I highly recommend watching “Chasing Ice” — a documentary about the efforts of photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey that shines light on the effects of climate change, directed by Jeff Orlowski.
The message of the film is simple, and it’s one we echo daily here at AIMS Power: The Earth is becoming warmer, faster than ever before, and we need to try to counteract that in any way possible. If you don’t believe me, watch the film, but also take note that this year is the seventh-warmest year in recorded history, according to the World Meteorological Organization
The film conveys this message with breathtaking time-lapse video of the controlled-demolition-like retreat and shrinkage of the world’s glaciers.
The fact is that 95 percent of the Earth’s glaciers (outside of Antarctica) are either retreating or shrinking, and through the past decade or so, it’s done it at a rate twice as fast as the cumulative movement during the 100 years prior in some cases, according to Balog. The problem isn’t that we can’t handle it technologically, economically, or even policy-wise. The problem, he notes in a Ted Talk, is one of perception.
I can’t help but think that at the core of this problem are big-oil companies dumping money into public relations campaigns to denounce climate change. Common sense will prevail, though, in my opinion.
We can already see the massive gains accrued because of our commitment to solar energy, and it’s impossible to ignore how beneficial it is for our environment.
“Toward the end of last year, installed global photovoltaic generating capacity passed the milestone of 100 gigawatts — enough to meet the energy needs of 30 million households and save more than 53 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, according to a recent report by the EPIA – European Photovoltaic Industry Association, a solar power industry lobby group.” (source: The New York Times)
“Right now, today, the world has installed 130 gigawatts of PV, up from 1.4 gigawatts in 2000,” Wolfgang Palz, a former manager of the European Commission’s development program for renewable energies, told a conference organized by France’s National Center for Scientific Research, CNRS, in Paris last month.” (source: The New York Times)
These realities have resulted in an emissions reduction of 18 percent in Europe by last year, according the European Environment Agency.
I could sit here and throw research paper after research paper, expert opinion after expert opinion at you on the real-life effects of climate change, but isn’t the right direction to take so obvious? Isn’t it so obvious that big-oil conglomerates with billions of dollars have suppressed these realities over fear of losing market share in the energy biz?
“The great irony and tragedy of our time is that a lot of the general public thinks that science is still arguing about this stuff,” says Balog in his Ted Talk.