Two Viable Solutions

Now that the Branson-Gore Prize has been announced, it is time to get serious about the issues.

First, we can recognize two absolute facts. That the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere is increasing as a direct consequence of human activity. And that global temperature has risen to a level not seen since the onslaught of the little ice age. Neither of these facts make us feel comfortable and intervention is desirable.

Second, the direct linkage between these two facts is correctly in dispute, but not very relevant.

This leads us to the issue of solutions, and more specifically, sustainable biological solutions. Non biological solutions will ultimately cost as much in energy and carbon consumption as is trapped because of rising difficulty.

It is also worth recalling that carbon dioxide is the chemical result of the oxidation of organic material which releases energy. This means that that any global industrial style strategy must at the very least, utilize cheap energy. And that ultimately means solar energy, one way or the other.

We thus have two options available to us.

The first and least acceptable is population management. That is we plan around a fixed carbon budget, not unlike an economy based on a fixed supply of gold. The result will be the same. Severe depressions and the concentration of carbon wealth and power into the hands of a minority, with the remainder operating on subsistence. This is the Kyoto formula.

It cannot be sustained politically.

The other solution lies in assisting the biosphere to sequester the surplus carbon while absorbing solar energy, which reduces the global temperature at the same time. And it really is that simple, just tricky in execution.

A corollary to such a solution is the evident fact that such a process must gainfully employ a significant proportion of the global population, and particularly that portion unable to fully participate yet in the industrial-service economy. We are describing 300,000,000 Chinese and 100,000,000 Africans for starters. A fully built out solution will directly involve the lives of one billion people globally, to say nothing of the support population.

I will discuss the practicalities and various aspects of this problem in posts to this Blog. These ideas came about in the development of my book 'Paradigms Shift' now been prepared for publication.


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