Why people seem apathetic to climate change?
“Vasco, I want to contribute to your Smart City. Here 5 €. Sorry, I keep 2 € is for an ice-cream” - these are the words of little boy that suffers from asthma when the pollution is too high.
Since already the 1970’s people started to raise their concerns about the environment. It was not until the mid-90’s that people started to raise their voices and do some protests.
Since already well over 20 years that governments do treaties upon treaties to arrive at the same point, in other words progress is extremely slow. The different environmental parties have met annually from 1995 in Conferences of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with climate change.
We are now at COP 21 or 22 – got lost :-). We will arrive at COP 100, it will still be the same lame excuses about climate change, if we are still alive.
People start to be fed up of these all COP numbers without any substance.Too many people, the climate change does not exist, to others they go to extremes leaving their cities to live in remote areas, like 300 years ago, shunning civilization.
There exists a more moderate group that are concerned about the future of their children and of course about themselves too.
Whose fault it is?
We, normal citizens, do not want to spend or invest any money in new environmental technologies. We are happy with what we know, polluting cars, polluting heating systems, …
The investors, apparently sitting on a staggering figure of 7 trillion USD for clean energy investments, are also not willing to invest, without any governmental back up.
The politicians tell that the private sector and the citizens have their share in the responsibility and should invest also. As we see, it just turns around and around, and nobody wants to endorse responsibilities.
What can be done?
Only if we put ourselves together, we can do something to clean our Earth from all the pollutants via investments, even very small investments like this little boy.
The Smart City mentioned by the boy is a research smart city. The project is a city without any polluting devices, no cars, no trucks, no buses, no polluting heating systems, no oil, no coal, …
It will be a ‘Plus-City’. It means a city that produces more energy than it consumes. The has a minimum of 100,000 inhabitants and about 150,000 commuters if not more.
How can such a city function without any transportation mode?
There is a transportation mode. It will be autonomous underground pods that will take us everywhere we want in that city. On the top, there will be only parks with pedestrian and bicycle routes.
What can this city offer, apart from clean ‘Air’?
- It will be an international and multicultural city like other cities.
- The skyscrapers will not be just huge blocks of living quarters. These will have a ‘city-like live’ inside.
- It will have shopping centers for those who like to shop.
- It will have international and local schools.
- Most of the governmental papers, if not all, will be done online.
- It’s a highly secure city, with children playing without any fear, where in other places they risk to be molested or kidnapped.
- It will have cultural centers, where people can expose or promote their cultures and arts, …
- It will recreational centers, where people can enjoy each other during their leisure time.
Coming to the recreational activities, how can we take time if we pass most of the time on the streets or in the office?
With such a city, the driving frustration, angriness, spending 1 to 2 hours in the car, will be things from the past – your transportation experience will be unique in the city. If the Hyperloop One comes to the scope, then you might live about 300 km away and you may travel about 15 min to work that smart city.
You arrive at your office without headaches that we get while traveling to the office.
This city will look like a ‘paradise’. The illnesses due to pollution and car accidents will be minimized to a maximum. The social security outcome will be dwarfed compared to the billions upon billions spent per year, today.
Let’s act, now!
Vasco Gonçalves is a Sr. Smart City Expert and Key Speaker, CEO & Founder of SDNC sàrl (see what he does in his profile here).