Continue partying, or (CO2) lockdown ?

There are actually only two options (‘scenario’s’): Either we go into CO2 lockdown, or we party on until the whole thing collapses…. The latest IPCC report makes that perfectly clear again.

What we are doing now is a case of “soft nurses make bad wounds”, with our decades-long unbridled optimism that we will innovate our way out of it with 10 billion people, without having to give up anything. Andreas Malm, the Swedish activist, expressed it even more concisely: fossils out or humans out. In other words: the earth or us. The earth will survive without us. And ‘us’ can only exist if we as a submissive species adapt to the earth and its potential.

At this moment, based on the experience of the last 30-40 years, I almost tend to say: let’s party, instead of drowning ourselves into decades of stress, frustration and burn-out, for a even then still unbelievable optimism. The other option is a Lockdown. How? A small sketch:

Everyone a small CO2 budget, sort of basic income in CO2, that comes in place of money, which we abolish. (There is way too much money in circulation, it has to roll and roll again. That doesn’t work)

Stop all production that is not immediately necessary. The whole agriculture will be focused on land recovery: basic food package for residents via food forests and in between some organic strip-farming, Nothing more to eat out of season, no more (active managed ) greenhouses. Materials almost only biobased. Metals only recycled, and for a few necessary tools like a shovel for tillage. .Transport only by bicycle or public transport form. Home heating: 1 room heated with a small gas stove, within that minimum CO2 budget. Building: as little as possible, house splitting and smaller living. Redistribution of solar panels: Everyone the yield of two (already installed) panels, and a small battery, for some light and TV at night.

Sounds hefty, indeed, but think generally of early 1960s last century, as a model. Maybe just a bit more, based on what we have already realized in infrastructure since then, and newly built up knowledge. But no more expansions, not even for new renewable energy devices. The CO2 budget for that has actually run out. All driven by equal (and decreasing) CO2 income for all.

That is it.

Or else we can continue partying, and wait for a breakthrough: of a technology…or of a dike.

Author: ronald rovers