where the experts come to talk

Optimism - or realism?

Are there any realistic solutions to the climate/food threat? Is there enough time to avoid its worst consequences? And what are the possible answers being considered?

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Are there solutions

for future food insecurity?

There are technologies

widely available, on the shelf,

ready for use, which can replace

the fossil fuel technologies

we depend on for energy.

We don’t need new inventions.

Spend the money. It’s not that much.

You’ll still have money for a vacation

afterwards. Take the train.

You mentioned after your research

that you were vaguely optimistic.

Why?

More optimistic than when I went in,

was the phrase,

which is not quite the same thing

as unbridled optimism.

Because going in one knew

that the warming was happening,

one could see nothing

very useful being done about it.

I mean, since we signed

the Kyoto Accord in 1997,

the average growth in emissions per

year went from 1% to 3% globally.

That’s not exactly progress, is it?

So you couldn’t see a way through.

I couldn’t see a way through

and I feared the worst. Well, lots

of the worst probably will happen,

but what I can see now, after having

spent time with all the experts,

is ways of getting

through this problem without taking

losses that are too horrendous.

There will be losses.

It’s too late to have no damage.

There are technologies

widely available,

on the shelf, ready for use.

How can the person in the street

make a difference?

We have to change the system,

not a political revolution,

but restructuring

the world economy quickly.

Shifting from fossil fuels to wind

and solar and geothermal energy.

We’ve got to raise the energy

efficiency of the economy, and fast.

You’ve said that 1% investment

in new technologies

could play a major role in averting

some of the security challenges.

It turns out

that there are possibilities,

they need to be investigated,

to actually physically

contain the warming

by direct intervention

in the atmosphere,

not as a solution,

but as a stopgap measure.

A measure to win another decade

to get your emissions down,

and not transgress that boundary.

Geo-engineering is the term.

Put aerosols in the stratosphere

to block some of the sunlight,

thicken up the clouds over the ocean

with the same purpose.

Ways of approaching

the problem that are simple,

direct physical interventions

to hold the temperature down,

while you work on the real agenda

of getting out of fossil fuel burning.

Because it’s... We could do it in time,

but at this point it would take

a heroic effort to move fast enough,

to avoid going

past two degrees, frankly.

It’s possible, but do I believe in it?

Yes, and Father Christmas too.

Are there solutions

for future food insecurity?

There are technologies

widely available, on the shelf,

ready for use, which can replace

the fossil fuel technologies

we depend on for energy.

We don’t need new inventions.

Spend the money. It’s not that much.

You’ll still have money for a vacation

afterwards. Take the train.

You mentioned after your research

that you were vaguely optimistic.

Why?

More optimistic than when I went in,

was the phrase,

which is not quite the same thing

as unbridled optimism.

Because going in one knew

that the warming was happening,

one could see nothing

very useful being done about it.

I mean, since we signed

the Kyoto Accord in 1997,

the average growth in emissions per

year went from 1% to 3% globally.

That’s not exactly progress, is it?

So you couldn’t see a way through.

I couldn’t see a way through

and I feared the worst. Well, lots

of the worst probably will happen,

but what I can see now, after having

spent time with all the experts,

is ways of getting

through this problem without taking

losses that are too horrendous.

There will be losses.

It’s too late to have no damage.

There are technologies

widely available,

on the shelf, ready for use.

How can the person in the street

make a difference?

We have to change the system,

not a political revolution,

but restructuring

the world economy quickly.

Shifting from fossil fuels to wind

and solar and geothermal energy.

We’ve got to raise the energy

efficiency of the economy, and fast.

You’ve said that 1% investment

in new technologies

could play a major role in averting

some of the security challenges.

It turns out

that there are possibilities,

they need to be investigated,

to actually physically

contain the warming

by direct intervention

in the atmosphere,

not as a solution,

but as a stopgap measure.

A measure to win another decade

to get your emissions down,

and not transgress that boundary.

Geo-engineering is the term.

Put aerosols in the stratosphere

to block some of the sunlight,

thicken up the clouds over the ocean

with the same purpose.

Ways of approaching

the problem that are simple,

direct physical interventions

to hold the temperature down,

while you work on the real agenda

of getting out of fossil fuel burning.

Because it’s... We could do it in time,

but at this point it would take

a heroic effort to move fast enough,

to avoid going

past two degrees, frankly.

It’s possible, but do I believe in it?

Yes, and Father Christmas too.

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Ahmad Shah Masood
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