Energy use has leveled off, and even carbon dioxide emissions have turned a corner.
These diverging curves refute both the left-wing claim that only de-growth can curb pollution and the right-wing claim that environmental protection must sabotage economic growth and standard of living. Boisvert begins:. Not very.
Human greenhouse emissions will warm the planet, raise the seas and derange the weather, and the resulting heat, flood and drought will be cataclysmic. Cataclysmic—but not apocalyptic. While the climate upheaval will be large, the consequences for human well-being will be small. Looked at in the broader context of economic development, climate change will barely slow our progress in the effort to raise living standards.
Boisvert examines four consequences of climate change: water shortages, food shortages, rising air temperatures and rising seas.
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He contends that the negative effects of climate change will be offset by continued progress in technology and other realms. He continues:.
An Urban Agenda for the Right
More importantly, they prompted breakthroughs in reverse-osmosis desalination technology, cutting by half the energy needed to extract fresh water from the sea and dramatically lowering the cost to just 58 cents per cubic meter 1, liters of drinkable water… The implications of cheap desalination are profound. By tapping limitless sea-water resources it could drought-proof agriculture and thus eliminate the greatest threat posed by climate change.
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Our logistic and technical capacities are burgeoning, and they give us ample means of addressing these problems. Greens fear that optimism will foster complacency and hence undermine activism. This approach has vast potential to save both energy and money, and can be deployed quickly.
Conservatives and Climate Change | National Affairs
Greening transportation : The transportation sector's emissions have increased at a faster rate than any other energy-using sector over the past decade. A variety of solutions are at hand, including improving efficiency miles per gallon in all modes of transport, switching to low-carbon fuels, and reducing vehicle miles traveled through smart growth and more efficient mass transportation systems. Revving up renewables : Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and bioenergy are available around the world.
Multiple studies have shown that renewable energy has the technical potential to meet the vast majority of our energy needs. Renewable technologies can be deployed quickly, are increasingly cost-effective, and create jobs while reducing pollution.
Why I am Afraid of Global Cooling
Phasing out fossil fuel electricity : Dramatically reducing our use of fossil fuels—especially carbon-intensive coal—is essential to tackle climate change. There are many ways to begin this process. Key action steps include: not building any new coal-burning power plants, initiating a phased shutdown of coal plants starting with the oldest and dirtiest, and capturing and storing carbon emissions from power plants.
While it may sound like science fiction, the technology exists to store carbon emissions underground. The technology has not been deployed on a large scale or proven to be safe and permanent, but it has been demonstrated in other contexts such as oil and natural gas recovery.
Demonstration projects to test the viability and costs of this technology for power plant emissions are worth pursuing. Managing forests and agriculture : Taken together, tropical deforestation and emissions from agriculture represent nearly 30 percent of the world's heat-trapping emissions. February , March , April April , May , June , Energy Storage and Conservation - renewable resources Italy Waste to Energy - renewable resources Italy Energy Efficiency - renewable resources Italy Emerging Technologies - renewable resources Italy Power and Energy Engineering - renewable resources Italy