Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Predicting the climate future

Environmental Research Web, by their prolific mainstay, Liz Kalaugher: How successful will efforts to reduce carbon emissions actually be? And what will that mean for our climate and society? These are the billion-dollar questions that everyone working in climate research, conservation, human development, government and even business would love to know the answers to. With that in mind, UK sustainable development charity Forum for the Future has teamed up with Hewlett Packard’s HP Labs to devise five scenarios for the social, political, economic and psychological consequences of climate change by the year 2050….

• Efficiency First – the development of innovative energy-efficiency technologies has brought about a consumerist, low-carbon world…..

• Under the Service Transformation scenario, the high price of carbon in 2020 meant that businesses changed their models to sell services rather than products, with Europe taking the lead. Collective laundry services have replaced individual washing machines and mass public transport and rent-a-bike and rent-a-car schemes have replaced car ownership.…

• Redefining progress, on the other hand, sees the establishment of more sustainable living and a “wellbeing economy”, with countries prioritizing economic and social resilience over economic growth, and governments regulating the economy tightly. …

• As a result of the Environmental War Economy, economies in 2050 are forcibly re-focused on climate change issues as if they were fighting a war against it. Greenhouse-gas emissions began to decline in 2030 but the cost to individual liberty has been huge, and governments have strong powers to regulate and “rationalize” business…..

• Under the Protectionist World scenario, countries wage war over scarce resources like water, and globalization no longer exists. There was a climate agreement in 2010 but factions developed after accusations of cheating and secret, undeclared power stations. As a result, the world has fractured into protectionist blocs….

The "redefining progress" illlustration from the website for Forum for the Future

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Interesting that this brain trust doesn't see the redefining of economics so that growth isn't the measure anymore.
Until we get the burning issue handled, it may not matter, but the conceptual issue of an economy that isn't dependent on the current definitions, like growth, is a significant landmark in creating a sustainable society.