Skip Nav

The Politics of Climate

Table of Contents

❶This is how ice cycles work.

MOST READ NEWS

Related Stories
Introduction
Recent Articles

Modelica is a programming language, but it is not a language for software development! If you believe that language design can significantly affect the quality of software systems, then it should follow that language design can also affect the quality of energy systems.

Conventional software development is about building systems that live in a virtual world of pixels, files, databases, networks. The embedded controller is part of a physical system, sensing and actuating the physical world. I started my career designing embedded systems. You implement it in C. This leads to long feedback loops, inflexible designs, and guesswork engineering. But most critically, it denies engineers the sort of exploratory environment that fosters novel ideas.

There exist methodologies with the right intentions — model-based design with generated code seems to be coming into use here and there on industrial projects, for example. As a result, software engineers find a fluid, responsive programming experience on the screen, and a crude and clumsy programming experience in the world.

So more and more of our engineers have retreated into the screen. But climate change happens in the physical world. The technology to address it must operate on the physical world. The tools discussed so far are for scientists and engineers working on a problem. How can someone find the right problem to work on in the first place?

And how can they evaluate whether they have the right ideas to solve it? Everyone knows the high-level areas that need work: How do we surface these problems? How can they be exposed to process problems common across many projects? Where does she go from there? What are open problems in the field? What are the fringe ideas? What are the process bottlenecks? Why make improvements here? How would the world benefit? None of this information is at her fingertips.

For each topic, she would have to spend weeks tracking down and meeting with industry insiders. There are many reasons, of course, why organizations tend not to publicize their problems. What if there were some way Tesla could reveal their open problems? Suppose my friend uncovers an interesting problem in gas turbines, and comes up with an idea for an improvement. Is the improvement significant? Is the solution technically feasible? How much would the solution cost to produce? How much would it need to cost to be viable?

Who would use it? What are their needs? What metrics are even relevant? Again, none of this information is at her fingertips, or even accessible. For some valuable inventions, such as thermal energy storage for supermarkets and electric powertrains for garbage trucks , one wonders how the inventors stumbled upon such a niche application in the first place. In the case of garbage trucks, the answer is that the technology was developed for a different purpose, and the customer had to figure it out themselves:.

Consider the Plethora on-demand manufacturing service, which shows the mechanical designer an instant price quote, directly inside the CAD software, as they design a part in real-time. In what other ways could inventors be given rapid feedback while exploring ideas? Eco-Friendly Stimulus in the New York Times, proposing a government program to encourage people to scrap their old inefficient cars. There was enormous debate, before and after, about what the parameters of the program should be, and whether it would be effective.

Many claims made during the debate offered no numbers to back them up. Claims with numbers rarely provided context to interpret those numbers. And never — never! Readers had to make up their minds on the basis of hand-waving, rhetoric, bombast.

Say we allocate for the following program: Car-owners who trade in an old car that gets less than , and purchase a new car that gets better than , will receive a rebate. We estimate that this will get old cars off the road.

It will save of gas or worth of U. It will avoid CO 2 e, or of annual U. This passage gives some estimates of what the proposal would actually do. Some numbers above are in green. Drag green numbers to adjust them. Notice how the consequences of your adjustments are reflected immediately in the following paragraph.

The reader can explore alternative scenarios, understand the tradeoffs involved, and come to an informed conclusion about whether any such proposal could be a good decision. This is possible because the author is not just publishing words. Some numbers above are in blue. Readers are thus encouraged to examine and critique the model. If they disagree, they can modify it into a competing model with their own preferred assumptions, and use it to argue for their position. Model-driven material can be used as grounds for an informed debate about assumptions and tradeoffs.

Modeling leads naturally from the particular to the general. By exploring the model, they come to understand the landscape of that space, and are in a position to invent better ideas for all the proposals to come.

Model-driven material can serve as a kind of enhanced imagination. Climate change is a global problem. Discussion and debate will be central to figuring out the best actions to take. We need good tools for imagining, proposing, debating, and understanding these actions.

How do we get public perception and public discussion of energy and climate centered around evidence-grounded models, instead of tips, soundbites, factoids, and emotional rhetoric? Or — are you really saving the earth by turning off your lights at night? How do you know? Ten Brighter Ideas As with many areas of public interest, the common wisdom surrounding energy conservation consists of myths and legends, rules of thumb and superstitions.

We trust them blindly, not knowing whether our actions make any significant impact As you explore this document, imagine a world where we expect every claim to be accompanied by an explorable analysis, and every statistic to be linked to a primary source. Imagine collecting data and designing analyses in a collaborative wiki-like manner.

Imagine a concerned citizen who does a web search for "what can I do about climate change". These are lists of proverbs.

Little action items, mostly dequantified, entirely decontextualized. How does it compare to other sources of harm? How does it fit into the big picture? How many people would have to participate in order for there to be appreciable impact? And why trust them?

Climate change is too important for us to operate on faith. In order for model-driven material to become the norm, authors will need data, models, tools, and standards. Ten Brighter Ideas is embarrassingly incomplete. I had to give up after three analyses because it was too painful to find the data I needed. I was spending days desperately typing words into search engines, crawling around government websites, and scrolling through PDFs. This was before data. If a given country were to reduce deforestation by a given amount, how would that affect how much carbon it sinks?

And how do you calculate the effects as those quantities change? People have figured out these things! The formulas exist in Excel spreadsheets and Matlab code, buried on old hard drives somewhere. The rare author will be able to make up their own models ; most authors have no choice but to trust and regurgitate soundbites. Suppose there were good access to good data and good models. How would an author write a document incorporating them? Today, even the most modern writing tools are designed around typing in words , not facts.

These tools are suitable for promoting preconceived ideas, but provide no help in ensuring that words reflect reality, or any plausible model of reality. They encourage authors to fool themselves, and fool others. Imagine an authoring tool designed for arguing from evidence. Perhaps the tool would have built-in connections to fact databases and model repositories, not unlike the built-in spelling dictionary.

What if it were as easy to insert facts, data, and models as it is to insert emoji and cat photos? Furthermore, the point of embedding a model is that the reader can explore scenarios within the context of the document. Such tools are pretty much non-existent. The examples above use Tangle , a little library I made as a bootstrapping step. What might such a tool look like? Some sort of fusion of word processor and spreadsheet?

An Inform -like environment for composing dynamic text? The initial proposals I sketched for Our Choice were interactive graphics with scenario models, where readers could adjust parameters e. The book editors rejected these, immediately. The reason was that every number in the text required a citation. This was especially a concern for Al Gore, whose readership includes an aggressive contingent meticulously seeking proof of his deceptive fabrications. A commitment to sourcing every fact is laudable, of course.

Geoengineering is dicey because earth systems are complex and poorly understood, and interventions have unforseen consequences. To me, this is a clear and urgent call for much better tools for understanding complex systems and forseeing consequences. There is almost certainly some set of things we can do at planet-scale that would be effective and safe.

It is almost certainly the case that the best options are ideas that no one has thought of yet. Who will make the tools to enable people to conceive and verify these ideas? Fears of geoengineering play into the narrative of a people done in by their hubris. If we must be gods, we should at least be cautious and well-informed gods, with the best possible tools for seeing, understanding, and debating our interventions, and the best possible meta-tools for improving those tools.

The inventors of the integrated circuit were not thinking about how to preserve the environment. Neither were the founders of the internet. Foundational technology appears essential only in retrospect. They appear out of the blue, initially seem niche, and eventually become relevant to everything. They may be hard to predict, but they have some common characteristics. One is that they scale well.

Another is that they are purpose-agnostic. Climate change, closely understood, is terrifying. The natural human response to such a bleak situation is despair. How do we create the conditions under which scientists and engineers can do great creative work without succumbing to despair? And how can new people be encouraged to take up the problem, when their instinct is to turn away and work on something that lets them sleep at night?

Crisis can be motivating for some people in some circumstances — Rad Lab , Manhattan Project , etc. I wonder if we can learn from them. For both the climate worker and the soldier, the likelihood of imminent annihilation is a distraction , and they must be given a frame of mind that lets them concentrate on the work to be done.

Mikey Dickerson, an engineer who left Google to head up the heroic rescue of healthcare. This is real life. This is your country Our country is a place where we allocate our resources through the collective decisions that all of us make We do not allocate anybody to problems like [identity theft of kids in foster care, food stamp distribution, the immigration process, federal pensions, the VA] These are all problems that need the attention of people like you.

There are at least , people, every year, looking for an engineering problem to solve. I have my own plea to all such people —. One sometimes gets the feeling, as Ian Bogost put it, of rearranging app icons on the Titanic. I think the tech community can do better than that. You can do better than that. Climate change is the problem of our time. There are opportunities everywhere. You could nail a list of caveats to any sentence in this essay.

But the complexity of these problems is no excuse for inaction. I was trained as an engineer; engineers solve problems. This is a long game. One more reason to be thinking about tools, infrastructure, and foundations.

The next generation has some hard work ahead of them. Thanks to Mike Bauerly for asking the question. Sorry, those are science projects. Fusion is a Manhattan Project or an Apollo Project The rest of this is more like retooling for World War II , except with everyone playing on the same team.

What can a technologist do about climate change? This started with a tweet. Bret Victor worrydream - Aug 11 Worrying about sentient AI as the ice caps melt is like standing on the tracks as the train rushes in, worrying about being hit by lightning.

Bret Victor worrydream - Aug 12 If any "founders" out there want to "disrupt" our ppm atmospheric CO2, or "moonshot" ocean acidification, that would be cool. The notes below are my attempt to answer that question. Funding Public investment Private investment. Producing Energy The stuff around the thing Computation.

Moving Energy Networking moving in space Storage moving in time. Efficiency consuming how much? Also this Other technology Morale The world is not what you see. The primary source of public funding in the U. The DOE also funds the national labs , which do a lot of energy research.

Naomi Klein There is So there are basically only two scenarios for investors as a collective: The primary cause of global warming is the dumping of carbon dioxide into the sky. The stuff around the thing. Here are a few examples of the kinds of projects I find interesting: Altaeros uses a blimp.

The Altaeros Buoyant Airborne Turbine reduces the second largest cost of wind energy — the installation and transport cost — by up to 90 percent , through a containerized deployment that does not require a tower, crane, or cement foundation. We replace both with our new approach to tracker design.

The authors provide a "Memorandum for Action on Adaptation for Peace and Stability" that outlines principles to support processes for adaptation and peace such as the establishment of peace and conflict assessments for adaptation programmes, mainstreaming climate change adaptation in conflict-prone contexts, applying conflict sensitive approaches or provisions to ensure participatory processes to design and implement adaptation measures.

Mitigation and Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Several countries have taken a lead in climate vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning.

Their web sites contain reports, strategies, and tools which other countries can customize to their own situation. In addition to government and United Nations reports, an extensive research literature assesses options for response to global warming.

Much of this literature addresses the potential economic costs associated with different strategies. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Adaptation to global warming. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.

Learn how and when to remove these template messages. Some of this article's listed sources may not be reliable. Please help this article by looking for better, more reliable sources.

Unreliable citations may be challenged or deleted. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.

This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings about a topic. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style.

December Learn how and when to remove this template message. It has been suggested that Climate resilience be merged into this article. Discuss Proposed since June Effects of global warming. This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably.

Please consider splitting content into sub-articles, condensing it, or adding or removing subheadings. Climate engineering and Solar radiation management. Climate change adaptation in Nepal. Global warming portal Renewable Energy portal Sustainable development portal. Archived from the original on 2 May Evidence from a Global Wine Producer".

Journal of Business Ethics. Adaptation and mitigation options. K and Reisinger, A. Archived from the original on 1 May Archived from the original on 3 May Inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation. Archived from the original on 21 April Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Archived from the original on 3 March Archived from the original PDF on 8 May Archived from the original PDF on 1 March Retrieved 23 March Uncertainty in future climate change presents a key challenge for adaptation planning.

Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability". Archived from the original on 7 January Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming: Mitigation, Adaptation, and the Science Base. Archived from the original on 2 March Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Archived from the original on 9 February Distribution Impacts of Climate Change and Disasters: Perspectives on climate change and sustainability". Synergies and Tradeoffs between Adaptation and Mitigation. Archived from the original on 21 October Retrieved 10 January Archived from the original on 7 December Environmental and Resource Economics.

Archived from the original PDF on 16 March Vulnerability to Climate Change and Reasons for Concern: Archived from the original on 24 February Equity and Social Considerations.

Economic and Social Dimensions of Climate Change. Retrieved January 29, New Methods and Estimates. Archived from the original on 29 April World Development Report Development and Climate Change. Archived from the original on 10 April Archived from the original on 27 July Archived from the original on 18 October Archived from the original on 26 August Exploring policy interplay across different scales of governance". Archived PDF from the original on 10 September Environmental Politics and Policy.

Review of Policy Research. Archived from the original PDF on 2 April Archived PDF from the original on 27 August Archived from the original PDF on 22 September Archived from the original PDF on 24 June The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability: Retrieved 3 January Lessons learned from a bushfire vulnerability assessment". Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. Journal of Flood Risk Management: The New York Times. Emerging Lessons for Local Policy Development.

Using active-learning strategies to address student misunderstandings of global climate change. Ten years of applications and trends". Science of the Total Environment. Adaptive Capacity and Sustainable Development. Archived from the original on 23 December How to take adaptive capacity seriously. Overseas Development Institute Briefing Paper http: IDS bulletin, 39 4 , American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Archived from the original on 4 November Archived PDF from the original on 17 April Mitigation in the short and medium term until The UK Royal Society's website.

Archived from the original on 2 December How to Cool Earth--At a Price". Retrieved 15 January Addressing environmentally induced population displacements: Cited December 21, Analysing the field of "migration as adaptation" with Bourdieu's "Theory of Practice". Assessing the potential for and limits to insurance and market based mechanisms for encouraging climate change adaptation.

Resilience and the 'business as usual' paradox". Environment and Planning C: Archived from the original on 6 August Archived from the original on 21 September Retrieved 5 May Archived from the original on 8 October Retrieved 18 November Archived from the original on 4 March Archived from the original on 25 October Archived from the original on 20 December Archived from the original on 13 December Sea Level Rise' film shows how farmers are fighting climate change".

Retrieved 3 March Retrieved 7 June Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit hardcover. Al Gore forcefully declared his opposition to adaptation in , explaining that it represented a "kind of laziness, an arrogant faith in our ability to react in time to save our skins".

Archived from the original on 7 February Archived from the original PDF on 21 October Archived from the original on 1 August Conflict-sensitive adaptation to climate change in Africa. Retrieved 12 January Global warming and climate change. Brightness temperature Effective temperature Geologic record Hiatus Historical climatology Instrumental record Paleoclimatology Paleotempestology Proxy data Record of the past 1, years Satellite measurements.

Attribution of recent climate change Aviation Biofuel Black carbon Carbon dioxide Deforestation Earth's energy budget Earth's radiation balance Ecocide Fossil fuel Global dimming Global warming potential Greenhouse effect Infrared window Greenhouse gases Halocarbons Land use, land-use change and forestry Radiative forcing Tropospheric ozone Urban heat island. Potential effects and issues.

A tougher audience

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Introduction. What exactly is global warming and why is it worthy of consideration? Global warming is the scientific phenomenon linking an increase of the average earth temperature because of a trapping of radiation within the earth like a greenhouse.

Privacy FAQs

The Uninhabitable Earth Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.

About Our Ads

Global warming is not a separate entity, nor uis Climate change. Furthermore these are not well defined subjects, they are vague. However, they are just results of what is happening to our planet – Global Pollution. Attribution of recent climate change is the effort to scientifically ascertain mechanisms responsible for recent climate changes on Earth, commonly known as 'global warming'. The effort has focused on changes observed during the period of instrumental temperature record, particularly in the last 50 dommonet.tk is the period when human .

Cookie Info

This started with a tweet. I’m embarrassed how often that happens. Frustrated by a sense of global mispriorities, I blurted out some snarky and mildly regrettable tweets on the lack of attention to climate change in the tech industry (Twitter being a sublime medium for the snarky and regrettable). Climate change is the problem of our time, it’s everyone’s . Climate change adaptation is a response to global warming (also known as "climate change" or "anthropogenic climate change"), that seeks to reduce the vulnerability of social and biological systems to relatively sudden change and thus offset the effects of global warming. Even if emissions are stabilized relatively soon, global warming and its effects should last many years, and adaptation.