After the Events

(parabolic trough in use at Nevada Solar One which opened in June 2007)
My “Global Problems : Global Solutions” class in Leominster has just finished, and the Hereford one concludes next week. For me it has been a very interesting time; lots of keen and knowledgeable participants, lots of good discussion. I talked and showed slides about what I see as the key examples of best practice; ideas, technologies and developments that show how humanity might achieve a radically better, more ecologically sustainable and socially just future. But am I more optimistic or pessimistic than, say, a few months ago?
The failure of Copenhagen, Barrack Obama thwarted by opposition, the climate change deniers more overt in their denial than ever….the political will to take the required action on Climate Change seems to be ebbing away. Mark Lynas writing in the Guardian summed-up this current sense of gloom. At a deeper level several writers eg James Lovelock think it’s already too late, humanity is doomed. The triggers for catastrophic climate change are complex.*
However nobody can know in any absolute sense that it is too late. And the things that we can do to radically lower Co2 emissions often have other benefits. It still remains my belief that a better, fairer world is still possible. I may be wrong. However campaigning for this more positive future remains worthwhile. There are many amazing and inspiring things happening in all corners of the world which people love to hear about and which get very little detailed coverage in the media. And who knows, if we all bend our wills to helping and replicating these examples of best practice we might just save humanity!

* Planet Earth We Have a Problem: Feedback Dynamics and the Acceleration of Climate Change. by Peter Cox, Deepak Rughani, Peter Wadhams & David Wasdell. Published by the All Party Climate Change Group, 2007