Thursday, September 19, 2019

Climate Change: How to save the world

If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:

Greenhouse gas emissions could be halved in the next decade if a small number of current technologies and behavioural trends are ramped up and adopted more widely, researchers have found, saying strong civil society movements are needed to drive such change.

Solar and wind power, now cheaper than fossil fuels in many regions, must be scaled up rapidly to replace coal-fired generation, and this alone could halve emissions from electricity generation by 2030, according to the Exponential Roadmap report from an international group of experts.

If the rapid uptake of electric vehicles in some parts of the world could be sustained, the vehicles could make up 90% of the market by 2030, vastly reducing emissions from transport, it said.

Avoiding deforestation and improving land management could reduce emissions by the equivalent of about 9bn tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2030, according to the report, but contradictory subsidies, poor planning and vested interests could stop this from happening.

And when laid out like that, it doesn't look that hard. To steal a line from Jacinda Ardern, we can do this. We can save the world. But to do it, we need our governments to fucking listen to us, rather than the poisoners and polluters in the economic status quo who would rather see everything burn than their profits decrease. And that means you need to get out on the street next Friday (or tomorrow if you're not in New Zealand) as part of the climate strike, and threaten them with torches and pitchforks until they do.