STOP Believing There’s Not Much Being Done About Climate Change

It’s Just Being Kept Quiet

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

That’s right! There is a lot of action being taken toward climate change.

It’s just not out in the open. Why? Very simple: the profit motive.

Plenty of businesses and entire countries are working on real solutions out of sight.

I have two examples. Actually both are open to the public but do not usually appear in the everyday discourse reported in the media.

Fusion Power Plants

These will produce electricity for everyday use. They will also provide the extra power needed to charge electric vehicles as those replace gas and diesel. They run on water, not uranium. They are not science fiction — results of thousands of experiments by hundreds of laboratories over the last 30 years show how to make it work.

Progress is being made quietly. There will be plenty of publicity, just not now.

What is interesting is who is involved. Investments are from Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Michael Bloomberg, Jack Ma, Google, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and a long list of venture capital firms. These private firms have a short timeline. They are aiming at demonstration plants producing electric power within this decade and complete plants after that. You might think of these as the ultimate growth investments, like the next General Electric or Westinghouse. We cannot buy stock in them now, but they might have stock available and be really worthwhile as we move toward the later part of the 2020’s. These could replace the current nuclear reactors across the planet and their numbers would likely go well beyond. They have no nuclear waste and no dangerous fuel. And zero carbon emissions.

Pure Drinking Water for All

At this moment, over 19,000 specially designed water purification plants are operating worldwide. They are based on a high-pressure desalination process called reverse osmosis (RO). They convert ocean water into very high-quality drinking water. About 75% of them are in the Mid-East, with the balance in Europe and Africa and less than 10% in the United States. Desalination

The water is superior to almost all drinking water that is currently supplied to our homes by municipal water treatment plants. Yes, the water fed into the city pipes throughout the United States meets EPA standards. But RO water tends to be purer.

Yet western states are warning about water shortage. Surely, Los Angeles, for example, could benefit from a desalination plant or two run with energy from a nuclear plant. They are on the Pacific Ocean. Makes better sense than pulling water from the Colorado River or piping it in from the Great Lakes, pumping the giant aquafer under western states, or some other scheme. Yes, it would be another nuclear reactor. But at least it would be a newer and safer design. This might be replaced by a fusion reactor once they are available.

While producing pure water by desalination is a relatively short-term measure to be used while stabilizing our climate through reduction of carbon dioxide and other emissions, ceasing deforestation, it removes drinking water shortage as a concern.

The technology is here. It is working for millions. We can use it.

My Take

I’m guessing that the planet has plenty of untapped technical capability to deal with climate change. The owners are just not ready to share much. They will be as the stakes grow higher. Given the current stakes, I am amazed that those with the cash, be they governments or individuals, are not investing ten times more to move the technologies forward.

I’m also guessing that I am aware of only a tiny portion of what is happening.

Yes, we need to continue applying pressure on government and corporations to deliver but don’t believe the private sector is not quietly creating solutions.

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