pragmatism |ˈpraɡmətɪz(ə)m| noun [ mass noun ]

an approach that evaluates theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application.

Put simply, whatever works.

Today, there is a lack of pragmatism when it comes to discussing solutions to abate emissions from electricity production. Debate has lost its focus and devolved into technology tribalism with an idea that one solution can do it all.

With this year breaking records and all of the trends heading ever higher, is this debate responsible if both solutions abate emissions?

Moreover, the solution to our problems isn’t waiting for the discovery of new technology or the overhaul of existing infrastructure. All the material, tools and expertise we need to move forward are in our possession today.

A pragmatic approach bases decisions on solving a problem. Our biggest problem is the future of our habitable planet needing us, amongst other things, to decarbonise our electricity production as fast as we can.

It was with the combination of focus, confidence and optimism that got the human race to the moon in under a decade. Against all the odds, with technology and resources that today look paltry, we achieved what was the impossible. With this same spirit we can come into the next decade having achieved what also sounds impossible.

Whilst the problem facing us today large, we are fully capable of finding a solution to start making an impact. But we must not let idle debate get in the way.

Nuclear is not, and never will be, the adversary of renewables. One harnesses the nuclear forces of our universe and the other harnesses the forces of nature on our planet, together they are stronger and more effective. Alone they are doomed to fail — we all fail.

Coming into this new millennium we got a picture of what our modern civilisation was doing to our planet. Since then we have started making change but we are capable of more. It is with this optimism and motivation that we should take bolder steps with a pragmatic ideology. To achieve a goal that is hard but not impossible.

If we don’t, we will have to explain to future generations, with all that we know and could do, why we didn’t do enough.

Photo by Frédéric Paulussen on Unsplash