At a time where tensions are high, discussions are ongoing and most countries are eager to brag about their positive efforts with flashy posters and distracting gimmicks one is left to wonder where do we really go from here. Making bigger and louder signs telling us to recycle, shut the lights when we leave the room, and take public transportation isn’t a full solution albeit helpful tips. Some say that the solution is one of innovation and technology for clean power. U.S. Secretary Moniz will be awarding $125 million for 41tech projects.
“As we look beyond COP21, the energy technologies the Department of Energy invests in today will provide the solutions needed to combat climate change and develop a global low-carbon economy in the future.” said U.S. Secretary Moniz.
I don’t disagree but this alone implies we should do nothing until the scientists and engineers of the world come up with a magical unlimited and clean energy source. The global procrastination, just like when you avoid doing your own work, means that all the fun is in the past and now you’ve got an all-nighter ahead of you. You just hope that the Netflix marathon was worth it and that you can make up the difference. We need to roll up our sleeves and avoid “business as usual” with a side of cheerful “things will get better”. Even if some of the political figures accept some responsibility and speak vaguely with a hopeful tone, we can’t pretend that optimism will clean our air and rebuild our ice caps. There’s a solid gap between encouraging speeches, treaty negotiations, innovation and real world solutions. We shouldn’t leave with the assumption that once we agree on values to decrease carbon emissions that resolution will be imminent. It will barely be the beginning and a late one at that. Current negotiations are whittling down texts line by line but what will be the transferable change? Don’t we need to begin with the end in mind?
With a legitimate, substantial effort to not only mitigate the situation but to resolve the global ideas about quality of life over return on investments can we truly come together with a unified direction of a better planet and a better life. We’ve been treating the earth like a buffet table, it might be time to put down the fork and think if we’re hungry. Just like with most weight loss attempts, the concepts are clear as day but you have to be ready to commit and prioritize quality of life over indulgence. You’re vocal about losing the weight but your actions bring you back to the pint of ice cream. You know what the right thing to do is. Will you do it?