Just in time for a remembrance on Earth Day, April 20th marks the 9th anniversary of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. We shouldn’t forget that the fossil fuel age is not just about carbon dioxide concentrations increasing in the atmosphere, it’s about significant adverse impacts on people and the environment of this dependence.
Seven Dragons are generic types of psychological barriers, compiled by psychologist Robert Gifford at the University of Victoria (Canada), that hold a person back from doing something. These barriers may help explain why a person (or society) agrees that climate change and environmental sustainability are important issues yet doesn’t take sufficient action to effectively deal with them. (Part Two)
Seven Dragons are generic types of psychological barriers that hold a person back from doing something. These barriers help explain why a person (or society) may agree that climate change and environmental sustainability are important issues yet doesn’t take sufficient action to effectively deal with them. How many dragons can you find (and then slay) in your own thinking about dealing with climate change?
The most effective place to implement complete decarbonization is on the nation’s 2,500 college and university campuses. We can get to zero net carbon by 2030 on almost every campus and do it in an economically beneficial way. But it will take an energized, committed and thoughtful student effort, three student generations really, to get the job done. So I say: Students of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your emissions!
Raising gasoline prices enough to cut carbon emissions dramatically from transportation would be suicide for politicians, but if we don’t do it, how will we achieve climate goals? Electrifying transportation with a “moon shot” program is probably the only real solution, perhaps using the carbon taxes from gasoline sales to incentivize the transition.
The Green New Deal advocates retrofitting 100% of the country’s buildings over the next 10 years to net zero energy. This is purposeless, wasteful and unnecessary. We need to pay attention to the “80/20 Rule” - 20% of the buildings are generating 80% of energy use; our focus should be on them. When you look at the numbers, this goal is quite achievable.
We already know what we must do to prevent the worst aspects of climate change from happening and, more importantly, we have done something like it before. When I helped organize the first Earth Day celebration on the Caltech campus in 1970, joining 2,000 other campuses in a massive national Teach-In, we collectively started a national environmental movement that over two short decades reduced pollution dramatically and protected nature everywhere.
All the buzz around climate change has descended on the Green New Deal proposed a few weeks ago by Senator Ed Markey and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In its current form it’s a mishmash of “progressive” politics and climate change practicalities. In this blog series, I deal with just with the climate change aspects.
About 40 percent of the US population lives in counties located on a coastline. What will happen to property values along the coast as rising ocean levels and extreme climate events put more and more homes in danger of being flooded?
Do the Paris riots have something to tell us about how to approach climate change? How would your proposed climate change policies and recommendations sit with the 80% who are struggling to get by, if they thought it would make daily life harder, more expensive, etc.?