Well I'm back home from my desert walkabout and hard at work again. I've been focusing on twitter as a tool to get my message out, and with 1150 followers I think I'm making inroads. I've also linked my twitter account, www.twitter.com/helpstopethanol, to this blog. You can see my five most recent updates a little lower on the right side of the screen.
I read today on twitter about a group called Camfed (http://www.camfed.org/) whose goal is to educate girls in Africa. Did you know that an educated African woman has, on average, two fewer children than an uneducated one? With the planet's population predicted to grow from 6.5B to 9.5B in the next 50 years, is this not the sort of thing we should be focusing on for the sake of people and of the environment?
I also read that a First Energy electric generating facility in Ohio is in the process of switching from burning coal (a hydrocarbon) to burning wood chips and corn (hydrocarbons). This will enable them to get carbon credits. Is this a desirable outcome? Or is it just surreal?
You know that cap & trade and carbon markets, in addition to vast subsidies for renewable energy, are looming large on the American and international agendas. Here's my pitch: We need to be wary of large scale solutions because they don't always generate the desired behaviour and they can be very hard to reverse. And of course, because their impact is far-reaching. We're not talking about retrofitting McDonald's cash registers here.
No one is denying that certain climate patterns are changing, and whether we fully understand what's happening or not, who can argue against less polluting technologies? But for goodness sake lets relax about tipping points and let the scientists do their work. Tremendous progress is being made on electric cars, for example. The world is not going to end tomorrow.
And while the scientists are doing their jobs, why don't the rest of us work on making the lives of Africans and everyone else better by helping those young girls get an education?