(Reprinted from another Forum)
How do we fix it? By being smart for a change.
It can be done, with some outlay at first (not as much as the doomsayers say), but quite quickly moving to major savings.
First step - kill the coal plants. Not all at once, but as other supplies come on board.
How do we get people off Coal?
REMOVE THE SUBSIDIES!!! That will save money immediately, almost enough to cover the costs of the conversions all by itself! It will also save billions in health care costs, as Coal is one of the dirtiest sources of fuel imaginable, with or without CO2. A coal plant puts out SEVERAL TIMES AS MUCH RADIATION as a nuclear plant.
What supplies can replace coal?
1) Wind power - with very little effort, 25% of our power could come from wind. Several countries are well past that already. And it's already cheaper than new tech Coal plants to build, and of course a lot cheaper to fuel.
2) Solar Storage Power - at least 25% from this source, with the advantage that the storage aspect can be used to cover periods when wind is down.
Still somewhat more expensive than coal or nat gas to build, but dropping fast, and of course fuel is free.
3) Geothermal and wave power - keeps getting overlooked, but there's enough geothermal in the Yellowstone area to power all of the US - the only problem is shipping it long distances. As for wave power, there's enough wave power in the Bay of Fundy alone to power all of the Canadian Maritimes and all of the US east coast down to New York.
4) Nuclear and Nat Gas - Nuclear is by far the most expensive, but useful in areas where the rest are not easily available. Natural gas is easy and cheap to build, expensive to run, but has the advantage of being very easy to use and fill in gaps.
The only other piece necessary is a smart grid to move power to where it's needed, but that has to be built across North America anyway, regardless of Climate Change.
The next big step is moving cars to electricity, trucks and trains to nat gas. Both are on the way - the first generation will be a little more money, but batteries are coming down fast, and nat gas truck engines are already cheaper than modern diesels. See the Chevy Volt.
The third step is to make our buildings more efficient - simply insulating houses and commercial buildings to modern standards (No new tech necessary) and using more efficient appliances and light bulbs (LED's are the answer!), all of which are already available, will reduce North American fuel costs by 20%.
And moving vehicles off petroleum will do wonders for energy security, and eliminate the Billions the US sends to countries which don't like you very much.
All in all, the US and Canada should do this REGARDLESS of Climate Change concerns!! It will save BILLIONS!
And we should do it soon! China is already well down the road, and is developing the technology at an incredible rate. If we don't get busy, they'll be selling it to us, and there goes one more chance down the drain.
As for other countries, most are already well ahead of us, and are actually being slowed down by our inaction. Once we move, and especially if we start lowering prices by mass production, and even more if we can show how much can be saved, all countries will act. No force will be necessary.
Yes, if we let disaster come, good ol' mother nature will wipe many (if not all) of us out, which would certainly solve the Climate problem. But I'm not very sold on that idea... It would be one miserable ride.
Reservoirs to save runoff would be great, except that it's unlikely there will be much runoff by the time you got them built - there are ALMOST NO GLACIERS in my area of the Rockies already. Adaptation only works for minor changes, like the ones we're seeing already. The Changes that are coming are not minor.
NOTE: Not ONCE have I mentioned any great tax increases, nor any draconian regulations. Only the far right wants that. They talk about it incessantly.
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This Blog is designed to be a Diary of Events illustrating Global Climate Change, and where it will lead.
Commentary is encouraged, but this Blog is not intended for discussion on the Validity of Climate Change.