The circular economy: 5. Not as clever as we might think

 

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Working from the bottom upwards; The earth beneath our feet is complex, we are in the early stages of developing energy sources which are not only “renewable” but also sustainable. Now look at the sky; think how much energy is needed to evaporate enough water to form a single cloud.

The science: The problem with ignorance is that it does not know what it does not know. Whatever we might think, the global biosphere is very complex.  Think of the super-computers that are now being used to try to forecast the weather in the UK – not very easy because weather systems are very complex, global and involve enormous amounts of energy and atmospheric gases.

The bad news: When ice melts at the polar icecaps, sea levels rise on low level islands and people lose their homes or drown. As we produce more Carbon dioxide, coral reefs die. By the way, the Thames barrage is just about on its limit; if the wrong combination of moon (tides) and wind occurs, it may not be high enough – will not soon but we do not know exactly when.

The good news: I remain optimistic about our technological ability to slow down and hold the decline.  There is some progress. What I am less optimistic about is whether our politicians, who because of democracy are inevitably interested in the next election,  will do enough, fast enough – because it will involve some tough decisions.

Bill Butterworth 12th March 2016

PS If you are a gardener, try reading “How garden composting works” published by MX Publishing and set your garden soil alive.