In Kuhn’s book about paradigm shifts in science, he talks about the older (mostly) men who can’t let go from the current orthodoxy, which they created. They can’t be persuaded, because they have deep knowledge of, and belief in the current orthodoxy. You have to wait for them to die.

The climate emergency is going to be the biggest paradigm shift, and we can’t wait; I suppose we will have to ignore them even if it means civil disobedience. It’s a global problem, there will be both local and global problems to address.

There we be a massive amount of work to do, and we will need all available populations to do it:
Housing for climate refugee migrations;
Making existing buildings more energy efficient – insulation, solar roofing heat pumps for ground heating and cooling;
Moving people and businesses from underwater (literally) cities to higher ground and energy efficient housing – think of most of NYC;
Renovating infrastructure (roads, bridges etc) which are or will be damaged by climate effects;
Getting serious about high speed trains and reduce air travel.

I am sure there is more. We will need the immigrants documented or not. Workers in things like coal will need jobs: all of the above will provide them, retraining as insurance adjusters will not cut it for them. We will need minimum wage, UBI, or job guarantee, and medicare (improved) for all. There must be no public-private partnerships in this work; we know how that turns out.


About the Author

Tony Williams

physics nerd -> software geek -> progressive activist trying to make the world a better place.

One Response to What will it take to address the climate emergency

  1. Tony, I completely resonate with your perspective on the climate emergency. It’s frustrating to see those entrenched in the current orthodoxy resist change, but as you mentioned, sometimes we have to wait for them to move on. Taking action through civil disobedience, if necessary, shows the urgency of the situation. The scale of the work ahead is truly overwhelming, from addressing housing needs for climate refugees to retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency.

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