Just because we can exploit nature, doesn’t mean we should

Were you horrified by Simon’s blog on the World Energy Congress? I was!

The energy industry is putting forward two scenarios, the first seeing a 30% increase in global energy consumption, the second an approximate 80%. Both scenarios leave huge numbers of poor people without access to decent energy – the rich remain profligate, the poor without?

Last night I put the scenarios from the World Energy Congress report to the panel of eminent speakers at the Royal Society and All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change meeting. The response I got was twofold:

  1. These would be included within the business-as-usual scenario (is that reassuring?!)
  2. From Professor Tim Palmer, University of Oxford: ‘The IPCC’s job is to assess the scientific literature. It’s quite a conservative document in many respects.’

I think I was a bit shocked or maybe I’m a bit naive … Is it just me that finds the idea that the world is working on a major increase in carbon-based energy surprising?

We need to work together with nature and respect our planetary boundaries. Just because we can exploit nature doesn’t mean we should.

Poor people are feeling the impact of climate change first and hardest. As the impact increases, they will be the least protected – I read today of an asylum seeker in New Zealand arguing his case on the basis of climate change making his island home untenable. The judge found his argument tenable, but outside the criteria on which asylum was allowed.

I’d love the climate scientists to talk to the energy planners. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a joined up vision of our future – even is its one that scares us?

One response to “Just because we can exploit nature, doesn’t mean we should”

  1. Zeke Says:

    Maybe the problem is not the Rich or those in Powerful, but rather the people that go about life without making a demonstrative complaint.
    Last night the world was told of the passing away of Nelson Mandela. I was working on some artwork that incorporates some of his message as it applies to the “bush-it” policies of the USA. I did an on-line search for the words to the song “Can You Hear The People Singing”, from Les Miserables “. As I started to sing the words out loud I began to feel the anger.
    “Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men! It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again! When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums. There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!”
    What the world needs, is to take back the power from those who would steer and drive the globe towards destruction. Call it a revolution, but we can not tolerate the status quo nor the business as usual. When the people grasp the horror of the hijacking of our planet, complete with the wars and land grabs, maybe they will raise their voices. The sooner that happens the sooner we will see positive change. We have the power, but we lack the determination…and that is what we need to change. The worlds single greatest polluter is the Department of Defense of the USA, the military. The experience of Nelson Mandela shows what determination can accomplish. Power to the People! Zeke

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