Purposeful Young Professionals
I've just read this brilliant article on research which suggests that the world's energy could be 100% renewable within 20-40 years, using current tech.
The major problem? Inertia. So, how do we overcome it, given that NZ is probably a pretty awesome place to begin such a project...
Hi Aimee, I completely agree! NZ would be ideal (location, climate, area, population size, etc) for showing the world how its done. Perhaps if the vision was loudly promoted, in a world-leading (i.e. be proud of our technology and foresight) kind of way, to appeal to everyday and influential groups of people, the networking would follow leading to a practical starting point. I have no idea how hard the energy sector is to get into, theres a good comment under the article stating that its likely they'll have to be in on it, but if say the networking part were to be a new kiwi company, I bet kiwis would get behind it.
Hi, Jennifer, I couldn't agree with you more.
NZ could lead the way in renewables and be a shining light to the world, in the same way that it did on being nuclear-free. And that movement started with individuals and localities taking the bit in their teeth and running with it.
convincing people that this would work is the major problem, and of course good old NIMBY syndrome.
Great example is that there was a resouce consent for tidal generators to go into the kaipara harbour but it has now been limited to 3 test generators because someone 100000000 years ago saw a bottle nose dolphin there and hasnt seen on since, so ya never know they could come back.
People in New Zealand care to much about their land value, so having a windmill farm from their window is bloody hard to get.
It needs leadership from the top, and of course uncle john would not want to go against the grain.
Interestingly, resource consent for 24 of 'em has now gone through, and although it's 3 years until they start going online.
Of course, the issues somewhat complicated by the fact thatthe harbour's where the vast majority of our snapper make little snapper. And there are also worries about Maui dolphins.
And, judging by the picture used in the article, the type of turbine to be used is a) more efficient but b) more of a danger to sea life.
Re. wind farms: I honestly don't understand the issues there. They're awesome, and beautiful.
And yes, leadership from the top is important, but given how, um, resistant many people are to authority, I'd argue that groundswells are far more important. Politicians react to their constituents...
I couldn't agree more Mike!!!
On this topic, for anyone who's interested: I really enjoyed the talk by Melinda Gates on TED where she compared marketing strategies of health initiatives to marketing strategies employed by Coca Cola.
Its of course just as applicable to how climate change marketing needs to be revolutionised.
I would love to see more 'specific' marketing, not just the issue of climate change, and it needs to have a clear action plan ready to go. For example, most NGO's simply have a 'what you can do to help' page with things like "change lightbulbs, drive less, write to your MP" which does not get you overly excited because as you are sitting infront of the computer screen -alone- it feels like its not going to make much of a difference. Green businesses (as opposed to NGO's) are great, as they are good at 'specific', but the huge majority of them are tiny still and so haven't yet managed to convince Joe average. Imagine if they were large enough to employ some of Joe's friends, then it might all seem less fringe and risky.
Unfortunately theres always a piece of the puzzle missing - most often it is the lack of a specific solution (as the space gets taken up mainly by all the problems) - and to top it off, I suppose its all not that surprising considering that tiny green businesses and NPO's (by nature) don't offer top-of-the-field remuneration to their marketing staff and therefore dont attract the best they could. Now I sound cynical ;-)
So I suppose suggestions for overcoming inertia are: more strategic and more immersive marketing as well as more green jobs, to give people the knowledge/feeling that its really happening and not a voluntary fad. Communicate that technology is available to allow us to switch without too much inconvenience (just a bit of care), and make sure that the community effort that unites us when there is a common threat rises in time, i.e. before the tipping point.
There is hardly any comprehension to the statements such as 'the greatest threat facing mankind' when they come out of some bearded scientist mouth (the brain isnt used to it, its unfortunate that the respect isnt there but its just conditioned to getting its beliefs from friendly voice over artists on commercials)... the marketing needs to be hyped to be whatever people will comprehend, not just hear.
Funnily enough I just heard this quote on another TED talk which seemed to sum all this up very well for me:
“If you want to build a flotilla of ships, you don’t sit around and talk about carpentry. No, you need to set people’s souls ablaze with visions of exploring distant shores". – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
And I think one of the commenters on the talk (Jack Brinker) had a very good point:
"I'd suggest that making the environment a political issues is the worst possible way to promote improvements. First, we are divided politically so about half of the population doesn't believe the other half. Second, politicians are very low on the scale of trust.
The way success is achieved in our society is to invest your own money in things that you believe will become successful and in people that can make it happen. The rewards must come through profitable products that consumers are willing to try and when benefits are realized will recommend products to others. Governments are NOT capable of picking best technologies for society, rather should only provide incentives for business to demonstrate working products that achieve broad environmental goals and supporting only basic research that is available to businesses for possible future products."