Computers and Climate Change: Get Ready For Chaos

Three insightful pieces today:

Did you know the Dutch are building floating houses? They know we’re screwed: by 2050 climate change will have so taken hold of our earth that they might just float away if they don’t have the appropriate measures in place. So, rather than come up with “solutions to fight climate change,” they said “let’s go ahead and prepare for the worst.” It’s a couple years old, but this Washington Post article is inspiring:

In Rotterdam, city officials opted to invest in new parks, city squares and parking garages now under construction that effectively double as Rotterdam’s drainage system, filling with water during heavy floods to keep streets, buildings and homes above water. In east Amsterdam, one of three new floating communities going up across Holland looks like an aquatic suburbia. The homes are built on floating platforms of reinforced concrete and literally rise with floodwaters, offering a glimpse into how lifestyles may change as costal areas adapt.

It is a “survival strategy,” and I think it really brings home the idea that we need¬†to take climate change seriously – really seriously – or we are going to be swept/flooded/blown away in 50 years without any idea how to stop it. This ties in great to what Patagonia’s founder¬†Yvon Chouinard says about his company. It’s not about money, but inspiration: inspiring people and other companies to solve our environmental crisis:

If you get down to the real causes, a lot of our society’s biggest problems are happening because we’re destroying the planet. As we cut down the forests in the Congo, diseases start jumping over to humans. The Pentagon says new wars are going to be resource wars. We’re a long way from having a sustain-able society. That’s why One Percent for the Planet gives strictly to environmental causes. You can give money all day long to symptomatic things and you’re not going to solve the problems.

Because he realized that any business, by its nature, pollutes (in one form or another), they should essentially tax themselves by donating/pledging/giving some of their profits back to causes that fix, not harm, the earth. This was beautifully illustrated in Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign.

And while this isn’t directly on topic, it still kind of applies: computers are taking over. We have more machines on the internet than people, more devices than sets of eyes, and it’s only going to get crazier. By 2020, we’ll have 22 billion “things” connected to the internet, with 6 billion of them being cell “phones” – I use that term loosely as a phone/tablet/computer at that point will probably all be one thing.

Maybe all these devices can solve climate crisis for us? Doubtful. We’ll still need to be aware ourselves and take serious action. But, we can at least attempt to power them with clean energy.