Are you scared yet?

I know. Everybody keeps saying that we will not change anything by scaring people. But how do YOU feel when you read the special issue in the Proceedings of Natural Academy of Sciences on tipping elements?

Don’t scare people. Instead, make them curious, enthusiastic, encourage their sense of worth, but most of all point out their ability to make money. If people can make money off the business of climate change and clean energies, then they will for sure be enthusiastic to act.

Ok. Great. So that’s what many people are doing. They make money. They fly all over the world to make even more money. To safe ourselves from ourselves. And we feel good because we do good things for the sake of future generations AND make money (well, I guess some do, I still have to learn that trick).

So now here comes the crux. What if we are fooling ourselves? What if we are too slow and are using the wrong means to achive the wrong goals? Not that clean energies are a wrong goal. It’s the one goal that will get us out of the crisis into a safe future. But sometimes I do wonder if we are missing some important point. By using the same old means of selling cars and cell phones and lipstick we now want to sell clean energy. Is that really going to do the trick?

Or don’t we need more drastic means of proceeding towards 100% clean energies? But if so, which path do we need to take?

Well, for now I will take the approach of scaring people. In the next couple of weeks, starting next Tuesday, I’ll describe to you the different tipping elements described in the special issue of PNAS. Enjoy!

Maiken Winter

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