When I’m tyrant, the first order of business will be prioritizing a sufficient response to climate change. Sharing priority will be damage control and mitigating the effects going forward through the implementation of superior technology.
Damage control is going to be ugly, and uglier the longer it takes you good folks to elevate me to the power I so richly deserve. Do we catch it before the mass migrations begin in earnest? Less ugly. After they’ve started? Oh, there will be walls. And public works powered by indentured servitude. And quarantines.
There won’t be any time for the pleasantries of modern warfare. Anyone who wants to gum up the works of damage control and mitigation will simply face a scorched earth policy. 7+ billion people don’t have time for surgical strikes and nuance.
Mitigation will be on two fronts. First front, immediate cessation of needless contributors to climate change. Blockchain? Keep developing. Bitcoin? Time to unplug. If a single transaction takes enough energy to power a home for a week, that’s just stupid. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Ban it in favor of more efficient modes of currency exchange, whatever they happen to be.
Simultaneously, start deploying renewable and sustainable energy resources on a mass scale, starting in those areas powered by the worst contributors to climate change. As enough and more power to replace legacy systems comes online, those legacy systems go down as immediately as is possible. Jobs? To hell with the jobs. We’ve got indenturing options with generous relocation programs to cover those jobs.
Simultaneously, scale food cloning technology as rapidly as possible. For every acre of pasturage that can be replaced with cloned (or otherwise synthesized) protein foodstuffs, those acres get blocked from future grazing. Food and textiles livestock found on shuttered land will be put down and distributed into the food supply chain. When fully implemented, hi-tech food industry powered with sustainable tech will utterly replace high-carbon use agriculture and husbandry. Victory gardens using no powered implements and no dangerous chemicals would be encouraged through economic incentives. As low-population agricultural centers dwindle in size, high-efficiency camps near to high-tech metro areas will take in the stragglers for re-education and assimilation.
Did I mention textiles? Maybe, just maybe, we use too many damned textiles. High fashion? A thing of the past. What an egregious waste of precious resources. More utilitarian consumption? Assess which textiles have the least impact (including the ramifications of distribution), and encourage those. I mentioned textile livestock before. Deploy the cloning tech! Surely we’re this close to cloning hair follicles. Engineered correctly, we could have laboratories spinning out the finest wool with far less environmental impact, materials to be shipped in bulk to locales based on population and projected consumption. Welcome back, tailors and seamstresses! Factory-made clothing and its complex supply chains are an egregious waste of resources. Forget the jobs. See also: resettlement and indenturing for absolutely necessary public works.
That leaves transportation. Two prongs: development of sustainable long-range modes transportation and improved logistics for essential supply chains. Cessation of non-essential energy-inefficient transport. Have a meeting with stakeholders in Taiwan and you’re in New York? Comparatively energy-efficient communications tech has you covered. There’s simply no need to get all dolled up in your wasteful textiles to lug a case of your other wasteful textiles and otherwise redundant personal goods via inefficient transport to even less efficient transport just so you can be close enough to your business associates that you can smell them personally.
Medical emergency? Maybe. How essential is the person in need of treatment? Indentured public worker? Sorry, we’ve enough and to spare. Pain management, hospice, and euthanasia are your friends. Person of actually hard to replace expertise? We’ll work it out. With any luck, remotely operated robotics will eliminate the need for travel farther than the nearest hi-tech metro area. No more of this traveling around the world BS just because someone is special and has a condition. Bonus features: growing funerary and chaplaincy industries.
Supply chains will be updated to the latest and greatest bleeding edge tech. Consumerism will be sharply curtailed. No, you do not need the latest 62″ TV when your 49″ is already perfectly sufficient. No, you probably don’t actually need the latest smart tablet/phone/game system hybrid. No, you don’t need a kitchen gadget that performs tasks better done by hand. No, you don’t need a thousand scent-masking chemicals to choose from.
But what about innovation? It’s competition in the free market that drives it! Nope. It’s competition among engineers that drives it. All we need to do is change their incentives from capitalist consumerism to some other desirable reward system. Not being indentured is a fine start to my developing incentives program. See, having an 80″ 4K display might be an egregious waste of resources when simply deployed to my living room for my better enjoyment of Netflix while I personally jack up the global temperature by a notch to sate my need for sensory stimulation.
But the simple fact of having one of those available to try and out-design somehow is essential for the discovery of new uses for that technology and for improvements upon that tech. Instead of relying on wasteful populations numbering in the billions to use that tech and push it to limits that urge particular types of innovation, surely AI can model that mass consumer behavior and test the technological limits far more efficiently.
Only when it can be said that a particular tech at a “x.0” level has been advanced to a useful and efficient “(x+1).0” level (and so on up the scale) will it even be considered for deployment to the masses. Most tech will never need to be. As we’ve already learned, give a human a pocket computer more powerful than necessary to launch humanity into space, and we’ll do every egregiously wasteful thing imaginable with it, right down to creating additional conflict. We’re already not making best use of the tech for the acquisition of beneficial knowledge or the growth of beneficial culture. Expand the public libraries as information-acquisition and sharing hubs in every locale. After that, solar-powered intercoms and visual signal-propagation towers should be sufficient for just about every other local communication purpose. Every home gets a nice, tall pole with a solar-powered color-changing LED light. Red? Sensors detect a fire emergency? Red. Health emergency? Blue. Safety emergency? Amber. Emergency services will be along to eliminate, quarantine, or otherwise rectify the matter dependent upon factors such as immediate utility to the larger society.
So, just remember, when considering climate change, there is exactly one person with a comprehensive plan to both control the damage and mitigate the harm until such time as we can get back on a pro-growth footing using best technological practices…me. And you have the good fortune of knowing me. So next election, don’t settle for incrementalism or another tacky populist. Write in the only person with the ideas and the will to Save the World.
Frank for Tyrant, 2020 (sooner if possible). Sell your egregiously wasteful worldly possessions and enlist now…before it’s compulsory.