Welcome to the some discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US.  Entry #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

If you still believe climate change is a hoax, then quit reading this blog entry.  You’ll be pulling out your hair by the end.

In the real world, climate change exists.  In the real world, the consequences of not addressing climate change are catastrophic.  If society does not begin taking major steps immediately to reduce CO2 emissions, the primary contributor to the earth’s warming, there is a distinct possibility of a huge die-off in the earth’s population in the next 100-150 years. 

Just for reference, the current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (parts per million) is the highest since 3-5 million years ago, long before the evolution of modern man.  The high concentration has changed the curve of the earth’s natural warming and cooling cycle.  Based on historical patterns, the earth should be in the very early stages of a cooling cycle.  Instead, the earth’s temperature continues to increase.

No matter what we do, the earth’s temperature is likely to rise for another 50-75 years.  During that period the US and virtually every other country will experience more intense heat domes, rising oceans, more intense rainstorms, more flooding, more droughts, more fires and a severe strain on the agricultural sector’s ability to grow and harvest crops consistently. 

In addition, because of the shift in the jet stream caused by warmer temperatures in the Artic, areas of the southern US could experience heretofore rare severe winter cold snaps.  This all sounds like fun, huh?

How do we begin slowing the increase in earth’s temperature and eventually get earth back to the normal cycle of temperature variation?  The simple answer?  US society needs to have the will and commitment to fix the problem we helped cause.

Interestingly and fortunately, the technology exists today that can help make a major leap toward slowing the increase in temperature.  Also, technology is in development that can slow the increase even more.

If we have the technology, then why doesn’t the US just implement it?  What’s the issue when everyone would benefit?

Welcome to a country where logic and commitment to the common good seem to have vanished.  There is no better example of vanished commitment than willingness to be vaccinated for Covid.  A substantial portion of the US population refuses to get vaccinated even though the unvaccinated are at very high risk of being infected. 

The anti-vax groups offers a range of unsubstantiated medical claims and the usual array of conspiracy theories, including an effort by “government” to bend the will of the people, which will lead to more government takeovers, of course.

The extent of the selfishness of this group is hard to overstate.  The group insists a requirement to be vaccinated would impinge on their “freedom.” Yet, when the anti-vaxxers become infected with Covid, the group demands immediate medical attention.  I guess the group has forgotten their “freedoms” and the organized medical community resulted from actions taken by that bad old federal government.   

In addition to the anti-vaxxers, there are many companies, especially in the fossil-fuel industry, that refuse to accept any responsibility for global warming.  While we might not have known in 1900 how much drilling (methane release), then burning fossil fuels (CO2) could contribute to global warming, we have known about the linkage and the potential problem for at least 50 years.      

Another category of deniers sits in Congress, mainly from Republican-dominated states, and in particular from states with fossil-fuel resources.  One senator from such a state stated that producing oil and gas was not the contributor to global warming.  The real problem was burning the oil and gas.  OK, there are some products that use oil and/or as a feed stock.  However, a substantial portion is burned and creates CO2.  If the companies continue producing oil and gas at the current rate, unsold inventory will fill storage capacity quickly.  Then what, senator?

Without getting into a long dissertation, here’s a list of actions that could begin meaningful progress toward mitigating the effects of climate change.  The US needs to step up before we start negotiating with other countries to do the same.  More discussion about the proposed steps in coming entries. (The recommendations are excerpts from a paper I wrote as part of a group of MIT alumni working on practical solutions to climate change.)

  • Because the US is so polarized politically, a “9/11” or “Pearl Harbor” moment beyond the UN Report and record heat seems necessary to gain broad public support for addressing climate change and encouraging Congress to pass necessary climate legislation
  • Federal mandates requiring 100% electric usage in transportation, major industries, commercial building /homes, agriculture by a certain date are likely the only solution to ensure compliance across key sectors.  More in coming entries why a “free-market” solution likely will not work in time.
  • Even with a “Pearl Harbor” moment and mandates for electric, widespread education of the public will be necessary
  • The president or Congress should activate the Defense Production Act of 1950 to ensure electrified products are produced in quantity adequate to meet mandates
  • Federal government financial support for infrastructure and cost reduction programs will be required in all sectors, including provisions for “buy-back” of banned products
  • Renewable sources of electricity – solar, wind, hydro – likely will be inadequate to meet substantially higher base-load demand.  Nuclear power will be required.  Fusion is superior but commercial fusion decades away.
  • Accelerating timeline for widespread hydrogen availability will help achieve zero-emissions in aircraft, long-haul trucking as long as hydrogen not derived from fossil fuel
  • Students, grammar school thru college, and those under age 30 in 2021 can be a major influence on changing public attitudes and spurring legislation      

Comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms welcome.

Interested in more info about climate change, what’s required to electrify a fleet of cars/trucks, what it was like to work day-to-day with Lee Iacocca and an array of other topics? Visit another page of this website, https://usrevolution5.com/jrd-thought-comments/