A very striking read from The New York Times Magazine’s recent ‘The Climate Issue’ on the current realities of the energy market in the face of climate change.
“Absent a coherent strategy, opportunists step in and benefit from the shifting landscape. Technology advances, but not the system underneath. Faced with a chaotic situation, the system does what it does best: searches out profits in the short term.”
There are also several corollaries from the above article which are well worth one’s continued reading:
“The sting in this tale however is that this has left us with 7.5 billion people going on 11 or so billion by 2100. And that can only be sustained by continued heavy, heavy use of energy. Fossil fuels will either run out, destroy the planet, or both. The only possible way to avoid this outcome is rapid and complete decarbonization of our economy. Needless to say, this is an extremely difficult thing to pull off. It needs the best of our talents and innovation, which almost miraculously, it may be getting. It also needs much better than normal long-term planning and leadership, which it most decidedly is not getting yet. Homo sapiens can easily handle this problem, in practice; it will be a closely run race, the race of our lives. I like to say never underestimate technology and never underestimate the ability of Homo sapiens to screw it up.”
“An economist would probably argue that the most efficient way to reduce greenhouse gases is to put a price on carbon. But efficient is not always what can be attained from a political perspective.”