People Won’t Save Us, Technology Will

This is long overdue but here we go…

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Unlike my best friend and creator of this blog, I fall far short of the belief that humanity can take the needed steps in reducing our carbon foot print significantly enough to slow climate change.   Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a complete lack of faith in the masses; it’s more a lack of faith in the 1% and the politicians they get elected and keep elected that ultimately truly matter in this equation.  As much as the 99% hate to hear it, it’s true. Also, I fully understand that people make technology so, in turn, the subject of this post “People Won’t Save Us, Technology Will” is inherently flawed. Please bear with me and sit tight as I weave my way through a few topics to try and support my statement above.

John Boehner, Politics, and the Almighty Dollar:

republican-john-boehner-jobs-meme-gopIs it just me or does a government system that allows for elected officials to profit from legislation and decisions they make seem a bit odd and fundamentally wrong?  John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, (Hmm representatives, what a funny word – but I will get to that later) wants President Obama to approve the KXL pipeline, because he (Boehner) is only interested in creating 100′s of thousands oh wait that 10′s of thousands of jobs to rebuild the economy.  If only this was his true motive and if only he was better at reading and math.  As it turns out, Boehner has deep investments in  7 Canadian tar sands companies.  Let me say that again,  John Boehner has investments in 7 C A N A D I A N  t a r s a n d s companies.  Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this sentence besides the grammatical errors?  So much for Boehner being concerned with the American people and economy and I haven’t even touched on his math.  According to the KXL themselves, this pipeline will only create around 2400 to 4000 American jobs and most of those are only for 2 years.  Last time I checked, even with the most liberal rounding practices, you can’t get from 2400 to 100′s of thousands or even 10′s of thousands.

KXL and the DoS

Now on to the State Department, whose mission statement reads:

Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.

Well that is a mouth full.  If the DoS truly and honestly believes in the above statement, then why on earth would it allow for three companies with deep and distinct ties to the oil, tar sands, and pipeline industries contribute to key findings in the environmental impact study for the KXL pipeline?  David Driesen, a law professor at Syracuse University who specializes in economics and environmental law says: “I think the question of conflict of interest is a legitimate one,” If consulting firms are “used to working for industry clients, it’s possible they would subtly orient their analysis in a certain way, and that could be reflected.” He goes on to say that the State Department, among others, routinely outsource these types of reports and rely on industry experts.  While I agree with this practice and that it is required, I don’t agree with the level these three have contributed to this report.  Environmental Resources Management, who has Shell and Chevron as clients whom have their own Canadian tar sands projects in the works, accounted for 45 of the 58 preparers on the report. There are over 200 environmental firms out there, surely one of them would have been a bit more unbiased.

People: You, Me, and The Jabberwocky

safe_imageAsk most people about climate change and most, myself included until convinced otherwise, will start to tell you that it is the “natural cycle” of the Earth and that man kind is not the cause.  Oh, and here was my favorite said by yours truly: volcanoes emit more CO2 into the air than humans.   I think I even used to say 100x more…. Mr Boehner, I owe you an apology, we all make silly math errors and over exaggerations. In fact, this is not true at all. Most large volcanic eruptions can have a cooling effect on the earth, and humans dwarf the CO2 emissions of volcanoes.

I don’t hold these beliefs and statements against anyone.  The magnitude of this issue is far greater to comprehend for even the most devout believer in man made climate change. For example, go up to the next person you see and tell him/her we need to stop the earth from warming 2 degrees Celsius in the next 10 to 20 years.  Oh, and to do it we need to stop using fossil fuels like they are going out of style. I guarantee you will get the same reaction…  “Good luck with that”, “Impossible” I for one tend to agree with these statements even to this day.

I think the problem with this issue is that most people look only 5 years into the future, the all famous “5 year plan”.  What really happens on a global scale in 5 years, nothing. They even say the policies enacted by a president can take up to 8 years to really take effect.  So who can blame us for having the “what’s the use” attitude and even when we vote for the “right” people they fall well short of expectations to meet this issue head on.

“Wow, You are a Very Negative Person”

I know what you are thinking, “Wow, you are a very negative person” “Way to empower the people” and I would agree with you to a point. Like I said above, it’s not a complete lack of faith in the 99%, it’s my issue with the 1% and our elected officials that “represent” us that have really driven my beliefs above. However, I also believe that if we continue to find better ways to create sustainable power, and better ways to live and support our future and at the same time make them as “easy” and as accessible or even more so than the current archaic ways, the 99% can force the 1%’s hand and things will start to change.

I hope that I didn’t ramble too much and gave you some food for thought.  Please stay tuned for my future posts.  I have appointed myself as “new technology” writer of this blog and plan to roll out several articles on new and exciting technologies that will shape the future of this world in which we live for the better.

  • Jeff Davis

    Here is a video that i am currently viewing and helps support my stance above.

    http://energyseminar.stanford.edu/node/371

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  • Orv

    I think part of the problem is, with the technology we have today, cutting back CO2 emissions essentially means cutting back on economic activity. When people are going hungry, given a choice between a job now or a possible catastrophe 30 years in the future, they’re mostly going to choose the job.

    • EricKrasnauskas

      Yessir, you nailed it. If you offer a hungry man a muffin now or a field of corn a few months from now, which do you think he’ll choose?

      • Jeff Davis

        The “man” wouldn’t know what to do with a field full of corn HAHA.
        All joking aside it is the major problem with this country and movement… the desire for instant gratification.

    • Jeff Davis

      These jobs exist today.

      • Orv

        Yes, but there are far too few to go around. One look at the unemployment rate will tell you that.

        The cold logic of climate change is that any job that uses energy and doesn’t contribute directly to human survival is instead slowly killing us all. At our current level of specialization and entertainment, that means a *lot* of jobs are not only useless but actually harmful. The Internet, in particular, consists of a lot of immensely power-hungry server farms that mostly move around spam and pictures of cats; probably 90% of what’s appeared since it stopped being a research-only network should probably go away. That’s not going to happen, of course.

  • John Crapper

    The biggest nut to crack with climate change is man’s view of himself in the grand scheme of things. Our ego gets in the way of analysis and effective action. We refuse to accept our animal nature and choose to believe we are above the laws of nature and in control. We actually think we can “Save the Planet”. Until we tackle our misplaced over inflated ego we will continue to march down the wrong path thinking our shit doesn’t stink.

    • Jeff Davis

      If we don’t “save the planet” who will? I think i understand what you are saying, Man cannot invent the one cure all for this crisis, but he can invent ways to make it easier to change the mindset of the masses to know that it is possible to live with out fossil fuels

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