dinsdag 21 december 2010

The Battle of Thought

People tend to discuss environmental issues from a negative point of view. The discourse is about pollution, shortage of clean water and food, poverty, decreasing biodiversity, greenhouse effect and climate change. The biggest crook in the house of Misery & Trouble bears the codename CO2, the symbol of decline and entropy. People talk about CO2 as if it’s a poisonous gas. Something very, very bad and nasty. Well, it isn’t. It is a colorless, odorless, non-poisonous ‘growth stimulator’. In fact it is more basic to life than sex. It is plant food, and it drives the whole food chain. All life, every cell in every living organism on the planet is based on and contains carbon. Bacteria, algae and plants remove CO2 from the air and water and store it in their tissues. Together with water vapor, CO2 keeps our planet warm, preventing it from being covered in ice, from becoming too hot or devoid of liquid water.

The Battle of Thought between the so-called ‘deniers and sceptics’ on one side and the ‘believers’ of climate change on the other, is outdated before it reaches its climax. But even if the debate is over, still it is important and urgent to change our lifestyles. We will have to stop plundering nature, eat vegetarian food instead of costly meat, bike and walk before driving, use fewer materials and less not renewable energy sources. This is urgent for other reasons than climate change: namely for the health of the human supporting system and therefore the health and continuation of the human race.The discussion whether or not CO2 emissions are caused by human activities and damage the climate and thus the Earth is delusive and dangerous.

In the perspective of ‘the Deniers’ climate change defenders use the issue to create new business, like emission trade and carbon capture & storage, as well as to enforce more legislation and thus ‘to obtain more power over the masses they try to frighten into obedience’. According to some Deniers the issue ‘has become a strict religion, which endures no questions or criticism. Zero tolerance for dissent. They have become suspect because they entered politics. Power and wealth for some and oppression for others are the outcome of their advocacy’.

The Believers strike back with words grilled in sour undertones. Both sides try to pinpoint flaws in scientific reports and batter the arguments of their opponents. On one point they agree: their opinions on politics and politicians (see the following three statements).

Copenhagen (Dec 2009) recognized the case for keeping the rise in temperature below 2 degrees, but failed to produce a binding agreement …

…Leaving leaders with tarnished reputations…

Cancun Summit (Dec 2010) – Conclusion? They have now selected the paint for the deckchairs on the titanic?
Am I too cynical? I am sure a great deal of hard work has been done, but I worry that nothing binding has been agreed and it is all a lot of hot air (please excuse the pun!). Will countries actually do anything as a result?

The polarization – whether greenhouse gasses are or are not damaging the planet – is dangerous, because it puts the spot on the wrong place and has become a struggle for power and money. The stakes are high. Today in the European Union the primary energy supply is 80% dependent on fossil fuels. Economic growth and prosperity, one can argue, have been built on oil, coal and gas. It’s very important that regional opinion leaders learn to see through all manipulation and power lifting. That’s the highway to a learning region.

Energy has made Europe strong. At the same time it is Europe’s Achilles’ heel. Over 50% of the energy supply is mined outside the EU. The situation will worsen when oil and gas wells dry up. Without a transition the EU – especially in the short run - gets more and more dependent on instable monarchies and dictatorial regimes in the Middle East, Africa, et cetera. Thus making the EU still more vulnerable to energy supply disruptions from outside the union and to volatility in energy prices. The solution to this problem may be the entry into the EU of oil- and gasrich Russia. This isn’t science fiction. On the contrary! Russian Prime

Minister Vladimir Putin has said that he does not rule out the creation of a currency union between the Russian Federation and the European Union some time in the future. He was speaking during a joint news conference following his talks with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the end of November 2010. As to this kind of currency union, he said, we understand, of course, that any currency union is a result of the combination of economies, of economic development. Things should grow ripe, the Russian Prime Minister said.

One thing is for sure: energy is a condition for economic growth. Without energy all machines, cars, electrical devices, and more, come to a standstill. The consequences can be huge. But don’t panic. For the next forty years there will be enough energy, especially if people and organisations will bring more efficiency in their use of energy. ‘More Energy, Less Carbon Dioxide,’ is the name of the game at Shell.

The oil company has developed two scenarios: Scramble and Blueprints. ‘The main difference is in the degree of cooperation between companies, governments and people,’ Richard Sears explains. ‘In Scramble everyone acts independently trying to solve their own supply/demand or environmental problem, whereas in Blueprints there is a greater sense of cooperating to find workable solutions for everyone. By acting together under Blueprints, the outcome is more likely an earlier transition to alternative energy sources.’

Systems tend to correct themselves and solve problems, like we’ve seen with oil and the CO2 issue. Another notion is that life supporting systems are too complex to be mastered on a central level by a government, the European Commission or the United Nations. Regionalism, decentralization, self-organization and citizenship are some coined concepts that dressed as leather eggs roll out of the climate scrum.

For more:check Beyond Oil - http://www.ecolutie.nl

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten


Over mij

Mijn foto
Op 11 april 2015 kwam 'Parkinson Hotel' uit. Een uitgave waarin Franky de dialoog aan gaat met Parkie. Zie: http://www.studiononfixe.nl/parkinson-hotel/ Deze blog is een aanvulling hierop. Doel is o.a. de bekendheid met de ziekte te vergroten, ook voor hen die net als ik een ongenode gemene gast herbergen en hun partners. Ik hoop mensen met de ziekte van Parkinson te inspireren om niet bij de pakken neer te zitten. Sinds de diagnose Parkinson’s Disease, voorjaar 2004, strijd ik tegen de ziekte, tegen toenemende medicatie en de bijwerkingen van pillen. Ooit zei een collega dat ik 'sneller typte dan God kon lezen'. Ik was politiek en economisch redacteur van o.a. NRC, Elsevier en Haagse Post (in omgekeerde volgorde). De ziekte van Parkinson staat bekend om haar progressiviteit, de symptomen worden met de tijd erger. Mijn verzet bestond en bestaat uit het trainen van hersenen en lichaam. Ik promoveerde in 2012, voetbal iedere zondag, doe aan Nordic Walking en andere sporten. Ik speel gitaar. En bovenal, ik blijf schrijven. Allemaal dingen die ik graag doe. Op 24 april 2015 onderga ik een 'deep brain stimulation' en schakel ik naar hogere frequenties van levensgenot.