Why is Climate Change so Urgent?
In 2009 the USA and 140 other countries agreed that there will be catastrophic consequences if global warming progresses above 2 ºC of warming over pre-industrial levels (Copenhagen Accord). These consequences include events such as the extreme 4 year drought that sparked the fighting in Syria in 2011. In 2011, the International Energy Agency, an organization created in 1974 in response to the 1973 oil crisis, released its World Energy Outlook report which stated that to stay below 2 ºC warming, if we maintain our current course, we will need to stop building any carbon producing infrastructure by 2017 (including cars, appliances, and agricultural equipment – see page 230 in attached pdf). Thus, for my generation to live in safe world, immediate action will be required. You can learn more about the current consequences of climate change and the science behind climate change from the videos below:
- Showtime TV series “Years of Living Dangerously” (first episode on youtube)
- Interview with UPenn Professor of Meteorology Dr. Michael E. Mann about climate science (Recording on RationallySpeakingPodcast.org)
Role of Government:
In the US, it is the responsibility of the States to have strategic energy plans, and of communities to take advantage of national and state programs to install the best infrastructure possible and thereby ensure a reliable energy system and stable climate. Some resources to learn about these programs are the following:
Numerous organizations are working to bring about this action. These websites are a great starting point to learn how to become involved in climate activism:
Private Sector Solutions:
Numerous companies have also formed to provide solutions to climate change. These span industries such as research, development, manufacturing, and deployment of:
- Renewable energy sources and storage, (Yingli Solar, First Solar, Solar City)
- Electric vehicles, (Tesla Motors)
- Energy efficiency technologies,
- Financing mechanisms.
Is It Possible?
Yes, and it turns out this is old news. Watch this video of an electric car ($150,000) smoking a Ferrari ($170,000) and a Porsche ($400,000) back in 2006: People may not know it yet, but everyone should want an electric car.
Attractive Solar Cells:
Solar panels are getting pretty sleek looking. Find you most attractive solar cell: