Time for something different
(in Climate Change)
What could be simpler than that old line that goes, "if there was money in fixing poverty it would be fixed overnight"? Now solving our biggest problems is never going to be as simple as that, but what if we adopted something like that for all of our biggest problems as our starting position?
1. What if we could have a Climate Change agreement that has compliance standards (the Paris Agreement does not), but we never need to worry about whether countries will comply because they are Climate Change solving activities that countries actually want to do; actions that increase commerce. Everybody willingly moving and thinking in the same direction on Climate Change as a first step.
2. What if we could have a solution to Climate Change that would eliminate fossil fuels as a fuel source, and even coal, oil and gas companies wanted to do it? And by that I mean genuinely, desperately keen to make it happen, as opposed to saying they're on board when the cameras are rolling but then doing something quite different behind the scenes. This is not an insult to them; they know they do it, and as long as one doesn't push the point too strongly I'm sure they don't mind. If we could solve Climate Change 'tomorrow', figuratively speaking, but we had to give fossil fuels corporations what amounts to everything they want (within reason) in order to do it, would you be willing to do it? It's not only unreasonable, it's ridiculous to expect the most powerful industry in the world to make themselves paupers in the process of moving away from fossil fuels; they need equivalent industry to replace what they'd lose, and a significant extra amount on top of that, "for their troubles". What if we could do this in such a way so that not even one single penny needs to come from governments to make it happen?
('Tomorrow' in this case means that every part of the solution could be in place within two or three years, and we'd be back under 300ppm CO2 concentration within sixty years.)
3. What if we could craft a new zero emissions technology path, genuinely driven by coal, oil and gas companies, that got us 90% of the way to the zero emissions picture we're looking for within twenty years? In the picture alluded to in the above paragraph, these companies will be so keen to eliminate their current fossil fuels business, that if we didn't come up with something new, they would drive us forward into a future where we decommission all dirty power plants and only use the existing zero emissions technology with batteries (this of course means goodbye to internal combustion engines too). We would come up with new alternatives but we get to our zero emissions future either way. Most people believe that the shift away from the internal combustion engine would be a hard, long and slow process, and although the retooling of manufacturing, "refueling" and maintenance could take up to ten years, changing perceptions wouldn't. In this marketing, advertising, media driven lifestyle we've developed for our civilisation, if the fossil fuels industry is driving the shift away from the internal combustion engine, then the vast majority of the population would be keen to do it within a couple of years, and five years into the process you'd only have the hardcore aficionados preferring petrol. Even most rev-heads would make the psychological shift, and you could count the percentage of the population who still prefer petrol over electric on one hand, assuming electric is what we were going to.
4. What if there was a way to create a new array of plantation forests in arid regions that are collectively the size of Mexico (massive carbon sinks)? What if this was the first step in a larger afforestation and revegetation picture that wouldn't cost us a cent, because they are actions that occur inside commercially viable operations that are underwritten by international agreements and national legislation? What if by doing this we are returning the volume of land based vegetation on this planet back to what it was hundreds of years ago? And what if by doing this we have ourselves a complete solution for deforestation and a stewardship plan for the Global Forest Industries as well?
5. What if we could increase the volume of macroscopic life in the oceans to more than ten times what it is today, taking it back to where it was two hundred years ago? What if by doing this we managed to increase the annual uptake of CO2 by the oceans to twice what it is today, and possibly more in some years? What if we do this in such a way so that it is a complete solution to overfishing and a stewardship plan for the Global Fishing Industry as well? And what if the doing of this doesn't cost us a cent because the very first action we take creates over $200 billion in assets that can be leveraged to fund all of the action we need to take?
If we can do all of this do we find ourselves in a space where we can say we've solved Climate Change??????
If we can do all of this, and with the exception of the new Climate Change agreement it doesn't cost us a cent (because massive assets are created right at the beginning in every case), the question is not would we do it, of course we'd do it. The question is how long would it take before we got the ball rolling? These are the five elements of the H3 approach to Climate Change.
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