Silicon Valley won’t solve climate change because – well, because. We’ve the error of fact:
Take Juicero, for instance: a $400 juicer that squeezes proprietary packets that could easily be wrung with one’s hand, and offer no marked improvement over the millennia-old citrus squeezer “technology.” What the now-defunct Juicero did do, however, was make its users dependent on its absurd and wasteful juice packet subscriptions. Google invested hundreds of millions in Juicero before it went bankrupt. “Innovation,” indeed.
Google may well have invested in Juiero and I’m not going to pay the fee to find out. But as it raised $118 million and also there were 16 investors I’m really pretty sure that Google didn’t invest hundreds of millions in it.
Then we’ve the rather larger problem of not having a damn clue of the subject under discussion. Silicon Valley won’t solve climate change because they’d make a profit from it. And of course anyone who makes a profit want’s to continue to do so, therefore they’ll not actually solve it:
I have no doubt that if we let techno-capitalists tackle climate change, we will end up with a similar situation: world governments will contract out carbon capture to a group of tech behemoths whom we will pay forever to rent their equipment and keep things in a stable state. If they fix the problem and remove all the excess carbon from the atmosphere, their services will become useless — and their shareholders and investors certainly wouldn’t like that. Better to keep the problem intact as long as possible to wring dry the public sector for all eternity — ironically, fixing the problems that technology, largely, created. It’s the perfect grift.
A monopolist would certainly attempt to do that, yes. But it’s rather Marxist thinking to believe that “capital” or “Silicon Valley” are a monopoly.
Happily, we’ve a solution:
If the Roman Republic understood the conditions that caused climate change, they could have easily put a stop to it. That’s because all you have to do to halt climate change is stop using fossil fuels and plant a huge number of trees. Together, these acts would reduce the surfeit of man-made carbon dioxide currently tainting the atmosphere and wreaking havoc on our planet.
“Just stop using fossil fuels” and 7 billion people die. Which we do generally regard as something of a problem. Which is why we need innovation and tech of course. We’d like to have something that replaces the fossil fuels.
Keith A. Spencer is a senior editor for Salon. He manages Salon’s science, tech, economy and health coverage.
Yes, obviously, brains isn’t a requirement because Amanduh works at Salon but really, this level of stupidity? Seriously, this is their science and also economics coverage manager.