Mike Berners-Lee

Mike Berners-Lee

Burning Questions: How much fuel needs to stay in the ground? Why is this so hard? And how can we make it possible?

Part 1 of 2

Emissions from energy use have been rising exponentially for at least 160 years. So far the world’s talk and action on climate change has produced no detectable deviation in this long-term trajectory. Why haven’t innovation, efficiency or renewables helped us yet? Why haven’t personal, local or national targets made any difference? Where will the curve take us if it continues? Is deliberate intervention really necessary? And if so what blend of politics, economics, technology and psychology will make this possible? Drawing on Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark’s book, The Burning Question, Mike explores the macro dynamics of the energy system.

Part 2 of 2

Having established the macro dynamics of a world energy system in which efficiency, innovation and piecemeal actions are all incapable of perturbing the exponential emissions growth, this second talk by Mike Berners-Lee looks at what it will take to achieve the global carbon constraint that the world urgently needs. Mike focuses on six important key steps: Waking up, capping the carbon, pushing the right technologies hard, dealing with land and smoke and making a plan B. Mike finds realistic cause for hope, despite humankind’s failures so far and looks at what each of us might do to help achieve the climate deal.

Lecture given by Mike Berners-Lee at the University of Iceland on December 4th, 2014.