“Climate change is the result of a massive market failure” —LB

If you want to address climate change, then the best thing you can do is get politically active, according to Lester Brown, founder of the Earth Policy Institute, speaking here in Sackville on Saturday evening.

Some highlights of his presentation:

  • How many failing states do we need before we have a failing civilization?
  • It is possible to cut carbon emissions by over 80%; we just lack the political will (and Brown has the numbers to prove it).
  • We may be reaching a tipping point in our willingness to do something about climate change but the major obstacles are at the political level.
  • New thinking is happening today and even the oil companies are starting to focus on renewable energy.
  • The trend is toward localisation, for both energy and food. Our food choices will decrease and we’ll move back to seasonal products.
  • We are in a race between tipping points — natural and political. If we can tip the political will, then we can stop the natural tipping points, such as the meltdown of the Greenland ice cap, which will increase sea levels by 23 feet.
  • Based on the advice of prominent scientists and economists around the world, the best way to significantly reduce our carbon emissions are 1) reduce individual income taxes, while 2) increasing carbon taxes.

I picked up a copy of Lester Brown’s latest book, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization and look forward to reading it.

Finally, some memorable advice:

Saving civilization is not a spectator sport.

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