What We Need To Do To Save The World

Twenty-four weeks ago, I began to post a series of columns on the renewable revolution that’s going on in the world. I thought, at the very least, it would make me feel less depressed about the sorry-ass state of the environment.

I called it Brand New Day, and as I researched it, I was astonished at the overwhelming number of new businesses that are starting up and flourishing in the area of renewables.

The world as we know it is no longer the same place it used to be even a couple of years ago. The pandemic that has swept right around the globe has caused many of us to realize just how interconnected and vulnerable we all are.

The levels of CO2 in our atmosphere are rising at an alarming rate but the problem with taking serious action to do something presents a number of serious challenges.

  1. Greed. The fossil fuel industry controls the planet’s energy at the present time, and because of the way the world’s market economy is structured, the companies that control this market are reluctant to do anything that will devalue them, which cutting back on supply or the investment in diversification certainly would.
  2. Time. The businesses that will displace these fossil fuel behemoths are still in the early stages of development, This means that there is no real const advantage for them to offer at this time. Because they have not yet hit the critical mass numbers that make prices competitive.
  3. Ignorance. The vast majority of the people in the world have been distracted by the current pandemic and are doing whatever they can to make ends meet and avoid getting sick. They simply do not have the bandwidth to really absorb the issue and get on board with the alternatives.

When you put all these things into a hopper and mix them up what you end up with is a slow train leading the people to a change for the better and environmental salvation. But the train is slowed by the powers that be who are unwilling to relinquish control of the energy economy.

And so we trudge on. But the real challenge we face is that we simply do not know where the breakpoint is, when it will come and how much we will have to do to push it back. There are many who argue there will be nothing we can do, hence the incredible urgency of the situation.

The reality of where we need to go is simple. We need to create a sea change in the way the world works. We need to become one world where the best minds from everywhere are let loose on the problems we face and the solutions are shared equitably right around the world.

If you are chuckling to yourself over the last paragraph you just read, please be advised that I am too. But part and parcel of all the research I have done on the sustainable and renewable worlds also came with dire warnings about how quickly we need to implement these required changes.

Without a collective, unified, science-first, no politics plan for the whole wide world, my fear is that we will simply, slowly but surely slide into an abyss out of which we will not be able to climb.

I know this sounds quite alarmist, and I apologize for that. But most of us, who are older have kids and grandkids who are going to have to live in this world, long after we are gone. My hope is that we all wise up before wising up won’t matter.


Jim Murray
Jim Murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. I had a  20-year career in senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and effectively retired. I am now actively engaged, through blogging and memes, in showcasing businesses that are part of the green revolution. I am also writing short stories which I will be marketing to film production companies. I live with my wife, Heather, in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life.

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  1. Jim – Re “We need to become one world where the best minds from everywhere are let loose on the problems we face and the solutions are shared equitably right around the world,” check out this podcast that features Michael Lewis and Ezra Klein (NY Times) discussing Lewis’ new book, THE PREMONITION. It’s a searing indictment of the CDC’s response to COVID based in part on its failure to do what you’re suggesting. There was no attempt to harness the nation’s vast resources – to work as a collective.

    One other point worth mentioning: “The levels of CO2 in our atmosphere are rising at an alarming rate but the problem with taking serious action to do something presents a number of serious challenges.” I was astounded to read in
    RISING: DISPATCHES FROM THE NEW AMERICAN SHORE by Elizabeth Rush that 93% of the heat from greenhouse gases is stored in the ocean, not in the air. The molecules of greenhouse gases find their way into water. That is why we have more and more intense hurricanes; more melting of Greenland and the icecaps; and more erosion of our shorelines.

    But then, there is no climate crisis, right?

    You go right on being an alarmist!

    • Thanks Jeff. I fully intend to keep on being alarmist. I’ve got grandchildren and I wonder what the hell kind of kife they are going to ave as adults.

  2. If only it took something like a pandemic to distract people, Jim, but we know all to well that that much less can do it.
    While we are running around barking at squirrels, we don’t have time or energy to change the world. And that may be part of the agenda of those who have a short term interest in maintaining the status quo. All it takes is a Tweet.

  3. Thanks for your comment. I have written several pieces to that effect in the past. The trouble is that the entities that have created this crisis are monster corporations with no soul, no conscience and a human control that is greedy out of all proportion. I cannot imagine how many trees have been sacrificed at the Amazon alter.

  4. Jim: Great stuff. You needn’t be concerned about its alarmist tone. As Greta Thunberg said, ‘our house is on fire, and we need to put it out.’ I agree with her, there’s nothing too outrageous to try to address this crisis.
    Something I’d love to see is a change in our basic message about it. As it stands now, we’re concerned about ‘the planet’ and saving it from human depredations. But the real message should be ‘save the humans’ because, though it may take a few million years, the planet will be fine. It will always recover. We’re the creatures in the crosshairs here, and more specifically our great grandkids.

    Thanks for the piece, very enjoyable, even if it is alarmist!