A climate emergency without the urgency - tech’s a strand of hope

Temperatures have exceeded 40 degrees in the UK for the first time since records began. The grass has turned yellow but people wine and dine in the sun, the sound of chinking tinnies ringing in the still air. Energy prices are surging. Fires and floods ignite around the world. But they’re “just temporary bursts”. There’s always calm before the storm - and that’s what’s coming. It could be the prelude to the next smash hit horror blockbuster. But, as we all know, it’s very much the present. As much as we’ve been enjoying the summer sun - and so you should - it’s hard to quell the uneasy sensation that comes with the current climate and global events. And it’s clear some aren’t buying it...  Climate denial - but it’s worse from up top  The barrage of trolling that followed the BBC’s reporting of the heatwave weather was, well, scarily amusing.  Highlights include:
  • “Oh please. You were obviously never around in 1975/6. Get a grip. This will not last. It will be back to freezing soon.” 
  • “When will you be apologising for such pathetic, absurd fear mongering nonsense? Of [sic] perhaps you should resign in disgrace.” 
And the personal favourite:
  • “Absolute scaremongering. Heatwave was created Sunday night by aircraft dispersing substances that blocked the sun and created a heat dome to trap heat within it in order to give off a greenhouse effect so gov can use these statistics to justify their climate change agenda.” 
But, of course, this is just a snapshot of a small community of online trolls and conspiracy theorists who emerge from their grottoes at any opportunity to stir up a bit of commotion.  What’s more alarming is the way those in power – those with the ability to implement tangible change – are handling the crisis; the squawking trade offs between leaders claiming to be green but filling up the tanks of those who are not.  We’re being swept along in an avalanche featuring a jostle for power and a montage of 360° spiralling u-turns on policies that can leave you pretty dizzy and dumbfounded. One thing’s for certain, there’s certainly uncertainty on implementing urgent action to confront the climate emergency effectively and future-proof infrastructure against it.  The strand of hope There have been slivers of progress. As much as it has its flaws, it’s positive to see such a significant amount invested into the landmark climate bill passed in the US. Momentum needs to be maintained with further, bolder action.  But the current strand of more realistic and real hope is tech - and it’s already making headway. Renewable energy is, of course, the major bedrock of future visions for sustainability and net zero targets; a current of interconnected green sources powering the next wave of self-sufficient energy supply. But there’s a host of other innovations at play.  We’ve seen tech manage whole transport systems, with intelligent signal control optimising journey times to reduce emissions, congestion and promote sustainable travel. Electric vehicles are primed to take over. Cloud computing and IoT networks are invisibly forming the sustainable smart city vision, connecting smart building monitors, pollution sensors, geospatial mapping and carbon capturing technology. The list goes on.  Tech has the power to solve issues for those making decisions above. The frustration among many is that it’s so easy to imagine a world where everything operates sustainably, greenly and equitably. But it’s why telling the story of those brands driving this change is so valuable.  Let’s tech it up  We know global cooperation, big firm action and top-down decisions are necessary to truly confront the issue. But, for now, technology offers the greatest means of tackling the crisis. And we want to support it.  A tantalising range of startups and scaleups are steering this sustainability surge. Not only are their products and devices helping to take real action, but the growing market is sparking further investment into their work. It’s these smaller drivers, innovators and new players who are bringing the latest and most effective tools to the table. They can send currents through the industry right up to the higher echelons. And, again, it’s why their story is so important.  The world is teetering on the edge, facing a pivotal moment in what its future holds. Tech’s not just a strand of hope, but one that can bandage the world to heal for a new era.