There’s a certain pull to tackling planet sized problems; a gravity, to break out the puns early. Going ‘full-Thanos’ isn’t entirely dismissible, yet other resolutions include one-child policies, renewable and clean energy, and carbon dioxide collectors, which were called trees at some point, am sure. Even if we #EatTheRich, there’s generally not enough to go around - even when taking a more literal stance of all the ‘Richards’. Time to test out my new cologne, eau de wasabi-marmite-dogshit! (Ed-you’ve been wearing this for years, no?)
Over the years I’ve taken great inspiration from Tim Flannery’s The Weathermakers and Vanishing Face of Gaia by the late yet wonderful James Lovelock. Bill Gates’ How to Avoid a Climate Disaster is the latest in the line. When discussing emissions, the usual scapegoat is the third world trying to improve standards of living, or just living in general, yet we can’t deny them the same privileges we enjoy. Clean energy is the answer. Solar and wind are great, but intermittent, relying upon batteries, and we’d need A LOT of batteries. I’m only halfway through the book, but for reliable, twenty-four-hour energy, atom-splitting nuclear fission is going to be tough to beat. Australia’s risk-averse, get-lost-you-mongrel, standpoint remains steadfast though: no nuclear here, thank you for asking! It hasn’t stopped them buying eight nuclear subs from the gun-lovers south of Canada, but they can park those waaaaaaayyy offshore and pretend they don’t exist. Or park them in Adelaide, which no one likes anyway.
On a global emissions scale, it’s interesting to actually see where things sit: making things (cement, steal, plastic, fuel etc) account for 31%; plugging in (electricity generation) is 27%; growing things (plants, animals etc) is 19%; getting around (planes, trucks, cargo ships) is only 16%; heating cooling and refrigeration 7%. Even if you’re bamboozled by figures, that is fascinating. When we buy electric cars, we’re reducing the getting around % and the making things % (fuel), yet at the same time increasing the making things % (batteries, steel), and increasing the plugging in % (electricity).
But I know what you’re thinking: a) it’s hard to take in the complexity of a fifty-to-hundred-year view when day-to-day life is already a struggle, with surging fuel costs, food shortages, and if you’re in Ukraine, getting shelled the shit out of too b) who is this Thanos character and can he be worse than Britain’s current leadership options? Ladies and gentlemen, Liz Truss at her finest. Making Britain Grate Again?
Writing and writing...