Greta and Angela – is technology the solution?
Updated: Dec 14, 2019
Greta Thunberg has given an emotional speech at the UN. She hit right on what scientists experience since years, how dare the politicians to risk our all future by not listening what science has accumulated on knowledge on climate change and biodiversity loss. We have warned so many times about risks and solutions, and we have been ignored as many times. Angela Merkel, the Germany chancellor, has criticized Greta’s speech in one point, that Greta has not considered technological advances sufficiently. Merkel said it was not considered well enough “how technology, innovation especially in the field of energy, but also in the field of energy saving can open up opportunities for us to achieve our goals” (Original in German: “..in welcher Weise Technologie, Innovation gerade im Energiebereich, aber auch im Energieeinsparbereich uns Möglichkeiten eröffnen, die Ziele zu erreichen”). She says it herself, CAN OPEN, and not OPEN… There are technological ideas out there, yes, but can they do what they promise? Are they ready for large scale use (and that is what we need!)? What is Angela Merkel waiting for? Make billions of Euros ready to apply such technologies, if they are as good as you think they are… not tomorrow, but now!
What frustrated me even more in that criticism of Angela was a sentence later: “The federal government wants to make use of such opportunities” as she herself attaches great importance to innovation and technology" ”And that's a contradiction to what I heard yesterday.” So, the German government WANTS to use technology, but it does not yet have the means to do so!? So, again, what are you waiting for? Either advance the technologies or make use of them, but a weak phrase like “we want to use such opportunities” do not bring us any further. I also wonder why is Mrs. Merkel so focused on TECHNOLOGY. Sure, Germany has an important technological background, but technology alone will not be a solution. There has been a recent article in the renown scientific journal Science that trees are the most effective solution against climate change. Why? They bind CO2 and lock it away in their stems, roots, and branches. That study pointed out that we can actually reduce CO2 globally, when we plant trees on every possible open patch in our landscape. There are tree planting projects in Asia, but where are the rich countries? Did Mrs. Merkel know about this low tech solution? What about paying farmers to plant trees on acres they have taken out of production? What about planting trees on all areas owned by governments? This is something Mrs. Merkel and many others can do right away and not some when in the future when it is too late.
Politicians, JUST LISTEN to science and make the right decisions. It is not worth trying to keep employment in the industry when the world around is a wreck and dying… be creative for once and think of the future of humanity and the generation Greta represents. They want to live another 70 years and a life worth living, as much as you did in the past 70 years!