There are more than 400,000 new cases in a day, and more than 4,000 deaths in a single day. The positive rate of new crown testing has soared by more than 10 times. The Economist uses the "epidemic tsunami" to describe this violent rebound of the epidemic in India.
Looking down from the sky above India, you will see orange flames burning continuously for 24 hours. The city has become a huge crematorium. Parks, rooftops, parking lots… have all become temporary places for Indians to cremate their loved ones.
▲ Picture from: Reuters
India, known as the "World Pharmaceutical Factory", has always been a major exporter of vaccines and oxygen. However, these two things have now become luxury goods. The black market sits on the floor and the patients are struggling to breathe in despair. Indian pulmonologist Zariel U Dewadi said that the scene in the hospital resembled the horror hell portrayed by Dante in "The Divine Comedy".
Although the domestic epidemic has been brought under control, what if I told you that there will be a disaster equivalent to the new crown every 10 years in the future?
This is not what I said, but the prediction made by Bill Gates in the recently published book "Climate Economy and the Future of Mankind". He believes that by the middle of this century, climate change may become as deadly as the new crown pneumonia.
Bill Gates spent ten years investigating the causes and effects of climate change, and spent more than half of it disassembling the sources of greenhouse gas emissions. After reading this book, I think that Bill Gates’ prediction may not be a sensational title party.
Speaking of Bill Gates, he has been frequently on hot searches recently because of announcing divorce. However, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, jointly run by the two, will also work to solve the problem of climate change. Bill Gates also mentioned Melinda many times in the book.
Bill Gates hopes to achieve the goal of zero carbon through a technological revolution and prevent that catastrophic future from becoming a reality. And history tells us that the obstacles and challenges facing environmental protection and sustainability are far more than just technology.
Bill Gates: Climate change is more terrifying than new coronary pneumonia
Bill Gates listed two numbers on the first page of the book-510 and 0. Humans emit about 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year, and "0" is to prevent global warming from increasing. The goals that need to be achieved, Bill Gates hopes to be achieved in 2050.
It should be noted that the "0" here does not mean to completely abandon fossil fuels or stop all other activities that generate greenhouse gases. After all, you cannot ask people and animals to stop breathing and farting.
Bill Gates pointed out that "0" means that while reducing emissions, the emission of greenhouse gases is eliminated through technical and other means to achieve a state of close to "zero carbon", which is now often referred to as "carbon neutral."
▲ Picture from: " New York Times "
What is the concept of 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases? This is equivalent to the weight of 137,000 New York Empire State Building.
Even if the 190 member states that signed the Paris Agreement complete their emission reduction targets, they will only be able to reduce emissions by 3-6 billion tons in 2030.
If half of the world's land area is planted with trees, it can only offset the carbon emissions of the United States.
In 2020, global greenhouse gas emissions will rarely be reduced by 5%, but what price have we paid for this? More than 3 million people have died because of the new crown epidemic, and tens of millions have lost their jobs.
▲ Many people will stay in 2020 forever.
Doesn't it look desperate?
This is also one of the reasons for the terrible prediction that Bill Gates made at the beginning. During the peak of the epidemic in August last year, Bill Gates said that the new crown pneumonia is terrible, but climate change may be worse . His influence is further quantified in the book. :
In the next 10 or 20 years, the economic damage caused by climate change is equivalent to an epidemic equivalent to COVID-19 every 10 years.
By the middle of the 21st century, climate change may become as deadly as COVID-19. By 2100, it may be five times more deadly than the epidemic.
In fact, we have been able to experience this "fatal climate change", such as increasingly frequent abnormal high temperatures.
Last year , the temperature in the Arctic reached 38 degrees Celsius , and many European countries recorded high temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. The number of deaths due to heat waves has risen sharply.
▲Picture from: CNBC
According to statistics from the World Meteorological Organization , seven of the hottest 10 years since human records have occurred in the past ten years, and the five hottest years are from 2015 to 2019.
You must know that in the age of dinosaurs, the global average temperature was only about 4 degrees Celsius higher than today, when crocodiles were still swimming in the Arctic. Bill Gates pointed out that if we do not focus on reducing emissions, the world will rise by 4-8 ℃ at the end of this century, which is basically consistent with the prediction of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In a report in The New York Times , he described the impact of different degrees of temperature rise on us. After a temperature increase of 4°C, most areas of China, India, and Bangladesh will be covered by deserts. When it reaches 5°C, some climate scientists warn that this should be the end of human civilization.
▲Picture from: "Alien Star Cataclysm"
Why is the temperature only four or five degrees higher, which would cause such serious consequences?
Bill Gates gave the answer in the book because the impact of climate change is not linear. The impact of a global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius and a warming of 2 degrees Celsius is far from a difference of 33%, but nearly 100%.
The Nobel economist William Nordhaus also pointed out in the book "Climate Casino" that when the global temperature rises to a certain threshold, it will detonate unpredictable and large-scale systemic changes. reverse.
So where do 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases come from? Among them, 31% comes from industrial production such as steel and cement, followed by 27% from power generation. Agriculture and animal husbandry and travel accounted for 19% and 16%, respectively, and the remaining 7% came from building heating.
This may not match the impression of many people, which means that even if all fuel vehicles are replaced by electric vehicles, even if we can completely rely on solar and wind power to generate electricity, it is still a drop in the bucket.
▲ Picture from: All Weather Technology
However, if we further disassemble these sources of greenhouse gases, we can find that there is actually only one source, which is energy. If we find clean energy that can replace fossil fuels, many problems can be solved.
And the biggest obstacle comes from this. Clean energy is not difficult to find. The difficulty is to make clean energy as cheap and reliable as fossil fuels. Bill Gates believes that this is the key to solving the climate problem.
The most direct reason why we have been inseparable from fossil fuels is that fossil fuels are so cheap. Under the same volume, oil is even cheaper than mineral water and cola.
If you want to replace it with clean energy, you often have to pay a higher price. For example, in order to eliminate the carbon footprint of family travel, Bill Gates uses environmentally friendly biofuels on his private jets, which are three times more expensive than traditional fuels. For this purpose, he spends more than 7 million U.S. dollars each year.
Bill Gates calls this additional cost of using green and clean energy as a "green premium." It is obviously unrealistic to let everyone pay for environmental protection like Bill Gates.
Price is only one aspect, the existing clean energy still has many shortcomings. For example, not all regions have enough solar and wind energy, the technology for large-scale storage of electricity needs to be improved, and the safety of nuclear power always has hidden dangers.
It is expensive and difficult to use. It is of course impossible to get people to abandon fossil fuels and use clean energy. Therefore, only when the "green premium" approaches zero or even becomes negative, can "zero carbon" be truly realized.
Energy is reliable, pollution-free, and cheap. It looks like an "impossible triangle." Bill Gates also said that solving the problem of climate change will be "the greatest miracle that mankind has ever done . " At the same time, in his view, this "miracle" is not impossible to achieve.
The business of carbon neutrality will determine the future of the country and large companies
In the past two years, "carbon peak" and "carbon neutral" have become buzzwords. my country has also announced that it will strive to achieve a carbon peak in 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality in 2060.
The so-called carbon peak means that carbon dioxide emissions reach their peak and begin to decline. Carbon neutralization uses a series of measures to offset all carbon dioxide emissions.
After reading the above data and analysis, you may have the same question as me. Is it really possible to achieve "carbon neutrality" in 2060? Especially in a carbon-emitting country like ours.
In an interview with Ai Faner, Li Junfeng, director of the Academic Committee of the National Climate Change Strategy Research and International Cooperation Center, looked at the goal of "carbon neutrality" from another perspective.
Achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 is a policy vision, not necessarily a scientific goal. As long as we move in this direction, it is right, even if it is finally postponed, it is a good thing.
If we cannot lead the renewable energy revolution, the United States may not be able to win the long-term strategic competition with China. Now we are behind.
Although China's "green premium" is still high, the rate of decline has been rapid. The cost of solar power generation in China has been reduced by 90% in the past 10 years. Global photovoltaic semiconductor production capacity exceeds 90%. In China, wind power installed capacity also accounts for 43.4% of the world.
This is largely due to my country's investment in clean energy technology, but technology alone is not enough. Li Junfeng believes that innovation in policies and mechanisms is as important as technological innovation.
Technology is fundamental, while policies and mechanisms are catalysts.
But when it comes to carbon neutrality, you first think of environmental sustainability, and when it comes to environmental sustainability, it is often associated with public welfare, as if this is a matter of investment greater than return.
In fact, on the contrary, carbon neutrality is not only a profitable business, but also not a "small profit." Bill Gates believes that behind carbon neutrality is a huge economic opportunity.
Those countries that have established great "zero-carbon" companies and great "zero-carbon" industries will undoubtedly lead the global economy in the coming decades.
The world is all for profit, and many technology companies have keenly seen this business opportunity.
Tesla earned $1.58 billion in revenue by selling carbon credits alone, which is more than twice its net profit and more than selling cars.
Amazon listed 25,000 low-carbon products last year. Bezos believes that addressing climate change will improve economic efficiency and promote technological change.
Apple promises to achieve carbon neutrality in the supply chain and product life cycle by 2030. In the long run, it will not be a loss-making business, and it will even become a new selling point for its products.
When carbon neutrality becomes a business, it will inevitably bring some "false environmental protection brands" that are marketed under the guise of sustainability. American environmentalist Jay Westwood once used "greenwashing" to describe this false Environmental appeal.
Nevertheless, only when environmental protection and sustainability really become a business, can society as a whole have greater motivation to promote technological innovation and commercial applications, and the renewable energy industry can continue to develop and gradually replace fossil energy.
Artificial meat is a ready-made example. Although some companies have bred artificial salmon meat that is very close to real meat in texture, flavor and appearance , the price is high. Although artificial meat made of plant protein is relatively cheap, the taste is quite different from that of real meat.
▲ Wild Type Salmon meat cultivated by cells.
Without reasonable costs and a good enough experience, these brands and products that advocate sustainability and environmental protection can only have a niche market.
The vision of saving the planet and mankind is beautiful, but making money is the most effective driving force to promote carbon neutrality.
The rise of anti-environmentalism: "Environmental protection is the trisolaran conspiracy to destroy the earth"?
In the science fiction novel "Three-Body", one of the strategies adopted by the Trisolaran people invading the earth is to use the environmental protection groups on the earth to obstruct the development of science and technology on the earth under the banner of environmental protection.
This is also a partial portrayal of reality. When people find that the biodegradable plastic bags can be used after being buried for three years , the more environmentally friendly paper straws may "degrade" directly in their mouths, and consumers can only be forced to accept that their mobile phones do not ship charging heads. Many people questioned environmental protection:
Is it necessary to sacrifice our current life experience for environmental protection?
Ai Faner's " Young People Start Anti-Environmental Protection, What Are They Against?" "It is also mentioned in the article that people do not support environmental protection, but when environmental protection is opposed to convenience and self-interest, people begin to hesitate in environmental protection.
To make people truly accept environmental protection and sustainability and take action for it, it is not enough to blindly understand the importance of science and environmental protection and the terrible climate change. As the talk show actor Shi Yan said in the documentary "Sustainable Waste":
Why is it that when we talk about sustainability, what we often talk about first is altruism, for the future and the future of the earth, etc. Why can't you tell everyone that this is a self-interested thing?
This is why Bill Gates believes that the goal of carbon neutrality can only be achieved by lowering the "green premium." If environmental protection is just a public welfare undertaking, it is not sustainable, and you cannot ask everyone to use paper straws for the future of mankind, let alone impossible. Let a large number of developing countries give up opportunities to develop and improve lives for the future of the earth.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus put forward several principles for practicing environmental protection in "The Violence of Environmental Protection". One of them is "We don’t organize people’s lives from the top down, let us tolerate everyone’s lifestyle."
Fortunately, a few years after the wave of consumerism, young people's consumer behavior has also begun to change from materialism to self-expression and cultural identity. The " New Youth Cultural Insights " released by CBNData shows that contemporary youth are more willing to pay for brands that practice sustainable concepts and assume more social responsibilities.
▲ A flash mob on the theme of sustainability held by Everlane and Duocauyu.
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