, yeah, education is key but it’s more than that. Business and creative people, along with the advocates, the environmentalists, need to better show voters and legislators the economic way out of the Stone Age.

        • Calamity_Jean

          It doesn’t help that oil companies have lots of money to pay lobbyists and bribe make campaign contributions to legislators.

        • NRG4All

          I couldn’t agree more. I have two “deniers” in my acquaintance. I have listed for them the dozen books that I have read on the subject, complete with Amazon links and a synopsis of the contents of each. Neither has bothered to read even one. At the same time every article they have sent me by some spokesperson was easily discredited as being funded by fossil fuel or an ultra right wing nut paranoid delusion that combating climate change was some communistic plot to form one world government. It seems that “belief” trumps science, which I don’t understand. They go to a doctor when they are sick without realizing that science is what made them well. It reminds me of what Neil DeGrasse Tyson said. He said words to the effect that after talking about the latest satellite with NASA, that equal time should be given to the “flatlanders”. Unfortunately, these gullible people vote.

    • Ross

      To connect with the Republican base the emphasis should be on how subsidies to the fossil fuel industry are anti-competitive.

  • john

    I can not see a public private cooperation happening in the USA where there is such a strong push to have no government no regulation attitude in place.
    As to the likes of Inhofe and Cruz these people really need to get out more and get an education.
    I think it is a fundamental failure of the USA that their world view stops at the shores of the nation this is preventing any idea of the real world.
    I do not see this changing any time soon.
    I think the rest of the world just looks at the USA as a pretty backward place frankly where the worship of making a quick buck rules.
    For an understanding of this just cast your mind back to the happenings that surfaced in 2008 brought on by sheer greed and no care for decency at all.
    Now being viewed as some bad management by the poor buggers in government when it surfaced typical.
    The root cause of the myopic vision of America is the very short sightedness of the leaders so I do not see any action on Climate Change any time soon.

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