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Three Technologies That Can Stop Climate Change. Why Isn't the World Making a Massive Investment in Developing Them?

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Lawrence Livermore National Laser Fusion Facility
Lawrence Livermore National Laser Fusion Facility
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Over the last 15 years, bold and extensive worldwide programs have been initiated to defeat climate change. These include an extensive shift to green energy sources such as windmills, solar panels, hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as the introduction of carbon capture technology that can extract carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Even private citizens around the globe are contributing by adopting vegetarian diets or cutting back on meat consumption in the hope of shrinking the livestock industry. Farm animals, particularly cows, produce a significant amount of methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas that is eighty times more potent than CO2in warming the earth.

We have also witnessed the emergence of an extensive climate industry in government, academia, the business world, and the public sector. Among the staggering number of eco groups, the Climate Reality Project inspired by Al Gore boasts representation in 174 countries with 42,377 trained climate reality leaders. Add to these the vast amount of financing that has poured into the fight against climate change. Since 1993 the U.S.alone has spent more than $150 billion on climate change activities. And the list of current initiatives and the numbers of participants worldwide in climate-related activities are so extensive they would fill several volumes.

Shouldn't this call for celebration? Indeed, many in the climate industry are celebrating and raising their hopes that climate change will be defeated.

Unfortunately, the sad and disturbing truth is that these impressive initiatives have not been extensive enough nor have they scaled quickly enough to combat the accelerating rate of planetary degradation. The world is now in worse shape than when Al Gore's groundbreaking 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth, warned about the threat of climate change to sustaining life on planet earth.

Our planet is warming at an unprecedented pace. NASA reported that 2021 was tied for the 6th hottest year ever recorded, and "the past eight years are the warmest years since modern record-keeping began in 1880." Also alarming, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is greater than in past years. In 2008 scientists warned that the atmosphere should not exceed 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2. In January 2022 NASA reported the CO2 level at 420ppm. Adding to these worries, a new study published on August 11th, 2022 presented data confirming that the Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the world. Since the Arctic contributes significantly to regulating global temperature, a warming Arctic could accelerate the heating of the rest of the planet to dangerous levels. This means that today we are closer to unprecedented climate catastrophes or what scientists are calling doomsday.

Elizabeth Kolbert, distinguished science journalist and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning bookThe Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History endorsed that conclusion . She told New Yorker editor David Remnick on NPR on August 13, 2022, that worldwide commitments and programs to address climate change were insufficient to prevent disasters. She added that "the problem is not one that gets solved...you simply make it worse or less worse." That is an astonishing statement that should be taken seriously and reflected on by all who are genuinely concerned about sustaining livability on our only home--a tiny rock floating in infinite space

Yet three existing technologies--nuclear fusion, carbon capture, and a 1000-mile fast-charging battery for vehicles--could stop climate change. Why there is not a comprehensive international program in place to bring these technologies to full capacity is baffling,"--considering the global acceleration of climate disasters, including deadly floods, out-of-control forest fires, and unprecedented extreme heat waves, with temperatures reaching as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit in some countries.

Add to these terrifying events a new threat that has been confirmed in a study published by researchers at the University of Hawaii on August 8, 2022. After an exhaustive study of historic data, they concluded that "half of all human infectious diseases in recorded history have been exacerbated by the mounting impacts of greenhouse gas-driven climate change." They warned that climate change is supercharging infectious diseases through the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Bernard Starr, PhD, is author of The Crucifixion of Truth, a drama set in 16th century Italy and Spain. Starr is a psychologist, journalist, and professor emeritus at CUNY, Brooklyn College. At Brooklyn College Starr taught developmental (more...)

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