Kevin Drum writes about carbon emissions
Are we likely to meet our goal of cutting carbon emissions 83%? Probably not. I imagine Stuart is right about that. But is that cause for despair? Hardly. If we aim for 83%, maybe we'll get to 60% instead. And perhaps that will turn out to be enough. Or, if it isn't, perhaps some modest geoengineering will get us the rest of the way. And if that's not enoughand geoengineering isn't acceptable even on a modest scale — well, at least we've only got 23% to go. Any way you look at it, we're better off than if we shoot for a more "reasonable" goal of 60% and only make it to 40%.
Personally, I think carbon emissions will be higher
in 2050 than they are today. Here's why:
- As Nate Lewis of Caltech pointed out at conference I attended last year, the planning/construction/production lifetime of a major power plant -- or just about any major construction project -- is about 40 years. So we'd have to be seriously planning carbon-free energy production right now. We're not -- we're hardly even on the dance floor. The rest of the world isn't any better.
- our insistence on ever more economic growth
- the rest of the developing world who, rightly, all want to live like we do.
- an increase of 2B more people on the Earth by 2050.
- lack of political will
- dedicated and nefarious interests influencing #5 as best they can
- existing carbon-free technologies are not sufficient to produce all the energy we'll need to 2050, except solar. And more solar, and more solar.
- human greed, selfishness, and stupidity.
"existing carbon-free technologies are not sufficient to produce all the energy we'll need to 2050, except solar."
... well, there are well-founded arguments that seem to show that solar has a pretty poor chance of doing the job required in time; it may be that a largely nuclear strategy is the best option.
Post a Comment