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Solutions to the Climate Crisis: Innovation and Implementation

Updated: May 29, 2020


Bill Gates talk about the role of innovation in bringing down the emissions in our quest to stop the climate crisis.


As with any technology, there are at least two steps involved.

1. Innovation (somebody comes up with the idea, builds a working prototype.

2. Implementation (a municipality, a state, a country, a company) decides to invest the capital needed to mass-produce, to distribute it and to bring it to mass use.


This process happens over many years.

As we imagine the innovations of the future, we can get a glimpse at how this evolution will take place by looking at innovations of the past, and see how they were implemented.


Specifically, we are looking for innovations from the past that, if implemented instead of our current solutions, would reduce our demand for electricity, reduce our fossil fuel consumption, our greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the quality of our air, water and environment in general.


Here are a few examples:


Buildings:

Solar Heating, Solar Water Heating

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/carter-white-house-solar-panel-array/


Energy Efficiency,

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166046213000677




Transportation:

Electric Public Transportation: the Tram and Trolleybus

https://www.vox.com/2015/5/7/8562007/streetcar-history-demise


Look up the history of these innovations, and find out if their potential to solve our problems has been achieved. And if not, try to find out why not (in the articles above and elsewhere).


Find other examples like these and go through the same process.


Based on what you have found, what do you expect to happen with the innovations that are coming down the line, as far as implementation is concerned.


Can you draw some conclusions from this research as to why we are in our current situation: is it because of a lack of innovation or a lack of implementation?


Now imagine a future where both innovation and implementation are happening on a large scale. What would you change to our society to get us there?




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