Climate change is serious stuff. The world is getting warmer; the environment is changing; we have less arctic ice. We are only just learning about deep ocean thermohaline circulations just as it looks like we might be upsetting them.
But that’s okay, we seem to be a pretty clever species and collectively we have the power to solve large and complex problems (you know, like moon landings and blue LEDs). Despite the fact that in the long term most species become extinct, I’m optimistic that we can solve our current global warming problem. And in any case, even if we become extinct then life itself will not. The archaea and the other microbes will live on. Good luck to sentient life wherever it next evolves.
Solving climate change will involve serious change. But it will be seriously cool too. New forms of power production will become commercially viable; some existing power plants will become obsolete; it’s probable that we will be driving electric cars (speaking of which, it’s 2008, where’s my nuclear powered hover car goddamnit!); windmills will stride across our moors (yes, in my backyard!).
There is opportunity. Not just in your silly political opportunity of being world leaders and torch bearers for a new world, but real opportunity. Money. Opportunity in acquiring the skills to build lots more nuclear power plants than we ever have (Edit 2008-10-25: used to say “ten times as fast”, but that’s just wrong); in learning how to make an offshore tidal power station last for 50 years with no maintenance; in programming fridge microcontrollers so that they do not draw power at lunchtime when everyone needs the grid power to cook on the halogen hob. We can do this, and then we can sell it to those that were too lazy.
Let us embrace this opportunity now. Friends, let’s join Francis Irving and sign up to Serious Change (.org.uk).