Carl Cervone

How to Stop Climate Change (Without Getting Lucky)

March 30, 2022

A remix of @naval’s famous tweet storm.

Seek decarbonization, not just removal and reduction. Decarbonization is having an economy that no longer uses carbon-based energy sources. Removal is how we right past wrongs. Reduction is how we take small incremental steps.

Understand that 100% clean energy production is possible. If you secretly despite certain forms of clean energy, a decarbonized world will elude you.

Ignore people playing carbon reduction games. They attract attention by playing short-term accounting games and divert attention from people playing long-term games.

Play iterated games. All returns on Earth, whether in scientific progress or economic growth, come from compounding.

You’re not going to decarbonize the world by getting people to feel guilty about their choices. You must build circular products and regenerative systems that are better than other choices.

You will decarbonize the world by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.

Decarbonization requires leverage. Energy leverage comes from sources with the lowest marginal cost of production (renewables, not extractives).

Capital and land are permissioned leverage. Everyone is chasing capital, but someone has to give it to you. Everyone wants more land, but someone has to give you theirs.

Circular and regenerative systems offer permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the most promising ways forward. You can contribute to human flourishing and decarbonize the world while you sleep.

An army of energy is freely available - it’s just packed in atoms and solar rays. Use it. Scientists and engineers have massively broadened what’s possible. Most people haven’t figure this out yet.

Study microeconomics, game theory, physics, chemistry, engineering, biology, agronomy, forestry, persuasion, and ethics.

There are no “stop climate change now” schemes. That’s just someone else selling band-aids to you.

Don’t partner with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling.

When we’ve finally stopped climate change, we’ll realize that wasn’t what we were seeking in the first place. But that’s for another day.