There isn’t much to debate anymore when it comes to the harmful nature of carbon emissions. Even China has made huge changes to its energy sector, and they are moving to a much lower amount of greenhouse gas production.
While meeting the emissions goals laid out in The Paris Accords is a great start, there may be more work to be done. The simple fact is that we don’t really know how our carbon emissions will affect the global climate going forward, so taking steps to drop the carbon levels is a good move.
Up to this point, climate action has been focused on lowering emissions, but given the bleak future we face, forward thinking companies like the Swiss based Climeworks are developing active carbon reduction technology.
President Trump doesn’t care at all about climate change, if is policy decisions are any indication of his feelings towards keeping humans alive. Lucky for us, there are companies like Climeworks, who understand that the problems we face could very well end the earth’s ability to sustain us.
They have created a system that collects the atmosphere in large amounts, and then by using a proprietary technology, removes all the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide can then be stored, or used for any number of things, including making the bubbles in soda.
Their operation in Switzerland is the first of its kind, and while effective, the cost to remove carbon dioxide from the air is staggering. This illustrates the spurious nature of price in our modern economy, and that we don’t pay nearly enough for the carbon we generate.
Much in the same way that the costs to deal with solid waste for consumer goods isn’t ever included in the price at the store, when we produce carbon dioxide, the costs to deal with it later on are never dealt with. If they were, energy generation via sources like coal and petroleum would never be economic, and the real value of solar power generation would become obvious.
The idea that the earth is alive isn’t new. Most ancient cultures saw the earth as maternal, and being in possession of a generative spirit that exists in a superposition to a human incarnation. The Gaia Hypothesis is a modern riff of this idea, albeit in a materialistic wrapper.
Many people dismiss ideas like a conscious earth on the grounds that teleology is employed, or that it contradicts natural selection. We may or may not have evolved from monkeys, but materialist philosophy sits on metaphysical assumptions that are just as absurd as the Abrahamic traditions that it replaced in the western world.
Judaeo-Christian philosophy contends that Yahweh created the world in 7 days, while science says it all just happened in an instant.
Materialist metaphysics all rely on some pretty heavy math to prove what is in essence impossible to demonstrate in an empirical sense. Darwinian evolution works along the same lines, but to its credit, at least it is a novel theory that seems to jive with Mendelian genetic theory, which can be show to function in a reproducible sense.
What we don’t talk about much is the idea that the earth, may be not only alive, but conscious. Clearly this is an absurd assertion by today’s prevailing metaphysical dogma (science stopped relying on objective empiricism quite some time ago), but given the scale of change humans have created, I am fine with asserting that earth may be pissed off.
I have no idea what we can do, or even if the earth is alive. But it seems like destroying the earth’s ability to sustain life on a grand scale is really stupid for so many reasons. So if you want to cut carbon because you think that all the mathematical climate models are accurate, great.
But if those ideas don’t work for you, or seem like shoddy materialism overreaching its capacity, don’t worry! There are many other ways to explain to the masses that things have to change, and the sooner we do it, the better.
Maybe the earth is alive…and getting angrier all the time…