Can we get there? Within the last 15 minutes of ABC’s show, Earth 2100, a positive picture of our potential future was painted. (How is that for alliteration?) The interviewed experts posed that it would be possible to perform the heavy lifting of global clean-up by 2050, with only the peripheries to remain after that. Really?
Now, many bloggers and commentators have spoken out that the first 100 minutes of the show were simply too devastatingly depressing. I don’t know. I thought the bulk of the show was pretty entertaining. Instead, it was the end that brought me crashing down into middle of the afternoon, bathrobe shuffling, bacon eating depression. If the bright, hopeful version of our future requires us to bond together globally in loving harmony in order to completely revolutionize our cultures, values and worldviews… I think I just peed a little.
I don’t normally consider myself a pessimist, certainly not a realist. Normally I fully and heartily endorse optimistic dreamland. It is a great place to walk the dog or grab a doughnut. But when it comes to sustaining human life on earth we got some serious shiz to tend to. And I am starting to fret that we just can’t make the changes soon enough.
So I was watching the ABC special together with a friend. He felt that radical change was already occurring in the U.S. and certainly he is correct. Obama is nothing if not a frothing madman of radical and visionary change. But… I don’t know. Obama doesn’t run the nation alone, and I am not even convinced a bulk of his efforts at change are going to turn out to be sound ones. I mean, is anyone else worried here? How much money does the world have left to throw at this problem? And is it going to be enough? And soon enough?
For example, Architecture 2030 states that 76% of U.S. electricity consumption is for building operation. 76%. It would seem obvious that something would have to be done about such significant energy consumption for us to make any progress toward licking global warming by 2050. So that means we have 40 years to do what? Completely retool how we construct modern buildings, tear down and replace our entire infrastructure, and do so while economically in the crapper? How many homes and factories and office buildings and commercial outlets can we tear down and replace in forty years? What materials are we going to use to do so? What energy will we use for the work? And yet, we will have to get down and dirty now. I am just not sure that we are up for it. Even with the recession, life might just be too comfortable to give up all the unsustainable, electricity draining bloggers out there.