A report issued yesterday about climate change “paints a far more dire picture of its immediate consequences than previously thought”. It also contains, between the lines, some links and implications that I have not seen in mainstream media yet.
- 1.5 C degrees of warming would cause $54 trillion in damage
- 50 million people will suffer increased coastal flooding by 2040
- “There is no way to mitigate climate change without getting rid of coal”
What does climate change means, in CONCRETE terms?
“Getting rid of coal” is a huge undertaking but, in a certain sense, it may almost be a distraction. Unless someone could prove that it is completely flawed, that report is also saying, implicitly or not, that even bigger changes may be needed.
“Getting rid of coal” is such a huge and vague thing that it is really hard to grasp. One way from my own country to visualize it may be this:
“Getting rid of coal” may very likely mean that we should not rebuild that bridge in Genoa at all. It may mean that we should, instead, rebuild infrastructures, transportation and supply chains in that whole area so that a huge bridge is not needed anymore. Because we are making a royal mess of climate and people lives also by quickly running out of sand to make concrete, worldwide. And no, making bridges or anything else with steel would NOT help much. But it doesn’t stop there.
The biggest message is about income
The biggest not-so-hidden message of that report is this: since many of us “First World” people routinely do stuff that directly contributes to make things worse, be it making concrete, wasting electricity in bulls..t jobs or boarding any plane we can afford… the sooner we stop that, the better.
That report says almost explicitly that, starting next Monday, an awfully big lot of people worldwide should really just sit still and smell the roses, consuming as little physical resources as it is possible to do while still living a decent, happy, meaningful life. Deliberately or not, that report is the single biggest argument in favour of real Universal Basic Income (UBI) that I have ever seen. If that report is correct, it has just made UBI just like democracy: paraphrasing someone quoted by Churchill, after that report “UBI is the worst form of economy, except for all those other forms that have been tried”.
Speaking of (digital) buzzwords…
That report is also a death sentence for several things much more related to my main line of work, and a well deserved sentence, in some cases. That report says that:
- we may still have stuff like Instagram or Netflix, but on the same smartphone we already have, until it physically falls apart. More generally, we should all:
- something like at least 80% of what is currently being marketed as “Internet of Things” (IoT) should simply fade away as quickly as possible. IoT is the new plastic. Stuff like Juicero, or the Tapplock should never go into production.
- Community-level Digital DIY, instead, makes even more sense than it already did
- the really smart home is the one made in this way
- the only “smart cities” worth building are those made with Open Standards, instead of blockchains, just because it’s trendy
- none of the bullets above means living worst than today, when it comes to stuff that matters
IMPORTANT: It is my intention to work and write much more than I did before on all the links listed in this paragraphs, and their implications. Anybody interested to work together on this, or supporting these activities, please contact me, or see the link at the bottom.
Oh, and a final suggestion to the young, if I may…
Vote. Every time. Sure, millennials and younger citizens, will “kill the politics” that created this mess anyway, eventually. But they will do it in time only if they also vote for it, every time they can. Learn from Brexit, which passed also because too many of the eligible voters most affected from it could not be bothered to show up that day.