By Nick Lyth
This summer, the British Met Office published its 7th Annual State of the UK Climate Report 2020. Widely reported in the media, the report included some statistics that have been ignored:
How does this compare with Canada and Toronto, Phil?
I say this to you because I believe it is only through a global concerted international effort that we can stem the tide of climate change. As close allies and benefactors of industrialization over the 20th century which has fueled our economies, Canada and the UK have a moral obligation to lead the way in the world’s transition to a more sustainable economy.
Canada is much worse than the UK because of the temperature rise. That’s terrible. Nothing can survive in that heat. How do you propose dealing with the problem, Phil?
I’ve come to the realization that while technology and science are necessary and important, they are not sufficient by themselves to solve this problem. It is the combination of technology, finance, and policy that lead to change. You work at the interface of technology and finance, and I am trying to make an impact at the interface of technology and policy. What gives me hope is that we are having this conversation across countries, generations, and disciplines, but both focused on what needs to be done to address the climate crisis.
As a young person part of a generation that will be disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change as time goes on, I sometimes feel that the urgency to act that burns so deeply in me is lost on those who are older. Has the older generation lost sight of the problem, or lost interest in it?
We have to define what is wrong first. The older generation is confused, I think. I actually think the younger generation is confused as well, in spite of Greta and the Extinction Rebellion. But we’re all confused because, although the media have correctly drawn the conclusion that climate change is making itself felt, I think the most important aspect of the UK Climate Report is the detail. The more granular, the more useful it is, because we can then understand it in the context of our own lives. In the end, this is a practical problem, and we need practical solutions.
I think the time has come for a different approach. We need a new mantra for our new circumstances if we are to stop being taken by surprise: Predict and Protect. Let us use our exceptional capability to anticipate the problems – Predict – and prepare ourselves to restrict the damage before it happens – Protect.
I think that means we will need more and more grassroots technology innovations to cope with the problems we are already facing, ranging from software programmes to forecast weather events and their impact to specific locations; to micro flood defences which can be applied to individual premises; ventilation systems that can retro-fit into premises suffering from excessive heat; through to guttering run-off systems to divert cascading water from threatened roofs.
It’s going to be expensive, but it is essential.
Yes, it will be expensive, but the first-of-a-kind always is, and the opportunity in a just and clean economy is massive. The question for you, Nick, is What? What are the technologies that can do what we need?
To be continued.
Nick Lyth is Founder and CEO of Green Angel Syndicate, one of the largest active angel syndicates in the UK and the only one specialising in the fight against Climate Change. For regular updates follow Green Angel Syndicate on LinkedIn and Twitter.