Governments reliance on technical solutions alone to cut carbon pollution causing climate change is doomed to failure. Technical progress tends to be straight line whereas environmental impacts are growing on an accelerating upward curve (geometrically, exponentially) - one thus cant keep pace with the other. Social, economic, political, behavioural and technical changes are needed in a coherent combination to cut carbon emssions to a level we can sustain. This includes: not thinking that issues can be summed up by a simple equation; tackling multiple causes through joined up thinking; and changing the attitude to wealth that currently dominates in particular.
As many commentators have pointed out down the years, virtually all the hopes expressed by governments in terms of reducing carbon emissions ultimately hang on technology.
It stems from the famous IPAT equation:
Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology
...sometimes expressed as...
Impact = Population x GDP/capita x Impact/GDP
BBC - Richard Black's Earth Watch: H for 'human': The missing climate link?
Sunday, 23 January 2011
Labels: behaviour, carbon footprinting, climate change, economics, people, political strategy, population, systems thinking, technological assessment, technology, wealth
Open University Tutor, Environmental Science and Management; Former Secondary School Science Teacher; Former Research & Development Technologist/Chemist (Polymer Industry); Campaigner for a sustainable society for several decades; Parliamentary candidate in 1987, 2001, 2010