Thinking alternatives: From “Mobile” to “Mobility”

Shai Agassi is the CEO of The Better Place to get rid of oil dependency (especially for running vehicles). The idea: Give away electric cars for free (like mobile phones) and make the batteries part of the electric grid system (instead of a costly component of the car). You basically pay for miles, thus the service of mobility – not for the hardware.

Here is an interesting interview with him:

100 months to desaster

Scientists and celebrities raise the alarm regard global warming. Prince Charles for example claims that there’re only 100 months left to act. On the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit 2009 the economist Nicholas Stern confronts politicians and scientists with a dire outlook of the future if politicians fail to act swiftly on carbondioxide emissions.

Obviously there is a strong consensus among scientists, that politicians haven’t taken the issue serious enough in the last years. The Bush administration did not only oppose the Kyoto Protocol – it failed to raise the public awareness about the issue, even negated that global warming is a problem at all. As a result 66% of Republican voters think the global warming issue is “exaggregated” (44% of all Americans). Only 41% of the Republicans admit that global warming has started to show effects in nature (76% Democrats). There is even a documentary claiming the whole thing is a swindle to allocate research funds.

The mere difference in these numbers of the Republicans and Democrats show that politicians are responsible! They set the agenda, they rally their voters, they need to act – it is not enough to hope that the market will act upon their behalf. This is not going to happen – or: It will happen too late. The reason for this is that clime change is too slow to be anticipated by individuals or corporations.

Nicholas Stern has estimated two years ago that countries have to invest 1 percent of the GDP to address the climate change issue. If they don’t do that, the cost will consume up two 20 percent of the GDP. And these figures may even be too optimistic.

Global Warming Price Tag – $7 Trillion

BBC reports:

A report by economist Sir Nicholas Stern suggests that global warming could shrink the global economy by 20%.

But taking action now would cost just 1% of global gross domestic product, the 700-page study says.

Tony Blair said the Stern Review showed that scientific evidence of global warming was “overwhelming” and its consequences “disastrous”.

It doesn’t get worse than this

Michael Ruppert doesn’t hesitate to comment on Rita – the second category 5 Hurricane that is making landfall this year. It will possibly be desasterous to US economy:

The remaining half of Gulf energy production undamaged by Katrina is directly in Rita’s crosshairs.

He is quoting several articles. For instance this quote by John Kilduff, vice president of risk management at Fimat USA in New York:

Rita is developing into our worst-case scenario. This is headed right into our other major refining center just after all the damage done to facilities in Louisiana. From an energy perspective it doesn’t get any worse than this.

Sleepwalking to the end of earth

Geoffrey Lean reports from a gathering of climate scientists in Exeter (invited by Tony Blair) after alarming signs have been discovered that the climate change could be faster and much worse than ever expected – with a point of no return reached before 2020.

I don’t even want to quote from this article – you got to read it yourself. The second half is a illustration about the emerging consequences: water wars, disappearing nations, flooding, uninhabitable earth, rainforest fires, the big freeze, starvation, acid oceans, diseases and hurricanes. You name it – they have it.

Science published a study yesterday, that offers evidence that global warming already causes stronger hurricanes like Katrina. So eventually Katrina could be the first encounter of a whole series of such hurricanes in the coming years – thus maybe hampering the USA to fully recover from its loss of 25% oil production caused by the destruction to oil platforms, pipelines and refineries.

I remember a quote by George Bush Sr. (the same old man that is now traveling the US to collect money for a Katrina relief fund) at the Earth Summint 102 (and this quote was repeated by Dick Cheney in October 2001):

The American way of life is not negotiable.

BTW, Don’t miss this cartoon.

Now – Europe has it’s own bill to pay here, but the US is a) the biggest producer of carbondioxide (25%) and the only nation that ignores the calls of the international commnunity. Why is the Bush administration so relentless? Is it stupidity? Calculation?

Stan Moore a year ago:

In the end, after a period of indeterminable length, but possibly quite short, the American way of life will fade into history. If mankind survives the related upheaval, and if future archaeologists and sociologists and anthropologists examine the remains of the former American civilization and its impact on the world, it will be determined to have been yet another blow out of an empire — consumed with wealth accumulation, beset by corruption, and ultimately unsustainable. But just because serious thinkers and leaders of the current status quo know it is not sustainable, does not mean that they can resist the alluring attempt to continue sustaining it.

Climate waring as Siberia melts

Scientists warn about a depot of 70 billion tons of methane ready to be released into the atmosphere as the permafrost in Siberia melts due to global warming. Methane is 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide.

An international research partnership known as the Global Carbon Project earlier this year identified melting permafrost as a major source of feedbacks that could accelerate climate change.