Autonomous Big City Travel

A week in Paris has opened my eyes on how inevitable the autonomous driving future really is. I live in the South of Holland and try to live a Practice What You Preach live because I am very concerned by the prospect of what our continued Western lifestyle will mean for the future of planet Earth. So I took the train to Paris for a week long holiday. 
Traveling by public transportation means planning ahead so days before my trip I looked the departure times of the trains and I got the scare of my life: In order to be in time for my 12:00 pm Thalys from Rotterdam to Paris I had to leave my house at 8 AM because half way my journey a bridge was being repaired. It meant I had to leave 2,5 hours earlier than if trains ran regularly. Just to get to the starting point of my journey.

I decided that starting the day with the delay risk of 4 train switches was not going to increase my relaxation I decided to drive my hybrid to Rotterdam, create some unnecessary CO₂ and park there. Practice what you preach goes a long way but I don’t go so far as to ridicule myself.
The Thalys was right on time although I don’t understand why I had to be at the platform half an hour early. The coffee in the station was great and I got on my first High Speed Train ever!
Within minutes of departure the train was comfortably blasting with 300 km/h in the direction of Paris, first stop Antwerp. There the train had to wait for a full hour because between Antwerp and Bruxelles an accident had happened. 

This was when I realized how highly inflexible the railway infrastructure really is: hundreds or thousands of people are stranded because somewhere in the system somebody didn’t look out and got run over by a train. All Trains on both sides of the accident have to wait till the track is made available again. On a highway you get a traffic jam but at least 2 of the 3 lanes are usually available shortly after something happens and you can take an exit to drive around a problem.
Anyways, we arrived fossil free in Paris an hour late. No big deal because I was in holiday mode. The total travelling time (6:40) from my house to Paris was substantially longer than had I driven point to point. How would this travel scenario roll out in a not so distance future autonomous EV world? Would I order a vehicle to bring me from Weert to Paris in 4,5 hours while I was enjoying blogging in the back seat? Absolutely!

I walked to my hotel with my roller suitcase, enjoying the Big City sound, smell and buzz. My eye immediately caught the numerous Toyota Hybrid cabs (mostly Prius), busses, botched cars and triple wheel motorcycles. My hotel was just ten minutes walking from Gare du Nord, in the middle of a busy neighborhood.
The next morning I got myself a public transportation chipcard (valid for ten years, 5€) and ordered a 1 week unlimited travel fee for just €23 and was ready to go. Paris had an amazing subway network and you can get from anywhere to anywhere and the frequency of the trains is amazing, can’t remember having to wait more that 3 minutes.

I really enjoyed the rides to get around town. But once you get back out in the streets you notice that there is an even denser network of buses overlaying the subway network. The sound of the buses is everywhere and the (tourist) buses are followed by at least ten taxis and 50 personal transportation devices (including occasional public bikes). In numerous streets you see really dirty shared public EV’s charging and occasionally you actually see one moving. The idea is cool but who wants to drive such a dirty not looked after piece of shit?

Paris is a pandemonium of people moving around all the time and I sat down at one cafe to think out this blog….
Just close your eyes and fast forward 10 years:

  • all the taxis are replaced by autonomous Uber/Tesla EV’s. Not Model S, not model 3, but more something like a Smart. Taking up no space and moving 2 people at a time over empty boulevards
  • All the dirty public EV’s are gone, because they are charged and maintained outside the city 
  • Nobody uses buses because point to point travel with an app is way easier and cheaper
  • No cars parked anywhere
  • Air quality improves big time
  • Noise level improves big time 
  • I think metro will survive because it is already fully electric, quiet, fast and really cheap

I am sure this city is absolutely ready for this autonomous EV revolution. They have done many experiments with public and shared services and paying for taxis. Autonomous EV’s will revolutionize the Paris experience, in a very good way.
If you want to enjoy the diesel noise and smoke and a million dented cars, you better hurry, they won’t last.

PS. For the major Paris : immidiatly forbid new fuel powered two/three wheelers and mandatory replacement by 2020, quickest win for cleaner air and less noise,

The Climate Lawsuit : Who should make decisions regarding our climate?

The Netherlands has seen a unique lawsuit recently: “Urgenda, a non-profit organisation with an Urgent Climate Change Agenda as it’s core business, sued the Dutch state. It asked the judge to force the Government to deliver on the promises it made to the voters: reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2025 compared to the baseline of 1990.  The judge decided in favour of Urgenda, the Government lost. The conservative administration was flabbergasted. This week the administration decided to appeal.

There are many discussions going on about the legal status of the judges verdict:
– Can a judge overrule a parliament that is not forcing the administration to deliver on its promises ?
– In such an unprecedented case the highest appeal should be sought in order to get juris prudentia
– etc

The conservative party VVD is especially vocal about the legal issues. Urgenda and others with rational green blood say that all this legal wizardry is just delaying the judges verdict, we need to take action. NOW.

I want to defend here that the parliamentary democracy may not be equipped for dealing with the unique issue of man made climate change threatening not only the type of civilisation we have  now but even the very survival of mankind.

The problem is that the Earth’s climate does not listen to arguments of coalition majorities to ignore climate change laws.

Even IPCC’s  “2 degree warming above pre-industrial levels is safe” is total bullocks, that was a political compromise of a unbelievable destructive kind.

In the ’80’s we/our parents were extremely lucky that the ozone-hole issue got resolved. Scientists discovered the source of the hole and rapid CFC-banning laws reduced levels of the gas fast enough so that the hole stabilised and started closing. Makes me think, maybe that is where the idea was born that there are simple fixes for ecological disasters.

But burning unimaginable amounts of fossil carbon, with now thawing permafrost methane adding to the equation, is changing the whole biosphere in a fundamental way. We have probably passed several tipping points already and we are rapidly pushing other limits. I will list several that, when going over the tipping point may extinguish mankind in unbelievable short periods of time.

 Hydrogen Sulfide 

In the history of Earth there have been several mass extinction events that may be attributed to dead zones in oceans where algae blooms occurred of H2S producing algae. Enormous clouds of the poisonous gas drifted from sea to land, killing everything in its path. The eastern Pacific is now an insane 3,5 degrees warmer than what mankind has ever experienced. Dead zones have already been detected and the algae won’t send a warning message when they decide that the pool is warm enough too party.


The Gulfstream that keeps Western Europe (my home) at a cosy moderate temperature in stead of mid-Canadian freezing temperatures is being driven by a conveyer belt of sinking cold salt water south of Greenland. There is now a huge 2 degree below normal cold patch  filled with floating fresh meltwater from Greenlands melting glaciers. Problem is that fresh water is lighter than salt water and so it doesn’t  sink. The warm salt water can’t cool and sink… We are currently pressing the “stop” button of the conveyer belt as hard as we can. There is no political compromise that can negotiate the switch in the “ON” position.


The pole is melting fast, But the Antarctic is a different beast than the North Pole. Where the North Pole is a sea surrounded by land, the South Pole is land surrounded by sea. Rising global temperatures have a completely different effect. The volume of ice on Antarctica is  dwindling fast and the meltwater makes its way to the ocean. Here, just like near Greenland the cold fresh water floats on the salt water, again preventing warm salt water to cool and sink. The floating fresh water freezes faster so we expect the edges of the floating sea ice to extend. Difficult stuff for conservative deniers to grasp.

North Pole

We’re three weeks from the end of this years melt season and it is going to be a dramatic one once we close the books. The red line shows the (already smaller than historic) average extent of the sea ice in the 1980-2010 period. This year we will see far, far less than that. Black sea water sucks up heat where white ice reflects it, so the Pole is being converted into a solar collector. No wonder that the average temperature there already far exceeds IPCC’s safe 2 degrees, and the positive feedback cycle has only just started. Practical problem of all this open water in the fall? Storms. In all of mankind’s history the polar coasts were protected by thick sheet ice. Now the unprotected coasts get battered by waves that can develop freely over the open water. Inuit villages are at serious risk of being swept away.

And I can continue….


We are presently living in a Lobbycracy, the post modern version of the thing we invented in 1789. At that time there were no multinationals that dictated what we should eat, what to buy and how we should travel.

Coca Cola, Tabacco and Nestlé fund hundreds of lobbyist per member of parliament and so dictate the outcome of votes. And that’s why Urgenda asked the judge to take one step back and look at the bigger picture. The judge did just that and he saw exactly what is going on:

The profit seeking Internationals and parliament overwhelming Industrial Complex that now rules the Earth is changing the biosphere so badly that it is threatening the inhabitants who may not all necessarily agree with the lawmakers bending down to Exxon and Philip Morris. You can’t use solutions from within a system to prevent the system from destroying itself. So we need a new  governing body that prioritises what is important for survival and what is drivel in the margin.

I compare this to Isaac Newton’s time. In his day mathematics was basic: plus, minus, devision. But when studying the planets and falling apples he needed a new language to describe what he saw. So he made up a complete new framework and invented Integration and differential math. He altered the scientific world.

We now need to define a new politcal language to think about our selves and our planet, “growth” and “shareholder value” no longer suffice.

It may sound strange but I really believe we need to think about a mandate for a new planet conserving UN to shut down coal mines. Willing or unwilling.

A coterie of local conservative hobbyists in parliaments is not the right gremium to govern Planet Earth. They are to interwoven with the lobby system that is destroying us.

Until that time thoughtful Earthlings will have to take the lead in ignoring their governments that are fully focussed on as cheap as possible coal power so “consumers” get “investment budget” to buy unnecessary goods. Let’s invest in our local economies and sustainable energy, even if it is not the best bargain compared to

Let’s head towards a society where we contribute as much as we can and use what we need in stead of building a climate boundaries denying TTIP framework designed to funnel all wealth into the pockets of the 1% of 1% and the rest has to struggle…..or die.

Lars  Boelen


My Previous Articles on Climate change policy:


An inconvenient truth about solar panels?

Yesterday I came across this article, pointing to the ugly downside of solar energy: to create the panels you apparently need
* to burn coal to create electricity to make silicon.
* use chemicals to clean the panels that are 24.000 times more heat capturing than CO2
* toxic metals like Cadmium to change the properties of the silicon to turn it into PV material
* massive amounts of aluminum for the frames
* people driving around in Diesel trucks to deliver the panels
* slaves
* ambulances running on petrol to collect roof workers falling of roofs
it goes on

I know this game now. I’ve debunked the “wind is dirty” bit, so I know what to look for.
Usually they assume that the production needs coal power to run the plants, data used is old, incomplete and cherry picked. And it is not different this time around.

I will only say one thing about the electricity needed for making silicon: it is absurd to assume that PV-factories can only run on coal. Elon Musk is building the worlds largest battery plant with an immense PV-array that will make more energy than the plant uses. I am sure new PV-plants will do the same thing.

Luckily I discovered a coalition in California,, that actually keeps track of the whole PV-industry performance and guess what? As a consumer you can already buy panels that score an almost perfect 92% on every aspect of PV production one can think of. More interestingly, even in the below average group GHG-chemicals and energy use are already fully under control by 30% of this group.

The problem is, again as with the Neodymium magnets, small Chinese producers that do not have to comply with regulations. So a consumer label showing the sustainability score will help consumers identify the black sheep.
Choosing non-sustainable panels thus becomes a consumer choice where individual buyers can be held accountable for.
The PV industry is getting its act together very quickly, something that cannot be said for Coal Diggers and Burners.

Here the latest 2014 list:

An energy source for the industry ? : Lifter Plants – Thorium

Households will have no issue whatsoever to decarbonize. Their rooftops will catch all the energy they need from Fusion reactor number 1, and community windmills will fill in the gaps when the sun is down. Our Tesla batteries store energy for half a neighborhood and in case we want to go all the way in reliability we will place flow batteries in every street.
If energy is in tight supply our smart neighborhood net will follow the programmed heuristic to lower power demand by switching of washing machines, boilers and lowering power usage of heat pumps. No doubt in my mind that “we the people” can be fossil free within 15 years. The most expensive part of the energy infrastructure (the low voltage distribution network in towns) will loose their goal and be decommissioned. We only need to connect with our neighbors in a mesh network to distribute our local power.

Not so for the industry. 365×24 aluminum smelters, paper mills, nuclear fuel processing plants, steel factories, manufacturing industry, they are desperately dependent on stable and MASSIVE amounts of cheap and stable energy. It is this group that screams from the rooftops that “Renewable is not feasible”. It is this group that has the lobby power to keep coal taxes low. It is this group that has Energy Ministers in their pocket to give of fracking permits. I’ve been angry at them, for refusing to modernize, for refusing to rethink, for only thinking about short term solutions.

But if you truly want the whole world to decarbonize there is no other solution than to think for these mastodons. So last week I came across a solution that is so beautiful in its simplicity that it really a shame that I didn’t come across it earlier**. The reason for this is because when you research the technology Google trashes you with documents laced with these words:
Forbidden Words
I’ve made it a picture so Google can’t index them.

Point is, there this an element number 90 (look it up) that in 100% pure form, when mixed with a minute amount of waste U233 that acts like a catalyst, magically starts to give of HUGE amounts of energy that can be harvested in a completely safe way, without the risks associated with “Fossil” Nuclear Power plants.

I always used to be very very anti-Nuclear, for the right reasons, but researching Liquid-Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR, or “lifter”) I must conclude that this technology should really be framed as “iNergy” in an Apple style glamorous setting if it actually made true it’s promises.

This is because the physics look rock solid based on 100% pure Thorium, accidents like Fukushima can’t happen (no pressure, no massive amounts of radioactive pollutants). And in case of complete systems failure it shuts itself down, even if all pumps were Tsunamied away. It needs Nuclear Waste to get started and burns the shit away if the starting material is 100% pure! The waste that comes out of a Thorium plant (if any) is safer than the ore it originated from within 300 years. Any how, Google Thorium LFTR, ignore the ’50’s and ’60’s frame and look at whats there**

A rock solid energy source, extremely expensive to develop and based on 100% clean fuel sources, but if we let the MegaCorps bite that bullet (it’s called investing), thats really OK, because they will get what they so desperately need : unmeasurable amounts of free energy! Check it out!

** since Thorium is ratio active (it falls apart) 100% pure is not possible and the contaminants make the whole idea utterly unfeasible. That is the reason that after 50 years of research the “fast breeder” reactor was buried on economic grounds. Only India pursuits the idea. And even if it would work it would take centuries to “breed” all the Uranium needed to start these reactors. Looks like industry has to rethink the sun anyways.

The 5 R’s of sustainability

People, Planet, Profit, you know the drill on sustainability. Along with the 3 R’s : Reduce, Reuse and Recycly they form the most important acronyms to get started in the field of sustainability. But it’s a tough world out there, and it’s really difficult to run a sustainable enterprise in a “warehouse on wheels portion packaged economy”. To truly become an entrepreneur who has no environmental footprint you have to do the extra mile.

I got inspired by Justin Vrany, founder of the zero waste restaurant “Sandwich Me In” in Chicago who loosely adds two extra R’s but becomes a thought leader right there for me:

Practice the five R’s to become a zero waste entrepreneur:
Reject *
Refuse *

*this is where the you have to say NO, rethink, be creative and become a winner.

Cool stuff!!

On Stakeholder Engagement: do it or they will do it to you

MOOC’ing my way to a new job in “Sustainability”, and learning lots of interesting stuff. This week had “Stakeholder Engagement” on the menu. We learned about standards for doing this (AA1000ses), reasons to do it and ways on reporting on the interactions with stakeholders and the showing the results. All rather dry and theoretical but interesting anyways.

I woke up this morning, finding my Twitter timeline filled with references to a Greenpeace report on the sustainability of IT companies. And that put all the newly learned stuff in perspective. This is exactly what stakeholder engagement is about: open, honest reporting on where you stand, what you communicate, what the results are and how you compare to your peers. But Greenpeace reverses the roles, and does a great job at doing so. I work for HP, so you can imagine that I have a story for my boss tomorrow: we need to get our act together, because if we don’t the customer will know where its IT can be serviced in a sustainable way, and believe me, customers are going to make this an important selection criterium.



MOOC @ Bath : Sustainability for Professionals : Week 3 reflection

This week : Reporting standards

Good to go through some of these standards. Until recently I was mainly on the “environmental” side of sustainability, but I have learned to appreciate the social aspect of sustainability.

One thing that keeps coming to my mind, and that is something I hope will come back later in the course, is tooling for delving into the really fundamental questions around sustainability:
“Is (part of) my company / our industry itself at all sustainable?” and if not (because I am a coal mine or lil company) what can we do to reinvent ourselves, be open and honest about that and show the world that we really care.

It’s of course really easy for me to ask these questions because I am not a player (yet) but these are the type of questions that keep me wake at night.

(Some of) the Standards

EMAS – EU management tooling framework for Environmental Reporting and company policy making. Requires registration. Currently (3-2014) 4500 members.

ISO26000 – social Responsibility framework (not certifiable)
BS8900 – sustainable Management (British)
SA8000 – Social accountability

Other reporting standards
PAS2060 (carbon reporting)
ISO 20121 – Management entertainment industry
ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System (integral part of EMAS)
BES 6001 – Responsible SOURCING of construction materials

On labeling schemes
Marine Stewardship Council, Fairtrade and other “labels” are intended to help consumers make a “wise choice”, but are they really??

One issue I see with these labels is that they are “product oriented”, you as a consumer are making a choice between brand A and B. So you read that this meat is “from better kept animals”, but there are no “meta labels” saying “eating meat is far mor damaging to the environment than eating beans and mushrooms”. The latter is necessary to grow to a “sustainable” food supply, “better kept animals” are not going to save the planet.

Far fetched idea to mitigate this: The supermarket as a whole would need to re-zone their aisles with color codes : RED-floor meaning, don’t buy this stuff if you care about sustainability, and GREEN-floor saying, it’s OK to fill your baskets here. Doubt if it would be a very successful formula though 🙂

Stakeholders and stakeholder engagement
The most interesting part of this MOOC until now : stakeholder engagement standard AA1000ses. It defines a process on how to plan, implement, react and report on stakeholder engagement. GOOD STUFF!

Ideas from fellow student Geoffrey Rowlands on changes required to implement CSR:

William Bridges is one of the change/transition educators that I admire. He is able to boil complex approaches down to simple questions or steps like:
1. What is changing?
2. What will be different because of the change?
3. Who’s going to lose what?

“Change” is an event. “Transition” is the evolving process of individuals adapting to the change.

Or the 4 “P’s” that I have used numerous times. Purpose, Picture, Plan, Part.

I’ll quote the slide of implementing CSR-sustainability policies in companies because I will want to look this up often

“Practical considerations include:

phased development and implementation
recognition of the need for identifying priorities
keeping the strategy simple and practical
starting with easy wins
recognising the need for a long planning process upfront”

All in all a very good week, I learned a lot and have lots of new ideas I can chew on!!


Sustainability framework : Notes #1

I’m reinventing myself. Want to become a “sustainability expert” so I’m MOOC’ing, reading Malthus, Club of Rome, UN millennium Goals and engaging in discussions with friends on what “Sustainability” actually means.

So many people and organizations are busy with the term that it seems to be trodden flat. What I want to do on my blog, and starting with this blogpost, is create a simple and effective framework to discuss sustainability topics in a holistic and consistent way with as few as possible personal values. I would like to come to a sort of Universal deceleration of Human Rights, but than for “a sustainable world”. This is the first of a series of post to help me organize my brain, comments on the mess below are more than welcome!

“Sustainability” when discussed in my MOOC’s focusses on needs (essential vs. wants), People, Planet, profit, the triple bottomline : economic, social and environmental impact. I want to develop a narrative in which I can discus sustainability issues with companies, corporations and local or national government and focus groups without falling into entrenched viewpoints, because that doesn’t help the discussion further.

Key concepts

“What will exponential growth mean for my business model?”
Exponential growth in an environment with boundaries is silly. Ask yeast, duckweed or Facebook about the limits to the exponential growth function in our finite world. So key concept to my sustainability will be : contemplate the growth impact of what you are trying realize

“Does my business model leave as many resources for our children as we have now?”
This will also play a central role in my model, it is only looks at US, doesn’t look back to how we got where we are now, and forces us to think about what we leave as our heritage. Sustainability Concepts to be covered: bio-diversity, Atmospheric gasses (CO2 – Methane)

Does my way of doing business improve social inclusiveness?
This concept comes from the UN millennium goals, something I hadn’t given much thought before, but as I get older and see more and more effects of government policies that push people to the brink of existence, I start to realize that this is a very important concept in sustainability. If what you is only beneficial for a smaller and smaller subset of society (even be it a profitable subset) you are not on a sustainable track.
Especially governments are susceptible to this risk, with corporatism as a prima example of how NOT to organize a government.

Are people even prime?
Many models are very anthropocentric, and I dare to question that. The world as “Gaya” organism may be the other end of this scope, but I think that we human beings are not “entitled” to the riches of the earth. I of course go straight into many religions here, where holy manuscripts put humans on top and only ask them to be good stewards. I think that we need to take a step back and look at our role in a more natural, biological way : we are only one out of a million and more species, and have no “higher rights” to the riches of our world than say a rain worm. The fact that we can think does give us an even greater responsibility to contemplate the effects of our behavior than that rain worm!

Education and Training to become Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)
Typically, top executives, including chief sustainability officers, must possess at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university, although many positions also require a Master’s in Business Administration or a related degree. Desired coursework during college and graduate school might include public administration, environmental science, environmental management, environmental engineering, business administration, architecture and urban planning. Many positions require significant sustainability and managerial experience as well.


MOOC Refelctions : Climate Change, Exeter, week 1

How cool is that! My First ever MOOC, and the first thing they tell me is that I have to write blogs and tweet about them! I love to write blogs! ha!

So here we go, my first reflections on “climate-change-challenges-and-solutions”

What is the difference between weather change and climate change?

Weather, in my part of the world, The Netherlands, changes on a daily basis. Yet streams transport low and high pressure systems across the Atlantic and bring wet & windy weather when the wind blows from the west, cool and wet when wind blows from north, cool and dry when from the east and soft and wet when blowing from the south. The yet stream is the motor of weather changes.

“Climate” used to be the average measured, by definition, over a period of 30 years. Looking at these averages you could tell that winters were soft and wet, springs usually pleasant, summers comfortable, and autumn wet and windy. These averages show a lot of variability leading to winter periods with frost and snow (skating!!!) and sometimes semi tropical summers.

What I see changing in my lifetime is that the variability both in weather AND climate are changing:
– weather patterns get stuck : weeks on end with northerly winds, switching to weeks on end of southerly wind. Huge downpours, unknown since measuring began in the 1700’s, dried out dikes because of lack of rain. All weather phenomena.

With the changing of the weather (freak events every month, we just had the three “hottest” January days ever recorded) we see a changing of the climate: spring starts sooner (second week of January and we still see flowers), autumn ends later.

The relationship between the changing of the weather and changing if the climate was one of the reasons to enter this MOOC. I’ve done a lot of reading, and I think the culprit is the yet stream that is powered by the temperature difference between the equator and the poles. Because the poles (at least the arctic) heats up a lot faster than the equator, the delta-T gets smaller! and the motor behind the yet stream fails.

Time to discuss now, please do!!

World Energy Outlook 2013 – What it doesn’t say

Today the International Energy Agency delivered its World Energy Outlook, edition 2013 . One picture says more than a thousand words, they must have been thinking, because we get loads of Powerpoint sheets and pictures. All this work just to report that it’s business as usual, although there are some issues requiring our attention.

The report itself is available for €120, even though all the IEA’s work is payed by us, the tax payers. I will leave this shameful practice for what it is, because there is more important ranting to do. On page 5 of the press information kitt we find:
You see, we have this little issue with the Philippines. In order to prevent the Pacific from starting to boil, there is a growing consensus that something needs to done about the rising (sea) temperatures. The world community seems to agree that we need to have some sort of “carbon budget” that we must not exceed in order to prevent temperatures from rising 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The picture above tells this story.

“Nice pie chart”, I thought. But than I looked again and saw this “1750-2011” label. Wait a minute! Is this pie chart really showing all the carbon ever used since James Watt invented the steam engine?Wow! The yellow slice is all the carbon that “we” will use between now and 2035, it’s our “budget”. The other slices are all the carbon used in history PLUS all the carbon ever to be used by mankind after 2035. I think that that story needs more detail than a three slice pie chart. I created the graph below with data from Carbon Dioxide Information Analyses Center:

(Reduction of CO2 emissions by 0.5% per year after 2012; 1/12 of CO2 budget remaining for all future generations.)

Inconvenient isn’t it? More than half of all the carbon dioxide mankind will ever emit will be from the generation now alive. All the cars, coal plants, holiday trips to the tropics, summer air conditioning, just-in-time production schemes, warehouse on wheels invented in the 70’s-80’s-90’s are using 2/3 of all fossil energy ever to be used by mankind. That is our generation doing this, we created this mess, we signed the climate contract with the planet blindfolded, we accepted the consequences.

The contract says we will leave as much fossil fuel (for heating homes, cooking and maybe even some driving) to our children as our (grand) parents used in the 50’s and 60’s of the last century.

I think that the whole WEO report can be binned and replaced with just one line of text:

Stop burning fossil fuels now!

Isn’t it a reassuring idea that our governments are using the WEO-report as a primary source for energy (let alone climate) policy decisions? Give your kids a good hug tonight, it may be all the warmth they get in the rest of their lives.

Ps. As Manjana Milkoreit (@ManjanaM) pointed out, the IPCC has calculated that our generation will actually burn ALL the remaining carbon budget before 2035, so “My” graph is highly optimistic, in leaving something for our kids and grandchildren.

Pps. This article went viral on Twitter today, and I felt a little uncomfortable about my guesstimate chart below (including typo) that was in the original version of this post. I am happy that my gut feeling was so much in line with real historic data:

Others have used information in this article to write own blogposts!
Mark Trexler
Paula Reed
David Appell

other articles in English on this site (the rest is in Dutch)