Great, I’ve solved Climate Change. Here comes the 2100 Club.

Climate change. it’s impossible isn’t it? Either you’re not sure it’s happening, or when it’s happening, or it’s impossible anyway… it’s a big hairy pain in the ass.

Seems to me there’s two questions that need to be separated (PLEASE, don’t say ‘decoupled’. using clever words don’t make you more clever.) The big big big question isn’t “should we do something about it?” but “CAN we do something about it?”

Forget about the SHOULD. Forget. About. The. SHOULD.

If the answer to the latter (call them Q1&Q2) is “no, we’re incapable of solving a problem that isn’t yet directly affecting us and where there is uncertainty” (eg rise of Hitler in 1930’s) … then … er … there’s nothing we can do, so we may as well stop wasting time on Q1. Plenty of people have stopped there, and that’s understandable.

If however we decide on an optimistic and heroic “yes” for Q2, then we can take the precautionary principle and assume a yes for Q1 also, and there gain, forget the SHOULD and focus on Q2. At least some of us. IPCC/Gore etc are doing a good job with Q1 I think. We need all minds on Q2 now. NOW!

Many more people will take a punt on tackling climate change when they see a “yes” solution to Q2. Even if they are proved wrong on Q1! It’s Q2 that is holding us back. With even a half-credible, slightly barmy solution to Q2 dangled in front of them, people will go for it.

“I think the earth might be round and I might get to the spice lands this-a-way, my Queen!”
“You’re clearly two sheets short of a clipper but go for it my son, knock yourself out.”

I really mean “see” a solution. We need to be able to visualise it, feel it, smell it … experience it in some way. Want it, like a pair of neon Nikes, like a toddler wants the sweeties at the counter. It’s a big big big problem: what psychological switch would we flip, what pleasure zone would we tap into? It must be both sublime and ridiculous.

One clue could be, we don’t need something that EVERYONE can tap into. We need a solution that isn’t for everyone, and that certainly doesn’t rely on everyone. We need maybe 350 people-per-million (ooh see what I did there! I’m on fire!) to do this. Maybe 350 people-per-billion (that’s 2100).

It’s a club. It’s a sect. It’s exclusive.

I reckon 2100 people can save the planet. I reckon there are at least that many amazingly intelligent people dedicating their entire lives to trying to do so right now. I reckon 2100 people working for 2100 days can save the planet and get CO2 back to stable 350ppm, securing a human future beyond 2100.

Join the 2100Club! Or don’t, because if you ain’t on the list, you ain’t comin’ in…

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2 Responses to Great, I’ve solved Climate Change. Here comes the 2100 Club.

  1. Galaxian says:

    The climate change and nuclear “debates” illustrate the basic fact that human civilization does not control its ultimate fate. What will actually happen to this planet is something that can only become known after the fact.

    Perhaps its surface will indeed become like that of Venus: bone dry, superheated, and sterile.

    One thing that is nearly certain is that a day will come when no more human beings walk on the earth. In terms of how long the universe has been around, extinction of humans is just around the corner. A bit later, the biosphere as we know it will lose its stabilizing mechanisms and cease to exist.

    All this is, of course, in the natural progress of events, and nothing is to be done about it.

    Therefore, why not enjoy nuclear-powered electricity in your home to post stuff on your Internet server. Fixation remains centered on radionuclides as an exotic killer rather than on the mundane, yet lethal, things like soot from poorly ventilated cooking fires in poor parts of the world.

  2. Hi Galaxian

    Thanks for your comment, very interesting. The issue of relative timelines is hugely relevant. I also like your final point on the “mundane, yet lethal things” that don’t get much press coverage.

    I’ll check out your blog too.

    Cheers, Pascale

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