What to do about global warming

Greenhouse effect

Worldchanging has an amazing piece about what we can do about global warming. Read the whole thing.

First: This new design practice is more about discovery, than blue sky invention. Many of the answers we need already exist.

A second key feature of the new design practise: it is less about control, more about the devolution of power. A good test is whether a design proposal will enable people to retain control over their own territory and resources.

This one fascinates me. In a rapidly approaching future, as the generation of electrical power becomes widely distributed and spread out, so will political power. As communities generate their own power and control their own water, they become much less dependent on large governmental and corporate entities. This will be power to the people indeed, both electrical and political.

A third feature of the new design practice: it does not have to think Big,or act Big, to be effective… If someone builds a bus stop, in an urban slum, a vibrant community can sprout and grow around it.

Item four: The new design practise looks for ways to replace physical resources with information.

This includes bikesharing, carsharing, maybe even buildingsharing. Then there’s online apps that allow you to do the work from anywhere, something in its infancy now. But in just a few years they will be omnipresent and sophisticated.

Large businesses and national governments are already taking steps (except of course for the Flat Earth Society members in the White House and ExxonMobil.)

I heard about a top five logistics and parcel delivery company for whose CEO sustainability is the key driver of the company’s future.

I was told that one of the world’s largest shipping ports has decided it must render its operations carbon neutral within a decade. How, I have no idea – but it sounds as if they are completely serious.

A major European airport, I learned, is studying how it might feasibly prosper if air travel ceased to be an important part of its business.

Whole countries are getting serious about massive transformational change.

Sweden, for example, has made it national objective to be independent of oil within a decade.

Switzerland plans to cut usage of electricity by two-thirds. Great Britain, Australia, China, and India also are working towards a renewable energy future.

But in DC, the dinosaurs are about to get stuck in the figurative La Brea Tar Pits, too plodding and too stupid to change, while newly emergent mammals, smarter and more adaptable, survive and prosper.

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