So who has the solution?

So who does have the solution to climate change? The answer is surprising.

Rather than try to find the person or people to blame and vilify about what we have done and continue to do to exacerbate the problem, might it be more fruitful to look for the group of people who are most able to get us out of the hole?

If we’re thinking about a technological solution, then it could be any one or more of a number of scientists, inventors or entrepreneurs.  How about a solar greenhouse?  Or farming practices that capture carbon dioxide?  Trouble is that the world is a big place with a lot of people in it – and it takes time for new technologies to roll-out, especially on an industrial scale as would need to be the case.
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Technology will probably be part of the solution, but probably not quick or comprehensive enough (too little, too late).  So who else?

We could look at who has the power to decide how much of the different greenhouse gases to emit.  Of course, that includes everybody, to a greater or lesser extent.  If you walk over to the light switch and switch it on or off, you are creating or stopping some emissions.  So we can all reduce the emissions for which we are responsible.

But let’s look at those who have the greatest sway on the level of emissions.

It is the way of the world that power is always concentrated among a tiny minority.  By applying the 80-20 rule three times, scientist Kevin Anderson showed that 40-60% of emissions are the responsibility of 1-5% of the global population. These super-rich have the keys to the solution for climate change.

But just who are these super-rich?

Turns out that in western terms, super-rich doesn’t seem that wealthy.  If you earn £30K or more per annum or fly once per year, it’s you.

It’s you.

John Bell,

Ordinary bloke

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4 thoughts on “So who has the solution?

  1. 30k? Well I hear that the worldwide target to combat climate change is 2 tons per person per year. Surley even the unemployed in the UK breach this figure?

    • Remember that 1-5% of the global population is only 70-350 million people. As I understand it, the 2 tons is what the global average would need to look like. So given the top 70-350 million emitters account for 40-60% of emissions, the global average would come down significantly if we changed our behaviour straight away. No harm in those outside the 1-5% reducing their emissions as well – would help, and may guilt the real emitters into change.

  2. Pingback: Are you a muppet? | John Bell vs Climate Change (currently 143-1 to Climate Change)

  3. Pingback: Rationality and climate change? Surely not. | John Bell vs Climate Change (currently 15,147-3 to Climate Change)

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