It is clear that our understanding of the concepts that underlie our current predicament as a species has not changed with the inauguration of Barack Obama as President.These are that we continue to
- take a symptom based view of our problems, and
- fail to understand the risks and costs of our decisions.
Critically we look to ‘sustainability’ as a destination and not a journey of continual improvement in the quality of the goods and service we consume.
Our democratic institutions have not evolved to be proactive in a rapidly changing and resource constrained world, and our leaders are mostly, by education in the legal profession, predisposed to accept that the ‘resource intensity of society’ is something to be accepted as part of our democracies in defiance of the ‘one planet equation’.
A blinkered focus on symptoms rather than our addiction, humanity’s seemingly insatiable desire to consume, together with our reductionist approach to problem solving is preventing us liberating the ingenuity that will enable real solutions.
This has been recognised by Chris Nelder at ‘Energy and Capital’, in one of last weeks’ newsletters, clip below. Please read the about page, tab above.
When ‘Change’ Comes to Energy Policy
I had lunch last week with my old friend Brian Fan, who is now the senior director of research for the Cleantech Group. Since I became aware of peak oil in roughly 2002, we’ve had a long and vigorous dialogue about energy, its problems and its solutions. Brian has had the good fortune to be everywhere in the media lately, and is one of the leading champions of the burgeoning cleantech revolution.
He said something at lunch that has stuck with me ever since, to the effect of “Peakers are like the dog that finally caught the fire truck, after all these years. Now what? Everybody understands that we’ve got a serious energy problem. Cleantech isn’t just about the CO2 emissions anymore. What you need to do now is decide if you’re going to keep worrying about the problem, or start working on the solutions.” ………………………..