According to physicist and climate expert Joseph Romm in “The full global warming solution: How the world can stabilize at 350 to 450 ppm”
Humanity has only two paths forward at this point. Either we voluntarily switch to a low-carbon, low-oil, low-net water use, low-net-material use economy over the next two decades or the post-Ponzi-scheme-collapse forces us to do so circa 2030. The only difference between the two paths is that the first one spares our children and grandchildren and countless future generations untold misery (see “Intro to global warming impacts: Hell and High Water” and “A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice“).
the basic strategy is to replace virtually all of coal as quickly as possible, which is why so many of the wedges focused on electricity — that, along with the need to electrify transportation as much as possible.
Increasingly R&D is very important, as I’ve argued for two decades, but rapid deployment is the sine qua non for averting multiple ever-worsening catastrophes.
The bottom line is that give or take a wedge or two, we are likely to do most of what I lay out above sooner or later. Let’s work hard to make sure it’s sooner.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we could shake off our selfishness and heal the planet, instead of melting the icecaps?
Wouldn’t it be cool if we could be heroes for our descendants, instead of being cursed by them?
(For previous entries about sustainability and climate change, see here.)