Tuesday, December 1, 2015

COP21 - REALITY CHECK

It is a good thing that so much attention is going toward managing humanities’ entire interface with mother earth. It has been a long time concern of mine that we will destroy the very source of our existence. As a young person I used to worry a lot about the issue. There were very dire predictions about the year 2000, the predictions were made, 2000 came and they simply never transpired; so from my perspective the “scientists” have a credibility gap. It is important to note that the perception of a credibility gap and the absence of concern are different; I believe attention to the issue is required – I just have heard the rhetoric before.


What is concerning to me is the degree of isolation there is in the contemplation of the issue, there is an inclination to ignore reality.  The fossil fuel nihilists scream for the end of fossil fuels and offer no viable alternative. Please see below, this is where we are, this is the reality check – transition to alternatives is a 30 to 50 year process. There is a demand for fossil fuel, it will be filled, Canada can supply it and extract the wealth necessary to facilitate transition OR we can give the money to Nigeria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela … it is more than stupid to curtail our industry, it is irresponsible in the extreme.



There is also an inclination with in the environmental community to “reduce” the use of the natural environment. This inclination tends to shrink more than impact on the earth, it tends also to reduce the expectation of possibility – a culture of limitation has evolved: in the 1950s we were going faster, farther, higher – in 2015 we are seeking to reduce movement. It is important to note however, that the west has this inclination while many are just forging ahead absent an aft glance.

The effort people spend fighting the Oil Industry should be directed to developing technology and the safe use of fossil fuel. People tend to forget how good of a fuel fossil fuel is and using is in no way the problem, emissions are. We could, as a transition strategy, devote efforts to the safe use of fossil fuel more aggressively.

The earth has had larger swings in temperature in the past than we are experiencing now, quite recently in fact, so while we must seek to reduce our impact, we need to develop adaption strategies as well. There will come a time where we need to cool or warm the earth for one reason or another; we need the technologies to do it and an international venue to manage it.  

Finally, I believe in a market based economy, I believe in that the efficiency of business can be directed in a manner that harmonizes human activity with the earth. Many of the people I listen to speak on the issue have a blind spot when it comes to economics, worse they have a prejudice against economic thinking. The very best way to understand people and their interface with the earth is to look at the capsulized view of human activity financial data provides.  

More Thinking on the Subject







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