Change in Climate
What they collectively underscored was that, while we here in the West think of climate change as something coming and something to worry about for our legacy, in places like Bangladesh climate change is about the here and now. The poorest are paying the highest price for our standard of living.
They were largely hopeful in their message, pointing to Australia's Kevin Rudd defeating John Howard in what is being described as the first climate-change election, states and cities making policies to fight climate change (with the event being held in California and San Francisco, lots of props were given to the state and the mayor), many corporations looking to do things differently (Google.org, for instance, just announced a big climate change initiative), and conditions looking right for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali. There was of course, much shaking of heads over American federal politics.
Unexpectedly none of the panelists were in favor of nuclear power, with Google's Larry Brilliant being the most outspoken. They were in favor of shifting subsidies to renewables in a large way, but with an emphasis on incentives, basic r&d and funding of programs to turn out engineers. They thought that the costs of the solutions were going to be much cheaper than the costs of protecting ourselves.
"But one percent of our GDP to save the planet?" asked the moderator (Greg Dalton, who did a fine job). "One percent!" said Larry Brilliant. "It's a bargain! Who wouldn't want that?!"
Labels: energy solutions