November 18, 2009
Revkin Gets Real on Climate Challenge
In the video below, Andrew Revkin offers a refreshingly pragmatic assessment of climate change in the context of the broader arc of global development:
"The energy challenge is not just about carbon dioxide. The energy challenge we face right now on this planet includes the two billion people on this planet right now, who, if they have something to eat today will be cooking it on dung or firewood. And a million and a half of them die young, mostly women and kids, every year because they are breathing indoor smoke from these guttering fires built from those fuels. That's just as much an energy challenge as figuring out how to store electricity from windmills."
Revkin also explains why we need innovation - both technological and societal - to deal with the global challenges we face:
"To me, climate is not the story of our time. That underpinning transitional moment as we are making this potential leap from that testosterone fossil fuel sprint to a more reasoned pace, a more reasoned, literally, pace...If we can find away to get through that transition, to soften the blows, to think a little bit ahead, to start to pull on our greatest resources as a species which is our innovative potential. And the thing that is going to make this really hard is it can't just be a technological innovation....This isn't just turning down the lights. We do need that huge sustained effort at innovation if we are going to get through this transition."
Watch the video below to see the full talk he gave at Warren Wilson College.
"Thoughts on Ending Energy Poverty and Copenhagen's Zero-Sum Game"
Innovating to Zero: Gates Wants Clean, Cheap Energy Fast