Thursday, June 06, 2013

Leaving Asia

If only for the summer, it is finally time to head out over the blue Pacific and leave Seoul behind.

It has been a gruelling spring in so many ways, first the imminent war threats and now week after week under the pollution haze with temperatures climbing up to 30 degrees, mould in the air conditioning system and Eddie waking up every morning crying, presumably from the same sore throats that Anna and I have been suffering from.  Under such conditions, one first of all feels very fortunate in that we do have a choice, that unlike billions of other people in Asia this summer, we can simply leave. Then, one is again reminded of the inadequacies of what we call “environmental politics”; how rich countries only look for feel-good solutions for their own population rather than accepting the kind of forward-looking global responsibility that is so urgently needed.

Solar power currently provides 0.02% of the Chinese energy supply. After massive CDM-investments, wind stands at a meagre 0.7%. Coal, gas and oil together make up 92% while nuclear and hydro power account for the remaining 7.3%. Such numbers alone should be enough to persuade any sensible person that the current climate strategy has failed and that real progress depends on that we quickly develop breakthrough energy technologies capable of changing how energy is produced. Unfortunately, environmentalists still hold on to the same unhelpful idea of making dirty energy relatively more expensive rather than making clean energy absolutely cheaper.


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