To be honest we dont really understand our impact on the envoronment as we dont have comparative data, but you can bet that we are NOT making things better..
If we are losing the war on climate change, our best weapon is one we’re badly under-utilizing.
We are in the midst of the greatest surge in carbon emissions it has ever seen. In 2013, we are likely emit around a billion tons more CO2 than they did in 2012, where in turn they emitted almost a billion tons more CO2 than they did in 2011.
The drivers of this surge of carbon pollution are simple. Around the world, 6 billion people are climbing out of poverty. Those men, women, and children--in Asia, in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Latin America--crave cars, larger homes, central heat, air conditioning, televisions, and mass-produced goods of all sorts. stuff, stuff and more stuff, all of which takes energy. And what sort of energy do people choose? The cheapest kind available.
what can we do??? a global cap-and-trade system, pervasive carbon taxes, renewable energy mandates, even geo-engineering schemes.
fair enough, worth pursuing, but you can confidently say they’ve proven very far from sufficient in tackling the problem.
unilateral strategy that would address climate change does not exist.
Make renewable energy so cheap that it hardly makes sense to use anything else. Make it cheaper to use solar and wind than coal or natural gas, and utilities and industry will switch. The larger the price difference is, the faster that switch will happen.
The potential is there. The Sun strikes Earth with thousands of times more energy than humanity uses from fossil fuels. The energy in just a few weeks of sunlight is greater than our known or projected reserves of fossil fuels, combined. Solar panels on less than 1% of Earth’s land area could meet all of our energy needs for the century to come. And the prices of solar panels are already plunging,
Yet, as the continued exponential growth in carbon emissions shows, that price drop isn’t happening fast enough. At the current pace of price reduction, we’re on track for burning fossil fuels as our primary source of energy well past 2040, a path that would blow us well beyond the consensus 2 degrees Celsius threshold for preventing the most dangerous warming.
we need R&D directly into techniques that would further drop the costs of green energy and energy storage technologies.
U.S. government spends only $2 billion each year on green energy R&D.
new solar cells with a record breaking 45% efficiency caqn beteetered.
Yet that $2 billion sound s alot, but in comparison is a pittance compared to the $65 billion in damage that hurricane Sandy wrought last year, or the $35 billion in damage that 2012’s epic drought inflicted.
Climate change is here, now. And even worse may be in store.
In addition to Sandy’s crippling of the East Coast and the drought that knocked out a third of the U.S. corn crop, 2012 brought a new record low in the size of the Arctic ice cap, bringing the ice coverage down to a level not seen in thousands of years. Satellite measures tell us that, by volume, four fifths of the ice that covered the Arctic in 1979 is now gone.
As the rest of that ice melts, darker waters below will absorb more heat, speeding the warming of the planet. And the nearby Arctic tundra--with nearly a trillion tons of frozen carbon--will be at risk of thawing and releasing that carbon into the atmosphere, setting off a new tipping point in climate change.
We can change the behavior of the world. Make green energy cheap, and the world will come. To succeed in that goal, we need to up our investment exponentially, think big, how much will the next disaster cost? $35 billion? $65 billion? $100 billion, $250 billion, $500 billion, surely its worth investing more than a measly couple of billion loose change..