CO2 on Trial

mt has an article up on Medium called “CO2 on Trial” based on an old article on Only In It for the Gold

Medium is an interesting experiment in long form publication. If you are logged in via Twitter you can recommend an article, which increases the likelihood that others will see it.


  1. Great essay. Is there a way you can point readers over here to build a conversation, since one can't comment on Medium?

    The essay raises at least two questions:
    1) How can we make the "conversation" more like it ought to be, and
    2) Given the status quo, what should we do more generally?

    This is sort of like what economists think of as "first best" and "second best" solutions.

  2. Link added. If you want to comment on the Medium site, after you register your twitter account (amazingly easy), you can mouse over a paragraph and look to the right for a little "+" widget. Click that.

    I think Medium itself addresses some of the problems you raise here. I wish P3 had resources for a programmer team, but we will need to do better at building momentum before that happens.

  3. Very nice read, mt. You cover a lot. I especially like the point towards the end, of immaturity. It's a very important aspect of consumer culture. How can we expect our children to be prepared for what's coming, to adapt psychologically as well as pragmatically, when we adults are ourselves still children?

  4. "We have to sell the idea of a widespread set of changes in behavior, a new set of ethical constraints, and a substantial increase in the complexity and scale of governance. There are serious risks and costs involved, but avoiding this responsibility will yield something much worse."

    This struck me as the fundamental difference between the Planet3.0esque approach and the lukewarmer way. The lukewarmers seem willing to sell all sorts of options for dealing with what is coming, from confident belief in the relitive benignancy of future change to the certainty of human ingenuity's timely intervention. What never seems to feature is significant behavioural change or acceptance of personal responsibility.

    Of course the lukewarmers will also sell their view as the 'adult' one, and again it is an easy sell. Not only do we not have to take personal responsibility but it is the adult thing to do. We are being grown up accepting that grown ups are not grown up.

  5. Listening to The Reunion on Radio 4, a reminiscence between some of the founders of the Centre for Alternative Technology, this morning I was again struck by who was coming across as the adults. I am sure that many will paint them as childish idealists, and it may be that some were, but they were pioneering and trialling ideas that only now, 40 years on, are beginning to be seen as mainstream. The simple, startlingly obvious, observation that we need to cut our energy consumption more than anything else, seems far more adult than the scornful derision of the lifestyles they were experimenting with.

  6. Pingback: Another Week of Anthropocene Antics, April 28, 2013 – A Few Things Ill Considered

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