As we move further into the Climate Change Bottleneck, where our planet heats up more and our past environmental abuses (pollution, loss of biodiversity) catch up with us, we should transition quickly to clean energy sources.
If you’re trying to visualize what a Climate Change Bottleneck looks like, check out this recent interactive article in the New York Times that reveals a world steadily getting impacted by climate-related disasters.
“Christina DeConcini, the director of government affairs at the World Resources Institute, said that federal programs do not adequately emphasize adapting to the risks posed by climate change.” (The Places in the U.S. Where Disaster Strikes Again and Again, May 24, 2018 New York Times)
Many people agree with the moral proposition that we must change to a clean energy paradigm. Not doing so means a miserable future for all, which of course, is immoral. But many folks also doubt whether we can actually move to 100% renewables on a scale and time frame that will matter.
The famous Jacobson Study, which concluded that 100% renewable energy by 2050 is very possible, has gained more ground.
New Mark Z. Jacobson Study Draws A Roadmap To 100% Renewable Energy Last August, Mark Jacobson, a renewable energy expert and senior fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University, was the leader of a study that identified how 139 countries around the world could obtain 100% of their energy from renewable sources by 2050. But that study got some pushback from people who questioned its assumptions. The naysayers said the study relied too heavily on energy storage solutions such as adding turbines to existing hydroelectric dams or storing excess energy in water, ice, and underground rocks. (February 8, 2018) CleanTechnica)
Another study says we can also.
Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources? New article gathers the evidence to address the sceptics Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs? What happens when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow? Won't renewables destabilise the grid and cause blackouts? In a review paper last year in the high-ranking journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Master of Science Benjamin Heard and colleagues presented their case against 100% renewable electricity systems. They doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy, questioning everything from whether renewables-based systems can survive extreme weather events with low sun and low wind, to the ability to keep the grid stable with so much variable generation. (May 17, 2018) EurekAlert! [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]
However, with the Trump administration fighting hard to bring back coal and discouraging renewable energy, we cannot sit back and assume that this energy transition will occur without our help.
In this context, where the Climate Change Bottleneck is getting worse, environmentalists are helping the public to understand the nature of our energy transition and how, if we get going, our future doesn’t have to be a disaster. The Sierra Club is devoting the entire month of June to showcase this film (see below) around the country in order to show that the energy transition has not only begun, it’s exciting.
Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom takes us across the country to hear directly from the people making our clean energy future achievable. These individuals are working to rebuild what’s broken, rethink what’s possible, and revitalize communities. These stories are proof that America does not need to choose between keeping our lights on and protecting our communities. Critically, Reinventing Power underscores the notion that we don’t have to sacrifice jobs for a clean environment. Supporting a clean energy future means building a better, more prosperous future for everyone. Over the film’s 50 minutes, you’ll meet people in eight states whose lives were changed by the renewable energy industry while exploring various aspects of the clean energy industry from innovation to installation. Sierra Club.
Monday, June 11th at 6:30PM the Rochester Sierra Club will be screening this film at the Brighton Library’s learning Center, 2300 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618.
We hope you will RSVP, show up, see the film, and help us move our region towards 100% renewable energy. We’ll have a discussion afterwards on how to bring our planet’s temperature down.