Tech Industry Fighting Back Against Climate Change
News October 17, 2018 Arianna Gael
Google introduces carbon map tool to help fight climate change.
There’s so much focus and media coverage of political reactions to a recent UN climate change report right now, enough that many people are far more interested in the antics of world leaders and crisis deniers than the actual contents of the report.
Essentially, a team of top scientists have looked at the data and the shifts and determined that the Earth may be uninhabitable in its current rate of change by as early as 2030.
Yes, very drastic global-scale destruction could take place over the next 12 years.
While some global powers respond by removing all references to climate change from government documents and even banning the term “climate change” from all state-funded uses, other countries and the tech industry are doing what they can to save us.
It’s figuratively like Jaws. A couple of big political names are the mayor, screaming and stomping their feet that there’s no killer shark out there, the scientists are…well, the scientist…and a few powerhouse tech leaders are the guy who has the boat (and yes, the boat needs to be bigger, both in the movie and in this analogy).
Google is one of the first names taking actionable steps.
It’s all well and good to put solar panels on the roofs of all your retail stores like Ikea or work to eliminate single-use plastic packaging like Unilever–completely worthy and potentially costly steps–but Google has put its data-hungry tech to use by launching a carbon map tool.
The mapping feature will show carbon emission estimates on a city-by-city basis for the entire planet, helping the rest of us do a little finger pointing. But in all seriousness, the map can help consumers take action with their wallets, which has proven to be an effective activism tool. When those cities see significant loss of revenue from tourism, major event hosting, and industries leaving, they’ll clean up their acts.
Perhaps the best part of Google’s new initiative is that it’s intentionally NOT meant for federal government use. Many of the worst culprits globally already have environmental agencies or access to high-tech information about the fate of the planet. Instead, this is meant to be more of a grassroots approach, one that empowers city-level officials to see what damage they’re causing and take action in order to change the outward face of their cities. By starting small and locally, the change may actually be more effective and dramatic.