Tag Archives: David Roberts

A new book ranks the top 100 solutions to climate change. The results are surprising

A chat with Paul Hawken about his ambitious new effort to “map, measure, and model” global warming solutions. By David Roberts, Vox

Unlike most popular books on climate change, it is not a polemic or a collection of anecdotes and exhortations. In fact, with the exception of a few thoughtful essays scattered throughout, it’s basically a reference book: a list of solutions, ranked by potential carbon impact, each with cost estimates and a short description. A set of scenarios show the cumulative potential. It is fascinating, a powerful reminder of how narrow a set of solutions dominates the public’s attention. Alternatives range from farmland irrigation to heat pumps to ride-sharing.

The number one solution, in terms of potential impact? A combination of educating girls and family planning, which together could reduce 120 gigatons of CO2-equivalent by
2050 — more than on and offshore wind power combined (99 GT). Read more here.

[Wind turbines are ranked #2 and solar farms #8].

This new transmission line will help unleash wind energy in the Great Plains

Photo by Michael Kappel

Photo by Michael Kappel

By David Roberts, Vox

Wind and sunlight have many advantages as fuel sources, but one big drawback is that they aren’t portable. You can’t carry them to a power plant. You have to build the power plant wherever you find them.

That puts the US in an awkward situation, because the most intense wind and sunlight tend to be found in remote, low-population areas — think the sunny desert Southwest or the windy Great Plains.

Continue reading.