Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Solving climate change will be solve if we focus on this particular goal…
The goal is to be 100% free of oil and coal. The goal is to be 100% free of oil and coal; this point isn't drilled enough. Take any handful of supporters of climate change solutions and you'll get mixed results: the goal is to save the polar bears, the goal is to save the arctic ice, the goal is to prevent a nuclear attack... While these are all very worthy goals they share one common umbrella goal, which is the father of all these goals: the goal is to be 100% free of oil and coal. As China and India have shown this goal is not economically feasible, not at the moment. We need to make it economically feasible. Whether we set up a carbon cap and trade scheme or not, the goal must be met. Why we need to be fossil fuel free:
The first reason to be fossil fuel free is climate change. Take your pick: Polar ice melting, loss in biodiversity, extinction of polar bears, decreasing national security, decreasing public health, shrinking economy, job losses, strain due to large climate change caused migrations, the loss of the rainforests, increased drought and food shortages, drinkable water shortages- the list goes on and on. All caused by burning fossil fuels thereby increasing carbon emissions.
The second reason to be fossil fuel free is that we're going to be out of fossil energy in the not too distant future. Imagine an abrupt halt on everything going on in the world. An abrupt halt in lighting, heating, transportation, the internet, hospitals, patient care, cancer research, refrigeration of foods, etc - it all comes to a screeching halt. There is no doubt our world is run off of energy and as of right now coal, oil, and gasoline are all to disappear in a manner of centuries. We could procrastinate and begin solutions in the distant future. Sure, let's put up the solar panels then, but using what energy source? We need energy (fossil fuel) to make energy (renewables: solar, wind, hydropower, tidal and non-renewable nuclear).
We are at the start of the problem. We see it coming. We must act. The first step will be to increase energy efficiency. The second step will be to replace oil and gas. This stands to be the biggest challenge to overcome, as the natural path for business is the path of least resistance. That is to say, the most efficient path for a business to follow has to be the most cost effective and now and the indefinite future that path is fossil fuel. Step three will be to replace the non-renewable energy sources with renewable energy; and in order to do that we'll require a new infrastructure (smart grids, electric car charge stations, public transport) and energy storage technology (hydrogen fuel cells). There's a lot to do, but we’ll need to keep in mind the goal. What's the goal again? The goal is to be 100% free of oil and coal.
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