Are we moving from a rescue mission to a recovery mission? There comes a time in every crisis when we have to give up looking for survivors and start digging through the rubble to find bodies. I wonder if this time has come for the Earth. I try to remain positive. That is why I support the work of Tony Seba and Carbon Tracker (see those recent articles), but a growing amount of evidence is pointing to the breaching of tipping points that have no remediation — ice sheets melting, ocean currents changing, record temperatures in Siberia.
We are gaining more and more access to massive amounts of cheap power. This will be great power, and with great power comes great responsibility. My uncle Ben taught me that. What should this power be used for? Desalination plants to water the expanding deserts and make them produce food (but who will harvest them in that heat? robots, you say?) or air conditioned greenhouses to grow food for the wealthy.
We already have salads grown under lights in shipping containers in Melbourne, so the top-class restaurants can tout their freshness and green credentials. Will they grow their protein like that? There is a nascent industry already, some using fermentation tanks and bacteria, others using pulses and laboratories. Or are we going to see air-conditioned feedlots? Growing enough fodder might be difficult if the temperature goes above 50°C and the droughts get worse.
I thought 2030 would be the year when we would have to reevaluate. But the date seems to be creeping closer. Even the mainstream news is using the words “climate change,” a phrase that has been avoided for so long. Sky News in Australia has introduced a 30-minute news segment twice a day on the climate crisis, even as some of their most vocal spokespeople still deny it is real.
What to do? My personal action plan includes: sharing information (especially with politicians); researching so I can give credible answers to the naysayers; working out what conversations are worth pursuing; writing articles for CleanTechnica; attending events (usually car events) to encourage EV take-up; and investing in clean industries (talk to your super fund).
And on the domestic front (my home faces west and has glass sliding doors across the front): tinting my west-facing windows; planting trees across the front of the house (to hell with the view — all I see in summer is the mountains burning anyway); installing several large air conditioners throughout the house; buying an EV; putting enough solar on the roof to power all of this.
So, I think the answer is hope and work for the best, but prepare for the worst.