on the technological fix front, a British firm is getting into air-fuel synthesis, extracting carbon dioxide and hydrogen from the air and recombining it into hydrocarbons : fuel that doesn’t have to be extracted from the earth and burned. This if it works and can be implemented widely, cheaply, and quickly, could kill two birds with one stone in the battle for global warming, reducing the co2 in the atmosphere and thus the greenhouse effect, and the amount of fossil fuel that is being burned and adding to it. Could this be the fix that will solve the problem ? that science optimists confident human ingenuity will come up with something in the nick of time believe will save the day ? Go to airfuelsynthesis.com to find out more and google air-fuel synthesis for a bunch of articles about it. This is right up there with the guy in Idaho who wants to tear up all the pavement in the U.S. and replace it with solar panels, which he says would provide three times the energy we are currently consuming. for the poop on that, go to solarroadways.com. Wallace Broecker, the scientist who put together the Great Oceanic Conveyor belt by which the ocean’s water is circulated, told me he has invested in a company that has developed a machine that can be moved around on wheels that each day removes from the air carbon equivalent of the emissions of twelve cars. The problem is what to do with it. And with all these three promising initiatives, there is always the question of cost, and how much energy they will require to run.
In any case, we can’t wait for technological fixes although we should keep looking for and developing them. Most importantly, we have to keep trying to come up with a more compassionate and inclusive system of governance and way of doing business with and on the planet. Not only to reduce our huge and exponentially growing atmospheric co2 footprint (from 200 parts per milliion at the start of the industrial revolution in 1750– and it hadn’t gone above that in the previous 300,000 years– to 390 today) but to stop the runaway extermination of the life on earth. How are we going to do this ? A society without money, getting rid of the desire to get rich that so many millions, billions perhaps, have is just not going to happen. I have been thinking a lot about this, and concluded sadly it can’t be done. Read Douglas Smith’s new book, Former People, to see that the movers and shakers of the Bolshevik revolution, predicated on the Marxist vision of doing away with money and all the evils it causes, — did not even attempt to eliminate rubles from their brave new world; rather, they tried from the get-go to get as much of the aristocrats’ confiscated property and seized bank accounts for themselves as they could. Money is destroying the world, our democracy, and us. But it’s here to stay I’m afraid.
But there can be compassionate capitalism, at least more compassionate than what we have now. There can be a more compassionate society. On this front , the Dalai Lama is not surprisingly leading the way. He just gave $50,000 to Western Connecticut College to start a degree program in altruism and compassion. Stanford University is also leading the way in this desperately needed new field of study. Google universities of compassion for more lowdown.
And finally, as for the horrendous spike in the poaching of rhinos, elephants, and other large free-ranging animals, Hollywood is on it. Two new movies have been greenlighted by their studios. Here’s some press about it :
Leonardo de Caprio is involved in one of them. His Blood Diamonds as you may recall was great. Now he’s doing Blood Ivory and Rhino Horn. Leonardo gets it. He’s one of the good guys. We need more like him. As an animal trainer who uses his animals for “hands-on conservation,” as he calls it, so people can experience up close and personal what is being lost, told me, “you don’t have a prayer of changing the way people think unless you can change how they feel.”