Showing posts with label loser. Show all posts
Showing posts with label loser. Show all posts

Friday, May 11, 2012

Slow bicycle race or Tour de France?

A slow bicycle race is a novelty event found mainly at school fetes and community events. The winner of the race is the person who takes the longest time to cover the course.

The current trend towards bicycling lifestyles, downsizing and the general slow movement is bringing a resurgence in this old favourite. The slow bicycle race has even been used as a teaching tool for university physics.

It's a pity that so many nations have treated the transition to a low carbon economy as a slow bicycle race. Somehow, they imagine that being the last to decarbonise will give them a competitive advantage.
Yes, it's necessary. A very good idea. We should do it. You go first.
 This is like saying,
  • We're shocking polluters, but look! those guys are too. We won't fix our pollution till they fix theirs.
  • Sure, we've got a poverty problem, but they have too, and we won't fix our poverty problem till they fix theirs.
Other countries are going first. Countries like Germany, Denmark, Spain and Great Britain took the lead by implementing renewables even when wind and solar were much more expensive than fossil fuels. Then transition countries like China joined the race with strenuous efforts to implement renewables, placing them neck and neck with Germany and the U.S. in 2010.

In recent weeks, South Korea and Mexico have announced carbon pricing schemes. California and New York are connecting their carbon markets and the upper Amazon state of Acre is negotiating with California to participate their cap-and-trade system.

Do you know those velodrome races where everybody hangs back, jostling for position, then suddenly, heads down, legs pumping, they're racing flat out to the finish line? Is this what is happening now?

Are countries  on the cusp of realising that it's not a slow bicycle race, it's the Tour de France? Countries that are late to decarbonise will be the losers in the longer term. 

Dylan's words apply again...
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.