Climate change optimism

It’s easy to be alarmist, or at least pessimistic, about climate change. After all, the possible consequences are pretty dramatic.

However, let’s not forget that our species has the ability to foresee consequences and to take action. That arises from our intelligence. Unlike other species, we don’t have to passively continue activity which could lead to our own extinction. This intelligence may well be a prime cause of environmental change – but it does enable us to adapt.

So, it’s good to see some positive messages.

This book, Earth: The Sequel: The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming looks interesting. It gives a positive message. Humanity’s response to current climate change is opening up all sorts of technological possibilities. I think the authors say somewhere that these new technologies could lead to a revolution at least as great as that ushered in by computers.

Have a look at their web site and the short videos narrated by one of the authorsΒ  Mirriam Horn. These outline some of the technological possibilities.

Unleash the future – Introduction

Why these innovations are so important, and a glimpse of the technologies.

Solar energy: Powerful “Ink”

Harnessing solar energy can be pricey, but that soon may change. One company aims to cut the price by a factor of 10 by printing cheap solar ink onto flexible film that could be your roofing material.

Biofuels: Gasoline from Yeast

“Anything you can get out of a barrel of oil, you can get out of a pound of sugar with the right microbe.” So says Jack Newman of Amyris Biotechnologies, who is using genetically-modified yeast to brew gasoline.

Waves: Power from the Ocean

Inventor Alla Weinstein found a way to convert the up-and-down motion of waves into electricity.

Geothermal: Unlocking the Earth’s Heat

An innovator in Alaska has developed the first low-temperature geothermal power plant, meaning that many more locations can take advantage of power from the Earth’s core.

See also:
Authors@Google: Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn
Fred Krupp on Energy & Global Warming
Book review

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2 responses to “Climate change optimism

  1. Also check the Green Future City for some more optimism.

    If only we has one now 😦


  2. terrific post–from one science / artist type to another, i’m glad i stumbled in.

    one of the dismissive canards from the climate change denial set that particularly frosts my cheese is the pronouncement that those of us who harbor concerns are doom and gloom fear peddlers. absolutely false. it is necessary to outline the contours of potential results, and potential timelines, but it’s for more important and constructive to direct our thoughts and actions toward positive, creative, adaptive change.




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