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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lucy and the Sky with Carbon Emissions

History Channel this weekend has been re-airing Earth 2100, a 2 hour program originally aired on ABC in 2009. The program, narrated by Bob Woodruff, follows the fictitious Lucy, born January 1st, 2009, throughout her life as the effects of climate change destroy the world as we know it.

The story may be a work of fiction, however, the scenarios themselves are very real possibilities laid out by top scientists in fields relating to the earth and climate change. One of the main themes Lucy discusses is the futile attempts by a few individuals to use renewable green energy before catastrophe ensues. By the time the rest of the planet realizes that self sustainable "green" power is the only thing that can save them, it is too late.

The Center for a New American Security's simulation of a global summit on climate was another frightening scene. The real life Washington think tank staged this game in the summer before the program originally aired. The roles of global leaders were played by the worlds high level policy makers. Together they played out a scenario in which the year is 2015 and Miami and Bangladesh have both been destroyed by extreme weather brought on by climate change. Despite the fact that this was merely an elaborate political L.A.R.P., these policy makers were unable to even feign a compromise. China and India point out that America achieved it's status as an economic power house through it's industrial revolution. If other developing countries are not able to evolve similarly then they will never reach a point of economic relevance in the world. China and India continued to barter with the U.S. but in the end no viable compromise could be made about emission reductions. These events beg the question, if we can't even make rational, mutually beneficial decisions whilst playing pretend, what hope do we have to solve these problems in reality?

The airing of this program on the heels of President Obama's announcement Friday to award tax credits to U.S. companies that manufacture green technologies only strengthens the confidence of those who support the decision. No one can argue against the need for the 17,000 new American jobs this tax credit could potentially create, and now for many it seems clear that creating these jobs in the green technology sector has multiple benefits. Whether or not these "green jobs" could grow in to a global movement which could save our future is anyone's guess, but somewhere out there in story land, Lucy is crossing her fingers.


  1. So the LARP of the summit reflected pretty acurrately the copenhagen meeting. I really don't expect everyone to buck up and do the right thing. They will probably use some drastic and dangerous experiments to reduce atmospheric c02

  2. lets all hope Americans start working harder and faster to fix our planet, I am hopeful the rest of the world will follow.