Thursday, November 17, 2016

Climate Change versus Employment

Climate change is not a new phenomenon. It is a weather condition that has been taking part in cycles over the millennia; and by all accounts, the next cycle has been 50 thousand years in the making.

The bottom line is that climate change is a natural ecological event that is going to happen irrespective of humanity’s effort to stave it off; stave being the operative word.

Global-warming is another kettle of fish altogether: besides it being a natural ecological occurrence that takes place every-so years, it is also an occurrence that is aggravated by human consumption and industrial activity.

On the natural side, volcanic activity, solar radiation and the earth’s cyclic movement through the Galaxy/Universe, et al, all play a role in keeping the environmental scales in fine equilibrium, or not.
On the human side, industrial growth, human green-house gas generation and fossil fuel usage all contribute to upsetting the fragile balance that encompasses the environment, atmosphere and the way the eco system deals with these eventualities.

Although the Industrial Age is lauded and praised for much of the technological development that is being experienced today, it has brought with it unforeseen (maybe) side-effects; side-effects that have malignantly contributed to the many environmental problem and human enslavement being experienced today.

Yes, medically, technologically and financially, humanity finds itself riding the waves of success and development (although the last one is debatable.) Humanity is at an all time high: lofty life-spans, healthy bank balances and prosperity. And now that the ‘east’ has caught up and surpassed western developments, life has accelerated to the next level faster than anticipated.

Humanity has become technologically and information hungry. It has huge wants-and-needs that are being met by extravagant usage of natural recourses and over capitalisation of available real estate, all drawing upon the human propensity for avarice to drive those wants-and-needs along.

The main challenge facing modern Governments is employment: how to create avenues that help foster employment versus creating avenues that produce profits, thus keeping the economic status-quo fresh, is the quandary? It may be argued that other systemic life issues are of more importance but without employment, the system will consume itself to the overall detriment of humanity – the money energy cycle needs to be maintained.

To my mind, all the talk of climate change and or global warming will come to naught if the employment factor is not fixed. A hungry person does not care about the environment. A dejected unemployed person does not care about the environment. As a matter of fact, both types of people are more given to fits of pack-rage and destructive tendencies than those that are gainfully employed.

The South African Minister of Energy Affairs recently stated that renewable energy initiatives will cut employment as renewable-energy power generating plants, besides being more energy efficient, are also human real-estate efficient e.g. wind farms require less human-power to keep the equipment operational than that of a coal fired power station. Solar farms face the same employment dilemma.

With the growth in the human population expected to reach nine billion by the year 2030 (by recent extrapolations,) the employment quandary increases with each passing year. A prospect that is going to place even greater stresses on the environment due to the logarithmic growth in energy demand, food requirements, and other natural resources. A prospect that is neither positive nor captivating for the coming generations of humans.

I am of the opinion that the existing democratic (or whatever other forms of Government there are around the world) and capitalistic energies are in dire need of an overall. These energies worked well during the birth of the Industrialisation age to about 20 years ago. Since then, they have been faltering and overwhelming humanity at a dizzying pace of consumption. Changes to both systemic energies will not be easy, but the alternatives are worse.

Carl Sagan once said that if humanity can survive past its puberty stage (speaking of human development in the greater scheme-of-time,) the future will be humanity’s oyster. Unfortunately, very little positivity is pointing in that direction.

“The needs and wants of the people need to be addressed and pacified. Workable solutions have to be constructed in such a way that either gainful employment is generally guaranteed or alternatively, that a new means of income generation is implemented i.e. doing away with the traditional capitalist way of doing things.” ~ Global Warming: A Growing Woe

But, it is always easier to talk about climate change and the positives of life when one is gainfully employed!?

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