17 October 2020

Buy-in, and that other global threat

From the current New Scientist:

The world has now already warmed about 1⁰C since the pre-industrial age... "Even at 1⁰C warming, climate change is bringing us to the edge, or even over the edge, of what we are able to cope with." says Friederike Otto at the University of Oxford. Climate's make or break year, Adam Vaughan, 'New Scientist', 17 October

As the political caste all over the world floats ever higher away from the concerns of ordinary people, it's perhaps time to look at its consequences for the long-running, not very televisual, slow-moving disaster that is climate change. I've written many times here and on the SocialGoals.com website about the importance of buy-in. For dealing with climate change, which is going to require the expenditure of massive resources, upfront, for an uncertain and inherently long-term benefit, buy-in is as elusive as it is crucial, but there certainly isn't enough of it at the moment. There are many worthwhile efforts going on, mostly aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but they are clearly not enough. I think the reason for this is that the objectives that are cited by climate scientists and activists are too abstract to generate much buy-in. I suggest that, instead of targeting degrees Celsius, or greenhouse gas emissions, or the composition of the atmosphere, we target climate goals that are meaningful to ordinary people. By this I mean broad goals, such as reductions in the numbers of people killed or made homeless by adverse climatic events, wherever in the world they occur

The Climate Stability Bond approach might also have presentational advantages and more palatable money flows than such elegant solutions as a carbon tax. Any presentational advantages would be due to people's more readily identifying with the direct targeting for reduction of the impacts of adverse climatic events, whether they be short term - and televisual - such as hurricanes, or long term and drawn out, such as desertification. The money flows would be more palatable because, essentially, payment would be for results: Climate Stability Bonds would not be redeemed until all targeted goals had been achieved.

Goals that are meaningful to ordinary people, and more palatable money flows: with these two advantages, Climate Stability Bonds, would, I think, be better than the current, failing, approach.

No comments: