maandag 28 december 2009

a vision on Copenhague summit

Looking back at the end of the year, after the Copenhague summit, I feel encouraged to pursuit my personal small scale initiatiave to develop a way to live in a sustainable way and choose for quality of rural living.

The poor result of The Copenhagen climate summit by the end of December showed that a multilateral treaty that worldwide aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, finding consensus on how to realise that, setting targets and sharing costs in doing so is not within our governments' reach. Altough we all are related, sharing the same global problems, our leaders act as if we were divided. Maybe a part of it is due to the fact that we are not used to direct investements while returns partly flow in on a longer term. A longer term than the re-election of our political leaders take. Of course there's more than that.

Prior to the Copenhague summit, "Climate gate" re-opened the discussion on the role of (the IPCC on unvealing information regarding the impact of) human CO2 emission in relation to global warming and climate change. During the summit it became clear that Clinton/Obama did not want to accept a treaty that they would find difficult to sell at home -history repeats itself- and that China did not want to be judged as a major contributor in absolute CO2 emissions but as small contributor in terms of CO2 emission per capita and as a consequence doesn't want to sacrifice economical growth to the extend needed to contribute keeping global warming under the 2 degrees Celsius. Europe, too divided to act as a solid and coherent player, asked the others to strive for more ambitious commitments but didn't succeed in it's plea nor can it solve this global problem by herself.

If my project was about reducing CO2 I would have learned from this summit that our governments on a global level fail to take substantial steps. Since there's no collective consensus all there is left is local or personal initiative that can speed up developments in the right direction. Even if there is no 100% scientific proof on the relation between human CO2 emission and climate change there is a lot a reasons to look for alternative ways of building, heating and living:

Suppose in the future we will have a 100% scientific insight on the impact of our behaviour on global warming -and we already have reason to think in that direction as CO2 is recognised as a green house gas and we do emit a rapidly growing vast amount of it every year- we might not be able to do anything anymore. How to repair climatical changes and life in oceans and earth, changed global amounts of warmth, rain and dryness and changed seasonality and changed ecosystems?

Secondly cost may be irreversibly high -building huge dams and dikes around the world to fight floods, offer shelter or even new life to hundreds of millions of people ? Probably it will be so expensive to adapt to climate changes that we will not be able to carry the burden by then, as is stated in the Stern report.

Thirdly if we globally support industries (for example agriculture, aircraft)with subsidisation or lowered taxes why not pay comparable attention to clean industries that may benefit from support while offering massive employement and economical and social benefits in return, and cheaper cleaner energy besides? The sooner, the less competetive disadvantages, the faster developments of the industry will lead to cheaper, better functioning alternatives. Economics of scale -(global) consensus- is key and can only but help.

Fourthly, despite the argument of CO2 emission we do face indisputable and limited amounts of natural resources that ask for adapted behaviour. Prices of energy are expexted to continue to increase for oil, gas as well as electricity. Using current pricing the Dutch governement expect grit pricing parity between solar and conventional electricity within just over a decay (senter Novem report December 2008). Bear in mind that prices are increasing and that solar panels are expected to deliver up to 80% of their initial power even after 25 years, having an amortisation of over 3 decays. Not one decay. If it is not for the environmental reasons only to adapt our behaviour, than be it for economical reasons.

Last but not least, pursuing alternatives for fossile energy will diminish dependancy of sometimes dictatorial regimes that worldwide supply oil and gas, reducing geo political tensions and coming from that: war and costs resulting from geo-policies that have a high price. Both in a finanicial way, as we all are paying for the consequences of those tensions, even tough we do not find it's cost in our energy bills, as well as in human capital. No one owns wind, nobody can own the sun, at the same time everybody can harvest energy from wind and sun and benefit from it. Those resources are free, eternally available, renewable by nature, clean, and we do not need to go drill for it, refine it, nor transport and distribute it over thousands of miles, nor protect it's way from the source to the customer. Most renewable energy flows freely, without intervention.

I think decentralised energy and water production both economically, socially, environmentally and geo politically is a smart path to pursuit. And by the end of 2009 I'm more convinced than before that we will have to do it ourselves. My project however is not (only) about that. Altough it touches it's subjects it is not about politics, nor is it about environmental preservation or economics. The Hohmes project is about quality, it offers a way to connect to the environment, to one's behaviiour, and from that point of view it adds to quality of life in numerous ways. It offers a higher standard of water management and aims at a higher quality of drinking water, and it offers to be more in control of primary resoucers and pursuits the possability of mobile living. Did I forget to mention that it also is about beauty and the fun I have in developping it and the hapiness I expect to find living in it? Well, it's mentionned now.

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten