Telling the general public that climate change is bad is not easy. People have the habit of fighting single threats, and the media is feeding them a steady diet of seemingly unrelated threats they can dismiss. Not NASA comes with the prediction of prolonged droughts in the US by mid century. The drought will be the most sever in the last thousand years.
Lake Mead, feeding the Hoover Dam, has been low due to recent drought.
It isn’t really surprising to run into once in a millenium drougths in a time when we are pushing our climate to new extremes. It is the general effect of increasing temperatures by several degrees. It seems people don’t understand the meaning of ‘warming’ or it the media is trying slice and dice the process into a message the public gets easily desensitized to “Another degree of warming” so what?
Economic forces will keep discouraging wise policies, although slowly the focus of the climate effort shifts to attacking fossil fuel interests and players. Apart from all other measures the increase of emissions must be halted and reversed to leave humanity with more time to fix their predicament (which is possible). States like California have been run by smart leaders like Schwartzenegger and Brown who have always been aware of environmental issues and threats, and have created an example out of California to the world.
The tide is turning for fossil fuels, even if exploration is still happening. The global carbon divestment movement is trying to starve fossil fuel companies of cash to explore. This won’t necessarily have an ultimate impact on the big fossil fuel companies (because they don’t need money to operate, only fossil fuels), but it does reduce the political support for them.
At the same time investment in renewables is growing explosively. India just announced it will invest $166 per citizen or $200 Billion in renewables. That kind of investment creates so much jobs and such a powerbase for clean energy that renewables will take over from there. The solar, wind, wave industries have their won lobbyists who will make sure their industry thrives. Current chinese solar panel production capacity is maxed out. New factories have to be build to serve new markets.
Renewables will become unstoppable once they are made with only renewable energy
But the fight hasn’t really begun yet. The fighting of climate change involves changing farming practices everywhere to ones that cause accumulation of carbon in the soil, this is a very effective way to recapture CO2. Current methods deplete soil carbon. Palm oil plantations grow on high carbon tropical rainforrest soil and deplete that resource.
Trees are being planted by the millions in some parts of the world, but it is still not mandatory to do so on unused land. They don’t only store carbon, but also cause transportation of rain as they create micro climates that cool the soil and retain water in an evaporation/rain cycle. A great example is shown in the picture below. It is a small planted forrest in an arid region of Australia. It did require some irrigation, but obviously with that it was a big succes. How much of Australia could be covered by this approach?
When will it become law that land that isn’t being used for food or recreation will be turned into woodland. The dutch queen shows a dutch invention, the Growasis waterboxxx that collects rainwater to feed the young tree, so it can develop a deep root system that will make it stronger. It doesn’t require any irrigation and can be reused!
A major problem with all these initiatives is that they still occur in the economic matrix. They still have to yield some kind of return. While trillions are spend on defense, the defense of humanity is never considered. The best layer of protection we have is life itself. More life, trees, plants, fungi, insects, mean more evolutionary options, more variety for selection. Economic forces inspire people to build traps for consumers, to create artificial scarcity so people have less freedom to choose and will come back to the same (ineffective) solutions.