Ignorance and bliss, politics and environment: will we ever move forward?

Technological fixes have been a staple for solutions since anthropogenic environmental issues and degradation, as we’ve learned throughout this course from readings. The articles this week address a more modern issue: what technological fixes can be implemented for an inevitable impact we’re facing in the mid 2000s? We’ve read about the history of certain fixes, but now the question is surrounding the future of these fixes. I think techno-fixes can address rising temperatures and the effects that follow by focusing on renewable energy, or side-stepping coal for a cleaner natural resource such as nuclear power or carbon capture technology, ultimately keeping the use of coal, but in a way it is not so alarming to the future (NY Times article, p. 2). There is no doubt we can implement wind and solar energy to the masses, but those technologies need time, space, and lots of money in comparison to the already well-established mining industry. That’s where the socio part of this comes in. Ultimately and hypothetically, as a society, if every person rallied for cleaner energy, there’s a much larger chance that political minds would listen and follow. There would no longer be arguments around it, as the “socio” part is the biggest part in the cascade of technological advancements — however, it would be quite the success story if this were to happen in the timeframe given by the IPCC. Politics and environmental concern have been a tug-of-war case in human history, in my opinion, it is very unlikely politics will be completely on the environment’s side before 2040.


If we know now that 7 years is good time frame to reliably state climates of regions and their changes every 7 or so years, I think the 30+ years of data on those climates and their changes is enough time and evidence to whole-heartedly believe the statement that climate science is too young to be reliable is false. So beyond false. Climate science, put simply, is a means of collecting numbers that have been observed, written down, and recorded over years and years; it is then deeply looked at. The changes are there. The changes are observed. It is really quite that simple. The ultimate raise of concern is the steepness of these changes over time, and the fact they’re not leveling or declining to a past-time temperature humans have seen. Following those changes are correlations to a lot of negative changes to the earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and species. Correlation from observation. That is the point.