We must act together or not at all

Climate saving behaviour is binary and it’s global. We’re either all in, or all out. You cannot get off the bus or sit this one out.

As a species we have been very good at creating multiple view points on many topics. Each side convinced that they are right. History being written by the victors and the untrodden path left shrouded in what-ifs.

With the Internet we have “culture wars” where no choice is made but factions live side by side (with various degrees of friction) and multiple opinions matter.

While there are a few points of view on climate change, the science seems to be clear. But then not everyone believes in science. Most engineers believe in science. But not all the ones I know choose to believe climate scientists. They explain to me (with no data) that forces bigger than us must be doing it (volcanoes, solar weather etc.).

Many don’t believe in religion. Whether they see the irony in being scientific, rejecting religion as hocus pocus but then assigning climate change to a “force bigger than us that we can’t understand” I’m not sure.

We cannot have co-existing points of view on climate and succeed. We, as a species are either for cleaning up our act, or we are not. There can be no compromise. To be successful with a path of modifying the atmosphere the vast majority of the world will need to act. It is not a personal choice, it is a collective one.

The world seems to be increasingly insisting that we need to clean up our act. Whether “right” or “wrong” does not matter, it looks like it is happening. There will be a battle for public opinion but will not be national. It will be global.

Will Peace Keeping Forces, may become environmental enforcers working at the behest of the UN, the World Bank, the IMF, WHO or goodness knows? Perhaps the IPCC will mobilise an army to takeover polluting plants and shut them down.

I’ve been a banging the drum for a technology led 4th industrial revolution for years, but I now feel we will have a technologically enabled, climate led one.

The implications of technologies such as AI, Autonomous Vehicles, Remote Sensing, Big Data etc. means that the outcomes will be similar to those I’ve written about before but they will be a by-product. I’ve realised the optimisation function has changed, or it was always this and I’ve just woken up to it.

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Gareth Davies

Innovation Expert with 30+ years of experience living and working across the world. I apply an engineering approach to helping companies innovate and achieve commercial success.

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