There has been universal failure among nations, from dictatorships to democracies, to genuinely comprehend and coherently grapple with climate change. Doubtless seemingly insurmountable hurdles like short-termism in State politics, head-in-the-sand avoidance, or individual ego-driven distractions have stifled real progress. When there has been serious debate, only earth-bound solutions seem to get air time for a climate problem that is indelibly tied up with the solar system. So perhaps it is timely to propose two places, beyond Paris, that world leaders ought to keep in mind during COP21: the Sun and the rest of Space.
With this week’s news focused on the many Heads of State attending talks at the global summit in Paris, thoughts naturally linger on climate change. This is a subject I rarely glimpse through the vistas of this blog (example: Earth Hour Power) yet it remains ever present – an elephant in the room that influenced the drafting of my debut novel (noted below).
In Paris, behind save-the-planet soundbites and the social media glow around “#COP21”, the political pow-wow depends largely on nation state leaders looking at each other for answers. One trusts that this does not result in pointless point scoring and power plays. Either way, perhaps our best hopes could lay outside the summit, over the earthly horizon, through our solar system… maybe even beyond.
Sir David Attenborough, the deeply experienced documentary TV broadcaster and internationally revered Naturalist, is currently proposing a vastly improved tapping of solar energy. The solar energy campaign that Attenborough backs is the Global Apollo Programme. Listen to this very short BBC interview for Attenborough’s proposal to gather, store and transmit energy from the Sun…
In my view cheap, renewable ‘Energy’ considerations are pivotal to climate change debates and better harnessing the Sun sounds like a prime solution to Earth’s demands.
Beyond solar energy, I have been intrigued by this developing story related by its setting in ‘Space’… Asteroid mining for potential fuel/energy streams, various raw materials and precious metals.
In a world where (largely northern hemisphere) human consumption and oblivious apathy are offset by (largely southern hemisphere) human cost and widespread suffering, asteroid mining is potentially the ultimate game changer.
Asteroid mining is something unexpected, unknown, unproven… yet it is something to draw attention to as an alternative idea, an analogue, an argument. And with each week, month, year passing our science, tech and engineering knowledge and capabilities progress towards making asteroid mining an everyday reality.
For such reasons I could not not write about asteroid mining as a key facet to the storyline of my debut novel Monkey Steals Plum – ditto the trilogy in development for 2016.
Before the Sun sets on COP21 n Paris, I hope that radical new scientific thought and innovation will get a chance to be heard among the seminars, speeches and key statements reported by the vast international press corps. If so, much good can come from COP21’s carousel of chin-wag, chin-stroke, and chin-chin.