Hurricane, your reply suggests that since we have already caused drastic change that would take a long time to correct, we just give up and drive the situation further out of control?
What I want to see:
Renewable energy sources, the sooner the better:
Wind and water-based turbine systems, there is plenty of room on the Earth, especially at sea
Large solar plants: it's reported that a 1.5 x 1.5 mile square in the Nevada desert could collect enough power to replace the entire current system of power plants
Advance batteries/power storage: We need carbon-based batteries, nanotubes show promise but something like graphene is probably more feasible at this point.
Hydrogen fuel cells (the most abundant element in the Universe): Optimal vehicle fuel source, byproduct is water
More efficient electrolysis process: Break that water back into hydrogen and oxygen to be recycled for more fuel cells.
As one of my previous posts suggested, the whole world does NOT need to switch all at once, only the main economic centers. The U.S., China, and the E.U. would do wonders and provide time for the rest to slowly move off.
I realize that my post yesterday regarding 3D printing might not have had the impact that I was expecting on this conversation, considering that some of you may not have any interest in emerging technologies in the stock market.
While I cannot, unfortunately source the information that I'm about to relay (it's from The Motley Fool http://www.fool.com/
) and their paid investment advice, let me say that the single hottest market for investment currently is the field of 3D printing.
In financial circles 3D printing is seen (again, I hope you'll just take my word on this) as a potential revolution in goods production as significant and far reaching as the desktop printer was to desktop publishing. Perhaps even more far reaching, considering that 3D printing is also expanding into the medical realm as experiments continue with printing things like ears etc.
The investment world's general line of thinking on 3D printing is that given time (say 10 years maybe) it has the capacity to completely change the goods production and distribution model that we currently understand.
If it becomes possible for us to simply buy "templates" and then print consumer goods ourselves, this would (clearly) transform every industry and production and distribution infrastructure on the planet. (again, this is conjecture and supposition on my part, based on movements in the economic markets. But that's where smart money is investing right now).
Which leads me back to why I hold the position that I do: 3D printing is an advancement that is a natural outgrowth of the free market and research and development. assuming that all of the stuff that I said is true
(admittedly, conjecture - but backed by real movements in the financial markets) then the "shape" of the business infrastructure of the world may be headed for a huge transformation in very short order. And (again, just my conjecture, but not unreasonable I think) one that will change and probably ameliorate (to an extent) the carbon emissions profile of the industrialized world.
And that's just one
potentially transformative technology. I'm a huge far of Neil Stephenson, and his novel The Diamond Age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diamond_Age
) presents a speculative view of a world shaped by the wildly transformative power of nanotechnology.
These (and other) factors are why I reach my conclusion that pushing for mitigation efforts through governmental policies seems unnecessary and possibly highly detrimental to the "natural" evolution of transformative technologies that will almost certainly have a profound impact on the current situation.
So basically, yes. Do nothing, because (in my considered opinion) there are looming changes, and doing something
to enforce change in the current infrastructure has the very real possibility of delaying, redirecting or completely derailing emergent solutions to the problems that you've identified.