All the ‘big issues’ come down to short term thinking & politics…..
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge is offering $25 million for anyone who can figure out how to take vast amounts of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Scientists are looking for a method that will remove at least one billion tonnes of carbon per year from the atmosphere.
The ‘Challenge’ – announced last week in the company of Al Gore – will be judged by a panel that includes, besides Branson and Gore, NASA scientist James Hansen, Gaia theorist James Lovelock, Aussie scientist Tim Flannery, and U.K. eco-hero Sir Crispin Tickell.
At the press conference Richard Branson said “The Earth cannot wait 60 years……humankind must realise the scale of the crisis it faced…..I want a future for my children and my children’s children. The clock is ticking, he says….if the planet was to survive, it was vital to find a way of getting rid of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide…..offering the $25m (£12.5m) Earth Challenge Prize was the best way of finding a solution…If I write this cheque … it will be the best cheque I’ve ever written.”
Others offered praise. “Richard Branson is ahead of the pack in getting to grips with CO2,” said University of Edinburgh geology professor Stuart Haszeldine. “I hope all other businesses, large and small, follow his lead….His decisive action places shame on the dithering of the UK Treasury, who will not let British power companies build CO2 capture plants, in case they are too expensive.”
The Growing, Growing Gone blog has a YouTube link to an interesting interview with Al Gore and Richard Branson… it reports that CNN is saying, sadly, as with all big issues, the situation really breaks down to money and politics, and, with the US number 4 in the offenders stakes, when is America going to take some responsiblity for its actions?
This of course is Al Gore’s stated intention with ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ to mobilise the American people to pressure their politicians. It’s hard to get inside their heads – pollies everywhere it seems – isn’t it? They have kids too…. how do they balance decisionmaking that affects the world our kids will inherit with political expediency?