No Miracles Needed
How Today’s Technology Can Save Our Climate and Clean Our Air
Author: Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University, California
Date Published: February 2023 : Paperback
The world needs to turn away from fossil fuels and use clean, renewable sources of energy as soon as we can. Failure to do so will cause catastrophic climate damage sooner than you might think, leading to loss of biodiversity and economic and political instability. But all is not lost! We still have time to save the planet without resorting to ‘miracle’ technologies. We need to wave goodbye to outdated technologies, such as natural gas and carbon capture, and repurpose the technologies that we already have at our disposal. We can use existing technologies to harness, store, and transmit energy from wind, water, and solar sources to ensure reliable electricity, heat supplies, and energy security. Find out what you can do to improve the health, climate, and economic state of our planet. Together, we can solve the climate crisis, eliminate air pollution and safely secure energy supplies for everyone.
Lays out the framework for how to solve the climate, air pollution and energy security problems of our times, including an honest analysis of what we should not be doing
Shares up-to-date information on the technologies available to solve these problems, providing actionable solutions to help fight the climate crisis
Provides suggestions on what individuals, communities and nations can do to solve energy issues, helping the reader take steps to save our planet
Explores the implications of the policies needed to fight climate change, providing insights into the current landscape and the solutions available
Length: 454 pages
It was announced today that the 2022 Holberg Prize is awarded to Catalan scholar Joan Martinez-Alier for his research in ecological economics, political ecology and environmental justice.
The healthy functioning of democracies depends on the quality of the information that frames debate within them. But digitalisation, the rise of social media and increasingly sophisticated forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are delivering new opportunities to poison the well of public discourse. Unfortunately, as a Guardian investigation illustrates, exploiting these is a 21stcentury growth industry.
Fogo Island is located northeast of the island of Newfoundland. 150 square miles in size, it is home to 2,500 persons. Beginning in 1954 the Canadian government introduced a resettlement plan for Newfoundland that encouraged populations in remote areas to relocate to more inhabited centers, arguing that government could not continue to provide needed services in sparsely settled areas. Between 1954 and 1975 this program resulted in the abandonment of 300 communities and nearly 30,000 people were moved.
But not Fogo Islanders.
Michael Schuman’s 2002 address “Going Local: New Opportunities for Community Economies” remains an inspiring guide for active citizens to work together in encouraging local production in their own settings. In it, he contrasts the dominant approach to area economic development, nicknamed TINA (from Margaret Thatcher’s infamous phrase, “There is No Alternative”) with LOIS: Local Ownership and Import Substitution.
As we consider the fate of the next generation on our planet, we can say with confidence that the future lies with a woman. The question is: Which one? There are two I’d like to introduce you to, one of whom will determine the future of our economy: TINA and LOIS. TINA comes from Maggie Thatcher, who said “There Is No Alternative” to global economy—T-I-N-A. Local elected officials, economic developers, and community planners have embraced TINA through two types of strategies. The first is to convince a company like Toyota to locate in your backyard; the second is to export your goods as far and wide as possible. But there is an alternative, and that alternative is LOIS, which stands for “Local Ownership and Import Substitution.”
This evening I would like to make four basic points: 1) LOIS is a better woman for economic development than TINA; 2) LOIS is more competitive than most of us think; 3) If we take LOIS seriously, she can help us make the term “economic development” worthy of the name; and 4) There are several practical steps you can and should take here and now, beyond the many groundbreaking activities you are already involved in.
With all the hype in the press these days about the information superhighway, artificial intelligence, chat bots and the use of computers to provide us with information, knowledge, wisdom, and false news, it is important that we understand a few basic concepts about human knowledge and learning, in order to avoid unrealistic expectations and to put the information revolution into a context that we can deal with in our daily lives. In 1980 Irish engineer Mike Cooley outlined the process whereby we sort the raw data which comes into our lives through our eyes, ears and other senses, over time or with experience, and how each of us progressively turns this data into information, then knowledge and eventually wisdom.
The little QR code is ubiquitous across India’s vastness.
You find it pasted on a tree next to a roadside barber, propped on the pile of embroidery sold by female weavers, sticking out of a mound of freshly roasted peanuts on a snack cart. A beachside performer in Mumbai places it on his donations can before beginning his robot act; a Delhi beggar flashes it through your car’s window when you plead that you have no cash.
The codes connect hundreds of millions of people in an instant payment system that has revolutionized Indian commerce. Billions of mobile app transactions — a volume dwarfing anything in the West — course each month through a homegrown digital network that has made business easier and brought large numbers of Indians into the formal economy.
Uncovering an early industry that employed more workers than any field other than farming. Historians of capitalism, including Marxists, have paid little attention to a critical event in the evolution of capitalism — the European discovery and expropriation of what Francis Bacon called “the Gold Mines of the Newfoundland Fishery, of which there is none so rich.” The success of the North Sea and Newfoundland fisheries depended on merchants who had capital to buy ships and other means of production, fish workers who had to sell their labor power in order to live, and a production system based on a planned division of labor. The long-distance fishing operations of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were among the first examples, and very likely the largest examples, of what Marx called manufacture — mass production, without machinery, of commodities that were sold for profit — “a specifically capitalist form of the process of social production.”