Mike Parker, Chairman of SeSaME, writes…
THINK about it. You’re an astronaut tasked with keeping your space module to its planned trajectory. Suddenly there is system failure. You calmly move into pragmatic response mode. No emotions or ideological assumptions here. The wrong response and you quickly become just another aimless addition to a huge galaxy.
Astronaut extraordinaire Tim Peake would have his trained response to such a demanding situation: the acronym FORDEC. Facts; Options; Risks; Decide; Execute; Check.
Let’s see how humanity, currently the masters steering life on earth, might apply the wisdom of an astronaut’s approach in responding to planet earth’s current system failure.
We have the problem that much of mankind has been polluting the Earth for decades, particularly with excessive production of Co2. This has meant rising temperatures, increased global warming, and more extreme weather conditions.
1) Act immediately. Develop known, well established and freely available low carbon energy sources, by expanding wind, solar, tidal/land hydro, and heat pumps. 2) End all reliance on fossil fuels. 3) Reduce dependence on the extreme pollutant that is nuclear energy. 4) Tackle building heat loss. 5) Become a decarbonised society that can provide jobs and income to local people.
1) It becomes just another task, amongst many, and left until too late.
2) Society unable to work with a fact driven, cross party task group, thus losing the leadership needed to achieve continuous comprehensive change. 3) Decisions dominated by change resistant vested interests. 4) Insufficient consultation with and support for fossil fuel suppliers and users having to rebrand, re-train and reinvest.
1) Create a permanent, cross party task group of key stakeholders, to plan and implement a response to the Facts, Options and Risks already described. 2) Action needed left solely to the wishes and agenda of a current leader.
Do it now. The choice is clear. We can decide to go for decision one or two.
Get it wrong and planet earth won’t have much to offer, just be another aimless presence in that same huge galaxy. There’s no remedy to reverse failed choices on this looming system failure.