Almost 13 years ago I published a post with the title Projects that will (perhaps) save the planet. This was a random collection of ideas1 that could contribute to countering climatic change. The post was then updated at regular intervals with new planet-saving projects as I became aware of them.
The fact is we have not made any spectacular progress over the last 13 years. COPs, the big annual climate jamborees, come and go with ever increasing numbers of participants and arguably ever decreasing success in their attempts to “save the planet” 2.
Saving the Planet seems to have enormous difficulties to go mainstream, and we are essentially left with micro-measures.
This morning, I was surprised to find two articles on ScienceDaily with the following titles:
and a quick search yielded a two years old post :
No-one seems to be ashamed to come up with yet another save-the-planet-patch. Save the planet has become just another catchphrase3. While this is all good food for memetics, it is also rather sickening to think that we, as a society of AI-aided intelligent bipeds prefer bickering over insignificant micro-issues (such as national pride, the bad Putin, the good Biden, the wily Xi and the sex of Angels) rather than tackling real issues.
It’ s pretty obvious that we’re not going to save the planet any time soon, because there will be no planet left by the time we’ ll need it. Remember Drake’s equation? There is this L factor4 which does not take into account human short-sightedness and greed. And that is why we will no longer be there and capable of emitting detectable and intelligible signals when someone from “out-there” will eventually reach out to this remarkable species of ours.Notes
- Remember: this is Wergosum’ s random blog!
- The number of participants at COP 26 in Glasgow was about 38000. This is about 2700 tons of participant biomass, all ferried to the venue and back home burning fossil fuels. Details about participants can be found here.
- like Driven into the mountains, which I wrote about in 2011.
- L = the length of time for which civilizations emit detectable signals. We can set this to approximately 250 years after Heinrich Hertz produced the first artificial radio signals in 1887. This is approx. 0.0000000178571 times the age of the universe