In the essay “Radical Hope for Living Well in a Warmer World,” Allen Thompson discusses the impacts that the inevitable warming of our planet will have on our culture. He claims that consumerism is not likely to survive as our culture changes in response to our changing environment. Furthermore, he considers how future generations will have to develop “new environmental virtues suited to a new world environment” (Thompson 2).
Much of the essay seems to be based on the assumption that there is little we can do now to mitigate the crisis of climate change, rather, we should shift our focus to the issue of adaptation. In the last chapter, “Technology and the Ghost Dance”, Thompson argues that it’s too late to reasonably place hope in developing a technological solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He discusses different forms of alternative energy and their feasibility in producing the amount of sustainable energy we need globally. He claims that although the sun continuously delivers far more energy than we could ever use, it’s unreasonable to think that we could come up with the technology to harness that energy within a short enough time frame to mitigate the climate crisis.
However, I disagree with Thompson’s sentiment that finding a technological solution to the climate crisis, specifically in the form of alternative energy, is just a pipe dream, or as Thompson put it a “ghost dance”. If the sun continuously delivers eight hundred terawatts of energy to the earth, and it’s just a matter of harnessing thirty of those, then to me the obvious solution is to fund the development of technology that will harness the sun’s energy. Solar technology is already improving rapidly, even though we don’t provide energy research the funding it deserves. Before we effectively give up on facing the issue at hand by discussing adaptation to global warming, shouldn’t we first put our resources into attempting to develop a technological solution to the issue? It may not be feasible, but if there is even a chance that it is, then to me it seems logical to explore this possibility before it’s too late.