The video, “Power Surge,” courtesy of NOVA, took initiative to explain the modern ecological problem regarding climate change and possible solutions that may save us. I believe that regardless of what happens, the modern human will be able to gradually evolve to adapt any changes in the atmosphere, whether it means to integrate an automated filtration system in the mouth and nose, or to learn how to effectively use chemicals in the air that have previously been toxic to us. However, assuming this theory is false, I believe I would side with the solution the video provides: the Wedge Theory, as proposed by Stephen Pacala of Princeton University. The theory states that the modern problem regarding climate change will have to be solved by technology, but not by one technology alone. Many diverse ‘technological wedges’ will have to fill in the triangular gap -consisting of current and projected carbon emissions- to solve the problem. For this to work, we will have to put our current carbon levels at a standstill over the next fifty years and establish a seven billion ton reduction per year to accommodate our projected living standards for the future. Pacala divides this seven billion ton piece into a more understandable seven one billion ton pieces. Each wedge is symbolic of a different carbon emission reduction method and each individual wedge can be rated in effectiveness based on the following four categories; energy efficiency, nuclear energy, removal of active carbon emissions from coal plants, and the generation of solar power.
This is one method to cope with the problem, but I believe it is not the most effective. I believe it would be much better to abandon the modern world as we know it, meaning dropping electricity, harvesting energy, and the use of technology altogether. We should go back to a civilization as we knew it prior to industrialization. We should manually take apart factories, plants and other unnecessary facilities and use the parts to assemble more useful structures such as houses and infrastructure. Cars should be scrapped and everyone should live in small communities where everything is accessible by foot or by horseback. Government should disintegrate into the common people as over the course of history we have discovered that no matter how you put it, the government always ends up greedy, corrupt, and is usually detested by most civilians. Food can still be accumulated by farming and hunting, and cooking would be over open fires, as microwaves and gas stoves and grills will be a thing of the past. This would be the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions and terminate the accumulating problem we have in our world today. It would practically eliminate the carbon emissions we are outputting and it would allow the earth to naturally reset it’s carbon levels over time.
However, this concept seems impractical. The world has come to far to give up the technologies and the globalization we have taken so long to generate. No one wants to give up their office jobs to go back to the dirty work of farming and self sustenance…except for me. So perhaps realistically, Pacala might have found a good solution to the problem, though he does not really go in depth about the effects of such technologies on the environment, economy, or society.