Saturday, February 10, 2007
Virgin Airlines tycoon Richard Branson is offering 25 million dollars to anyone who solves the problem of global warming.
The winner will have to think of a way to cleanse the atmosphere of one billion tons of carbon gases a year for 10 years. Over 200 gigatons of carbon have accumulated since the industrial revolution.
"Man created the problem and therefore man should solve the problem," Branson said. "Unless we can devise a way of removing CO2 (carbon dioxide) from the earth's atmosphere we will lose half of all species on earth, all the coral reefs, 100 million people will be displaced, farmlands will become deserts and rain forests wastelands."
Scientists predict that global average temperatures will rise between 1.8 and 4.0 degrees Celsius this century due to human activities like burning fossil fuels. This will put millions at risk from rising sea levels, floods, famines and storms.
Al Gore, whose film "An Inconvenient Truth" has helped to spread the message, claims that although something is drastically wrong, Armageddon is not inevitable.
"We are now facing a planetary emergency. The planet has a fever," he said. "This is an initiative to stimulate someone to do something that no one knows how to do. This is right at the cutting edge."
It doesn't seem right that nearly everyone in our society drives SUV's while small villages in Africa lack food, medicine, and other basic supplies. I am not implying that oversized vehicles are the only reason we are going down, but they do hasten the end significantly. Everyone will ultimately pay for our vanity unless we wise up NOW.
The distribution of the world's wealth and resources has become so lopsided that it's hard to imagine a solution. But we must, because the future affects us all. Our vast wealth, which has caused these dire circumstances, will not protect us in the end.
I want to believe that the collective conscience is stronger than the collective ego.