Why not break the climate planning political gridlock and R&D then implement an 'Open Source' 'Climate plan for a climate emergency'? BZE's 'Million jobs plan' has already done much of the consultation and groundwork. Perhaps it's time for a 'Citizen's Assembly' to oversee the planning and implementation? Maybe we should speed up to an open source Green Industrial Revolution (Green Growth) in order to slow down the economy along the 'Carbon descent pathway' (Green degrowth) via deployment of sustainable infrastructure on the macro and micro levels? Also, if NASA's Mars Rover 'Perseverance' can use 'open source' technology, why not take the open source approach for a climate plan too?
The above two tables outline a range of environmental viewpoints. Embedded in the climate plan sketch (top) are ecosocialist (with moderate intervention), ecocapitalist, ecological rights, environmental justice, ecoanarchist, biocentric, transformers, biomimicry, sustainable development, bioregional and stewardship values and principles. Sounds confusing? So is planning ;) What do you believe in?
-Carbon plan - the keystone of any 'Climate Plan'
We need to reach a Carbon-neutral (net zero emissions) economy by at least 2050, preferably by 2035) and go Carbon-negative beyond that in order to help prevent average global temperature increases going beyond 1.5 degrees above pre-Industrial levels, which is into the climate 'danger zone'. Carbon is not the whole picture of climate change planning but probably takes the lion's share of action. The 'Precautionary Principle' rules - do more now and pay and lose less later.
The baseline for these cuts is debatable and can be selected by a given country under the Paris Climate Agreement. In Australia it's 2005 for 'emission reduction' (presumably Carbon emissions). The higher the emissions from a given baseline year, the higher the cuts are needed to get the same net results compared to lower emission baseline years (or at least that's my interpretation of it). 2005 had a particularly high level of Carbon emissions historically which, following the above argument, means targets need to be higher in order to achieve an ambitious reduction of Carbon emissions. Australia's response has been labelled as 'Insufficient' on 'climateactiontracker.org' (see link below).
A carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2 equivalent, abbreviated as CO2-eq [or CO2e] is a metric measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases on the basis of their global-warming potential (GWP), by converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same global warming potential.
Changes to our atmosphere associated with reactive gases (gases that undergo chemical reactions) like ozone and ozone-forming chemicals like nitrous oxides, are relatively short-lived. Carbon dioxide is a different animal, however. Once it’s added to the atmosphere, it hangs around, for a long time: between 300 to 1,000 years. Thus, as humans change the atmosphere by emitting carbon dioxide, those changes will endure on the timescale of many human lives.
-renewable energy targets
Different to Carbon emissions targets. Given the rate of new green tech R&D we could probably achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030. South Australia is leading the way…
-Carbon emission targets
Rolling/impermanent yearly objectives and 'fixed' 5 year targets for Carbon emission cuts with a Carbon-neutrality endgame of preferably 2035 with say, a 2005 baseline year. We could make a fixed endgame of Carbon-neutrality by 2035, with 5 year fixed targets at 2025 eg.40%, 2030 eg.70% and make all the emissions targets in between moving targets - one year at a time - and stocktake a 'National Carbon Inventory' at the end of each financial year? There's already a 'National Greenhouse Inventory' with quarterly updates - so we could use this as a starting point but focus on Carbon AND CO2e and do yearly reports instead at the EOFY. Carbon modelling would be key in this scenario - if we can track a 'phylogenetic tree' of COVID-19, Carbon tracking and modelling should be a no-brainer assuming you can get accurate data. It would be a question of how far do you want to drill down into society for Carbon accounting of Carbon emissions and Carbon offsets? For eg., we could drill down to the business and Institutional level which will capture most of the Carbon data needed for targets. Maybe there could be tax breaks for accurate reporting with random Carbon auditing ('Carbon cops' - joke) - which may be about as palatable as a 'Carbon tax' but could be a precursor to one down the track if the public mood changes. Maybe there's a better way? Carbon footprinting of supply chains and logistics will be one of the key challenges, especially for imported goods. On the micro scale, individuals could be left alone by the state and make their own low-Carbon lifestyle and consumer choices (with a push for Carbon footprint labeling of products).
-Carbon accounting and caveats
If you can't measure it, you can't account for it, and if you can't account for it, how would you know whether or not you had achieved meeting a target? Furthermore, it's a bit like Trump saying if you test less people for COVID-19 there will be less cases/infections to worry about. Similarly, the less Carbon you account for eg. excluding the agricultural sector (biochar offsets, anyone?), the easier it will be to claim that you have achieved a Carbon emission target but the reality is that there's still a lot of Carbon emissions happening that are unaccounted for! Furthermore, if one economic sector is excluded, the other sectors will need to do more heavy lifting in order to meet the overall Carbon emission target.
Back to the 'Climate plan':
-Market intervention (carrots/sticks)
Could be used where it's most effective eg.seed funding for greentech startups, no taxes on 'Green Hydrogen' (domestic consumption and exports), more funding for green materials research, higher energy, materials and water efficiency standards for new buildings, subsidies for Carbon farming/regenerative agriculture, more grants for biological conservation (linked in to the 'Half-Earth Project'), Carbon footprint labeling of consumer products etc.
There's no doubt we need to eventually cut fossil fuel subsidies in order to build a Green Hydrogen energy economy but look how some of the South American countries eg.Chile, Ecuador reacted to this policy. Also, there would be no new fossil developments in a Carbon negative future but this is tricky in the case of oil since we are reliant on importing 90% of our oil plus we have the 'Peak Oil' problem. We clearly need to get off our oil dependency fast. No new natural gas and coal developments (and winding down exports) should be a no brainer with transitioning workers and their compatible skillsets (with some relocation needed) into the Green Hydrogen economy but is unfortunately tied in with old politics, not ethics or science.
-Technology neutrality V Greentech/Appropriate technology
Technology neutrality implies there is no climate emergency therefore any tech could be supported eg.natural gas, brown Hydrogen, CCS, as well as Greentech/Appropriate technology.
Greentech/Appropriate technology implies there is a sustainability problem (or even a climate emergency) and therefore a need for well designed sustainable technology to replace environment/climate polluting technology and should be partly financed via grants/seed funding through Government or VC philanthropic investment.
As mentioned on the climate plan mind map there are many technologies to choose from, with 'Green Hydrogen', 'Hot carrier' Perovskite PV cells (lead-free), Zn-Br or Fe redox flow batteries, 'permaculture plants' and biochar are at the top of my list.
Excess renewable energy on the grid eg. wind, solar etc. could also be used to make 'Green Hydrogen'. We also have green chemistry and new physics on the doorstep. The sometimes green nanotech revolution is also taking off. I would love to work in the field of solar 'Hot carrier' Perovskite PV biochar-filled epoxy resin biocomposites for buildings and transport. Green Hydrogen could be produced on board with micro-electrolysis units eg. the Enapter in buildings and the 'Hydrogen Power Modules' in transport.
Biomass for biochar can be used from plant waste eg. weeds, council green waste, Ag/forestry/Agroforestry/Permaculture/Horticulture waste or from multi-functional 'permaculture plants' aka plants that have various economic uses including biomass eg. some Acacia varieties.
Biochar can be produced with cogeneration on the very small-scale with TLUD stoves for cooking, the small-scale with the Kon-Tiki 'Rolls' eg.essential oil distillation, water heating and a rotisserie and on larger scale with Earth Systems 'Charmaker CPP' with feedstock drying and wood vinegar production and the Rainbow Bee Eater 'ECHO2' with power and heating.
In the Gov's technology roadmap, I was pleased to see biochar got mentioned, briefly appearing in the main body, glossary and an appendix. No serious discussion about the costs/benefits though. It's worth checking out the link below, just to see how the Gov is thinking about technology.
The mind boggles about the current and future possibilities for greentech. If people want to use it, it's affordable and it's green it's a win for both people and planet.
-Permaculture bioregional planning
Many resources on the internet. The following is a particularly good resource for bioregional 'watershed' planning which could also be 'river basin' planning:
There is also a good learning list via the link to 'Andrews educational database'. A couple of other good permaculture sites are:
There's also loads of youtube videos on permaculture...
-Green Industrial Revolution
UK PM Boris Johnson has a 'Green Industrial Revolution' plan for a 'Green Covid-19 recovery'- maybe we should too! This is going to be difficult with COVID-19 restrictions, which seem to have no
endpoint as the virus mutates and the delay to produce new vaccines for new dominant strains and deployment of those vaccines. We're not out of the woods yet! However, I've been following tech news for a long time and it seems new greentech deployments are going ahead around the world despite the COVID-19 restrictions. We need to adapt to and grow a Green economy just like the virus adapts to us. It's worthwhile checking out BZE's 'The Million Jobs Plan' below for some ideas about how we can transition into a Green Industrial Revolution:
What could it look like? There's the UK model: https://www.climateassembly.uk/
Or possibly an 'e-Democracy' software platform. Here's a non-exhaustive list of options:
The main issue I can see is how the assembly would interface with the Government of the day, eg. Would it just create recommendations for Gov (assuming the Gov took recommendations seriously) or would there be greater integration with the assembly into the Gov's policy platform? Or, could it be the Zen archer that never hits the target (if there was a target)? So, in other words, even if the current Gov made a Carbon emissions target in 2050, would they even want to hit it (like the 'Blues Brothers' would)? Or could it be Piranesi documenting the ruins of Rome? How are we going to navigate COVID-19 dominant mutations, save the climate (and possibly, planet) and do what helps people be happy eg. not being unemployed and living in poverty during a recession and pandemic (in an incoming post-structural context)? With the new Jobseeker payment increase, we can afford a Cheeseburger each day - or 1kg of sweet potatoes if you're lucky. While you're at it saving money and waiting for a vaccine, maybe spend some bucks on Native American Indian medicine that will boost your immune system and treat a bunch of ailments if needed:
I'm going to grind mine down to a powder and drink daily tea out of it. Or, if you're patient you can grow it from seed: https://www.edenseeds.com.au
I'll be on AUSTUDY pretty soon at $462.50 per fortnight - I decided to study an online Bachelor of Architecture (Architectural Science) which will take me many years to finish. My revolution will be in designing affordable ecohousing so I'm passing on the 'Citizen's Assemby' project, if it hasn't already started, to the next generation.
We need green jobs for the future economy and a 'Citizen's Assembly', I believe, can get us there with an open source climate plan so why wait for the Gov to act? Maybe the next one will?
It would be great to see ?more R&D in greentech happening such as green fuels eg. Green Hydrogen and CO2-based aviation fuel. Maybe they could design and build something like the 'Hydrogen Power Modules' for marine (and possibly other) applications? Or they could be purchased off-the-shelf (no conflict of interest there)?
So, in summary, the main idea is that we would have an overall 'Climate plan for a climate emergency' holarchy that includes a Carbon plan, renewable energy plan, Permaculture bioregional plans and a Green Industrial Revolution plan. Ultimately, Green/Appropriate technology and BZE's research would be linked into all of these plans as the grease in the machine - the enabler. Too much planning and techno-optimism? Fail to plan, plan to fail - I believe rolling targets are the key informed by solid data and climate science.
I can't wait to see what the Aussie political parties come up with, hopefully well before the May budget so there is time to debate and refine the ideas for their versions of a ?climate plan - it could be 'something completely different'...