The conundrum deepens – big solar deployment rises yet faster, small solar falls still further: chapter 4 of The Test

Paramount Pictures, West London, 16th August 2017

A private screening of Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Sequel. We are ten years on from the release of his original blockbuster, An Inconvenient Truth. The new film tells the story of that decade, and the race against time that it represents for those with eyes to see. Some fifty people sit in a small cinema in a modern office block on an architect’s dream of a corporate campus. Many of the attendees are heads of sustainability from big companies.

I have not been looking forward to this screening. I know how good a job the great man does of explaining the horrors of climate change, but I can do without dwelling too much on how bad the bad news is these days. As an ex researcher of earth history, I figure I have a passable appreciation of how fast the meltdown of our climate is progressing, and for some years now I have preferred to focus more on the solutions. When you are in a race in which the stakes include a liveable planet, I figure, it can be bad for your concentration to watch too closely how fast your opponent is running.

So, fortified with a large glass of wine, I watch the Arctic melting before my eyes, the streets of Miami waist deep in water, Indian pedestrians quagmired on roads that are literally melting, Filipinos frantically smashing a ceiling to escape onto their roof as flood waters rise, and much else in the same vein. And I ask myself, as I always do, how the denialists can have been so very blind for so very long, in the face of all this. I know what the neuroscientists tell us about how human brains work, and how deep in metaphorical concrete we tend to encase our belief systems. Yet still, as the science of climate disruption moves from predictions made to predictions exceeded, the extent of the denial never ceases to amaze me.

You can read the rest here, with the new chapter 4 being a 10 minute read: The-Test-chapters1-4.