Friday, February 02, 2007

What a Strange Day!

What a strange day inded! The headline in the Edmonton Journal today says “Earth on Road to Disaster.” The world’s leading scientists are about to emerge in Paris telling us they have discovered the source of the problem of climate change…and it is “unequivocally” us. It is the consequence our use of fossil fuels, agriculture practices and deforestation that adds to the problem of transportation and industrialization.

The integrated system that is the environment is found to be massively responsive to small changes in temperature and the scientists confirm that with language like “…almost imperceptible changes have huge consequences.” The scientific community is “saying human society has to change course.” Apparently “…we need 90% emissions reductions globally sooner than later.”

We are being told there is a need for a sense of urgency. One scientist is quoted is saying “We cannot sustain the way we live. We can for a decade or two, but the signs are that it is going to get really bad. There is zero indication that the rate of increase (of GHG emissions) is slowing down.”

We used to be told to think globally and act locally. That is still valid advice. However now we have to add to that affirmation and act immediately and think long term too. The narcissism of the Baby Boomers, especially in the developed countries, must undergo a complete transformation.

The key message from the scientific community on climate change is “It’s time for politicians to step up to the plate.” Sobering stuff for all of us!

Then I reach the Business Section. The headline there is “Imperial (oil) Rakes in Largest Profit in 126 Years. The profit is $39.5 Billion in 2006, up from a mere 36.1 Billion in 2005. I’m thinking, there are big changes coming fast and some serious mind altering “stepping up to the plate” that will have to be done by these folks as well.

We know that has to be done. We know how to do much of it. Much of the technology needed already exists. We cannot only be found admiring the problem and caught in the trap of technology hope. We have to fundamentally change how we live as a species. The real challenge is to figure out how we are going to have to adapt and then to do it. NOW!


  1. Anonymous4:35 pm

    Yuppp, Lots of changes ahead. Best to start with a sense of achievable rather than disaster... if I really felt that we needed a 90% change NOW I might be tempted to join the conservative band wagon that acts as if oil in the ground if not extracted NOW will diminish in value.

    Let me take all the carbon based products out of my life... brrr, no tech running clothes, no food.... no value for oil???


  2. Hi Ken, You might be interested in this post ...

    Reduced Footprintness

    It seems that the Irish are much greener than we are in more ways than just St. Patrick's day! The trick is going to be to get people to understand that we are all living on "a tiny, formerly impoverished island nation" (ie, planet).

    - Greg Elborne

  3. Esso et al will still keep making tonnes of money. We will find much better uses for oil than just burning it for heat or to keep our cars running. There are other sources of fuel for that.

    Just because we need to lower our carbon emissions doesn't mean there's less money to be made. If anything there's more!

    Change can be hard for some people. Politicians are usually the least happy with change. Because it usually means they are now with out a job. If they want to avoid that change they'll embrace the green one.

  4. Hi docsanchez. Insightful comment. I would only add that in my experience some so-called "experts" hate change too.

    It means they have to update their expertise or fall from the podium and from grace.

    For some it is too much work and others it is too hard to adapt.

  5. Anonymous12:52 pm

    Actually, change is hard for most people, not just politicians. From my experience, it is most easily embraced by those who either profit directly from it. Whether "it" is a new product, or a service such as consulting.

    Not to say change is bad; just an observation.

    Politicians are no more or less accepting of change. Most just read the mood of the electorate and respond accordingly. That the greenhouse effect is now front page news is the reason all political parties are putting forth "GHG-friendly" policies is a direct consequence of the success the climate change lobby has had in spreading their view. It reminds me somewhat of how companies made it be known they were "Y2K ready" in 1999.