We tackled our second topic “Climate Technology” with an open mind and lots of policy options. We started the conversation by asserting the following:

  1. The earth is getting warmer.
  2. Some areas of the earth may become unstable/uninhabitable. Examples are glaciers melting, sea levels rising, and storms more intense.
  3. The earth’s space is 62 miles above sea level. It can be compared to the skin of an apple as compared to the whole apple. We need to protect the air we breathe as we do not have a whole lot of it.

The questions we raised:

  1. Are humans responsible for Greenhouse gas emissions? Greenhouse gas emissions are classified as Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), and Nitrous Oxide (N2O).
  2. Do we know that reaching Global Net Zero (GNZ) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 will save the earth?
  3. Can we reach GNZ GHG emissions by ourselves or is global collaboration critical to this endeavor? Can this happen without the collaboration of the 5 countries with the highest CO2 emissions (i.e. China, USA, India, Russia, and Japan)? Are we too greedy to share our innovations with other nations to benefit the whole world?
  4. Are the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) with over $800 Billion invested in support of Climate Change Technologies (i.e. Technology and Incentives) fair play as seen by other nations? Have the money been misappropriated?
  5. Do we in the U.S. have the technology right now to advance the idea of lower GHG emissions (e.g. super long battery life, super high efficiency solar panels, etc.) but are reluctant to do so because of business sense?
  6. Is America divided on the solution: (a) Optimists: We can do it. (b) Deniers: We’re not responsible. Climate change is a natural occurrence. (c) Pragmatics: Will the rest of the world Help? (d) Nationalist: Its fine investing, but the knowledge gained has to stay in the U.S.

The solutions we came up with:

  1. The United Nations as a global council should come up with global solutions and agreed upon by most nations. International businesses must be involved, not just the heads of states. A multi-lateral approach must be reached and this may have to include stripping away the veto power of the 5 permanent members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and USA).
  2. Understand and prioritize what needs to be done to arrive at the desired solution.
  3. Very affordable nuclear reactor power, then later fusion power.
  4. Conversion from coal to natural gas has a significant impact on carbon production. Too many opportunities for corruption when it comes to major development in Fusion technologies at this time.
  5. Being selfless and believe that any innovations in the area of climate technology would greatly enhance the Quality of Life in all countries, not just the U.S.
  6. We need a balanced approach in nuclear, solar, hydro-electric, wind, and fossil fuels to arrive at a solution that appeals to every current power producer.
  7. Incentivize all businesses to go green, including fossil fuel businesses.
  8. Do not discount the individual efforts to use clean energy (solar power on roofs, etc.)
  9. Technology is around the corner to allow for very low energy cost for everyone so that the direction becomes very obvious. Is it solar, nuclear, fusion, or?

The topic for next week is “RISKY SCIENCE ACROSS BORDERS”: How should humanity respond to self-made climate emergencies. Let’s dive into this difficult topic by reading the chapter and watching the video which you can find HERE