Monday, January 20, 2014

Meeting the Challenge

Notwithstanding glamorous advertisements of automobiles posed in pristine natural landscapes, there is nothing to celebrate about machines dominating the urban landscape, nor in aiding and abetting humanity’s nasty habit of digging up those toxic carbonaceous substances again to burn and spew those byproducts of Fire into the atmosphere. Climate change and resource depletion are potential threats of such enormous proportions that, in a world nearly 100% dependent on Fire for transportation, any solutions must have high leverage and produce immediate results.

Such high leverage options are available. Though implementation to date has been fragmented, cities are developing automated transportation networks integrated with solar Electricity, notably in Uppsala in Sweden, at 60ยบ North (2/3 of the way from the equator to the North Pole) and in Silicon Valley. With research and engineering support from San Jose State University and the Presidio Graduate School, several Silicon Valley cities are organizing to create a sustainable alternative to automobile centered transportation, beyond Fire.

Given the risk of abrupt and devastating climate change, the incumbent carbon-dependent industries are in turn increasingly at risk of losing access to their asset portfolios (e.g., oil / gas / coal reserves). Governments will be forced to put out the Fire in order to alleviate ever-increasing and devastating climate instability. The movement will be slow at first. Then Mother Nature will “pick up the bat” and, in the face of looming unrelenting and unequivocal pressure from Her, the momentum for sweeping societal change will be unstoppable.

Can we stop the curtain from falling on the human saga? Now is the time for humanity to respond to the central challenge of the 21st Century.