Tag Archives: economic benefits of decarbonizing the grid

How to Maintain Hope in the Face of Climate Catastrophe

Written by Katie O’Reilly, Sierra Magazine

In the mid-1980s, author Barry Lopez familiarized the masses with the perils that creatures and ecosystems in the Far North are facing in his best-selling Arctic Dreams. Almost immediately after it won the National Book Award, Lopez outlined another, meatier book that would take readers back to the Canadian Arctic, and to five other far-flung places, too: the Galapagos, Kenya, Australia, the Antarctic, and the Oregon coast the author calls home. Lopez knew the project would likely require decades’ worth of gained perspective; the idea was to immerse himself in distinctive parts of the world to see what he could learn about humanity’s deepest triumphs, failures, and threats to itself. “For 25 years, the book was working on me,” Lopez, now 74, told Sierra. “For five, I worked on it.”

The answers he spent 30 years gathering fill more than 500 pages in Horizon (Knopf, 2019), a semi-autobiographical epic that hit bookshelves just as awareness of global environmental and existential crises seemed to go mainstream. In the book, Lopez artfully reconstructs his experiences, mining their accumulated wisdom, and revealing uplifting glimmers of hope. An ambitious meditation on the human condition, as well as humanity’s plight, Horizon is as beautiful as it is bleak. Continue reading here.

More on Climate

  • Global Heat Waves Point to Intensifying Global Climate Crisis, Sierra Magazine
  • Fired up about fighting climate change, The Herald-Palladium
    Laura Goos, a St. Joseph city commissioner, attended the Climate Reality Leadership Corps’ training, led by former Vice President Al Gore, earlier this month in Minneapolis. She is promoting ideas for slowing and reversing climate change, from energy efficiency to reusing and recycling materials. As part of her leadership plan, Goos will be promoting energy efficiency at Whirlpool Corp., where she is the senior human resources manager. She also plans to report on the conference to her fellow commissioners. “If everyone does 10 little things, it adds up over time,” Goos said. Learn more about the Climate Reality Project here.

Wind Energy & Wildlife Conservation

New research on curtailment solutions: Balancing conservation and carbon reduction, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Local Opinion

Community solar great for Nebraska. Letter written by Kat Woerner and Sofia Gavia, Lincoln Journal Star

Energy Storage

Electric Vehicles

6 electric aviation companies to watch, GreenBiz 

Tri-State

Fearing Tri-State could duck clean-energy goals, Colorado utilities commission files unprecedented protest, The Colorado Sun. For the first time in at least 25 years, state regulators move to stop a migration, saying the interstate power provider has too much unfinished business here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Report puts $4.5 trillion price tag on grid decarbonization

By Ethan Howland, American Public Power Association

“Wood Mackenzie concludes that [100 percent renewable energy] goals remain largely aspirational, but attainable given a reasonable time horizon to allow for technology development, regulatory realignment and socio-economic reforms,” the consulting firm said in a report released in late June. The report comes as states like California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Washington and the District of Columbia have adopted 100 percent renewable and clean energy goals and mandates, generally in the 2050 timeframe.

In summary — excluding supply chain impacts and other items, such as stranded costs — an investment of $4.5 trillion would be required to fully transition the US power grid to renewables over the next 10 to 20 years, which implies an investment of roughly $225 to $450 billion a year, a scale comparable to the total US defense budget. Read more here.

FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES

  • According to the International Monetary Fund, the United States subsidizes fossil fuels at a cost of $649 billion a year.
  • United States Spend Ten Times More On Fossil Fuel Subsidies Than Education, Forbes
    IMF leader Christine Lagarde has noted that the investments made into fossil fuels could be better spent elsewhere, and could have far reaching positive impacts: “There would be more public spending available to build hospitals, to build roads, to build schools and to support education and health for the people. We believe that removing fossil fuel subsidies is the right way to go.”

DECARBONIZING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY GAINING MOMENTUM

COUNTRIES & REGIONS LEADING THE WAY