Pakistan has seen catastrophic flooding and all over the globe previous records are being obliterated. While climate scientists are freaking out, everybody else appears to be ignoring them and so all appears to be business as usual as we sail into the literal sunset of our very existence.
Even the World Wildlife Fund is freaking out. Their latest report reveals that global wildlife populations have plummeted by 69% on average since 1970. That is a truly staggering number to grasp.
As for sea level, not only is it rising, but the rate at which it is rising is accelerating …
- NOAA projects that Sea level along the U.S. coastline will rise, on average, 10 – 12 inches (0.25 – 0.30 meters) in the next 30 years
- By 2100 the projection is 3.5 – 7 feet (1.1 – 2.1 meters)
That puts rather a lot of costal property under water.
What is truly staggering is that this projection is baked in. If we stopped all fossil fuel emissions right now, then it would still happen. This is because the CO2 we have emitted commits us to this.
Are we well are truly f**ked, is all lost?
There are emerging signs of a meaningful change, a hope for a better future that is not the dire worst case scenario.
Let’s gently mull over some of it.
China & CO2
One of the biggest polluters is China. In that context the news that they have been investing in coal based power generation sounds truly abysmal.
But wait, what’s this …
So yes, China has seen a huge drop in emissions when compared to last year.
The full article referenced above, dated Sep 2022, that delves into that is : Analysis: China’s CO2 emissions fall by record 8% in second quarter of 2022. There the article opens as follows …
China’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell by a record 8% in the second quarter of 2022, a 230m tonne (MtCO2) reduction that is the largest in at least a decade.
The new analysis for Carbon Brief, based on official figures and commercial data, shows China’s emissions have now fallen year-on-year for four consecutive quarters, extending what was already the longest sustained decline in recent history.
If that can be sustained via a heavy focus on solar and wind power generation, then China really has turned the corner on this. Fingers crossed that this is permanent and can be sustained.
New International Energy Agency (IEA) report reveals rapid global growth of renewables
The full IEA World Energy Employment report dated Sep 2022 can be found here.
On a global scale roughly about 65 million people were employed in 2019 within the energy industry. That’s about 2% of everybody who works.
Then COVID happened.
Now things are bouncing back, but in a different way and not back to pre-COVID business as usual …
The growth has been driven by hiring in clean energy sectors. The oil and gas sector, meanwhile, saw some of the largest declines in employment at the start of the pandemic and has yet to fully recover.
With the recent rebound, clean energy surpassed the 50% mark for its share of total energy employment, with nearly two-thirds of workers involved in building new projects and manufacturing clean energy technologies
Where is this now going?
Something truly has changed and it is a very good change.
There has been a huge upswing in clean energy activity. Again via the IEA …
Clean energy investment grew by only 2% a year in the five years after the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. But since 2020, the pace of growth has accelerated significantly to 12%. Spending has been underpinned by fiscal support from governments and aided by the rise of sustainable finance, especially in advanced economies. Renewables, grids and storage now account for more than 80% of total power sector investment. Spending on solar PV, batteries and electric vehicles is now growing at rates consistent with reaching global net zero emissions by 2050.
We really are on the road to GLOBAL net zero, and all we need to do to get there is to maintain the current cadence.
Let that new reality marinate and truly sink in, then use it to grasp hold very firmly of hope.
What about Russia and Ukraine?
That also is playing a big role.
Nations previously hooked and mainlining Russian gas are suddenly faced with the prospect of going cold turkey. In the context of a central European winter, “Cold”, is literally the key word there.
A short term dash for very expensive fossil fuel alternatives has been coupled with a huge demand and frantic dash for renewables. That demand has in turn motivated the suppliers to ramp up production of renewable solutions considerably.
And in the US?
Again it is a big win.
Contained within the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a potential cut of 43% in emissions over the next 8 years.
The risk is that there might be enough people stupid enough to vote Republican, but thankfully Republicans are doing they level best to ensure that does not happen by endorsing the stupidest lest credible bunch of idiots and fools for office (Sorry, did I betray my ever so slight political bias there).
Politics aside, having the Inflation Reduction Act put $US 370 Billion into play. It gives clean energy solutions for US manufactured goods a huge boost. It not only means a potentially vast CO2 reduction, but also enables such good to be created at a far lower cost when compared to other sources on the global stage.
There are some very good reasons to not become mired in despair when faced with the worst case climate-change scenarios.
We really can get on top of this. We have already started to embark in a new direction.