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Can We Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy in Time to Avert Climate Catastrophe?

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/28/can-we-reach-100-percent-renewable-energy-time-avert-climate-catastrophe

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Uh, no.

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Certainly not if we “Keep on keepin’ on” as we are at present.  Even if – and that’s a BIG “IF” – we get to net zero new emissions, what are we going to do about all the CO2 and CH4, etc., that are ALREADY IN the atmosphere??   The earth will keep on getting warmer until we REDUCE atmospheric Greenhouse Gases, and I do not see that happening anytime soon.  But maybe Mother Nature will take care of the problem in a few thousand years — long after we Human Beans and most of the other species with which we are familiar are long gone . . .

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Let’s be realistic. We are not going to scrap every liquid fueled combustion engine. There will be a black market for fuel as a last resort.
We know we can’t eliminate mice or guns or greed. What would make us think we can eliminate engines.
Technically engines are of combustion, fossil fuel.
Motors are electrical, optional sources.
How do we fuel the tens of thousands of airplanes per day with renewable energy?

In time to avert which Climate Catastrophe, the one whose overture can be heard swelling up from the auditorium as we speak, happening right now? We sure won’t need another one, after this one.

I’ve been stunned by the combination: high drama in 2019’s Arctic, and almost a total lack of awareness – amongst people who should know – of what the present, now, current collapse of Earth’s icecap signifies. Talk about inconvenient truths! Is anyone awake out there?

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Another way of looking at it: What’s more important: survival, or aviation?

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I guess we won’t know until the first airline folds it’s tent.
The PEOPLE are busy on their phones.

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There will be a black market for a while but how will it be supplied? With ethanol? It takes more energy to produce than it generates. Used cooking oil? That’s small quantities. Conventional oil? It’s hard to hide an oil well and harder to hide a refinery. It may be possible to do on a small scale but not enough to fuel a significant black market.

The sooner the passenger airline industry goes bellyup, the better.

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It depends on how fast we can overthrow capitalism - because THAT is the precondition to averting climate catasthophe.

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First, a big “Yes” to trashing capitalism. It made this mess by converting too much life into money.

Second, giving ecologically illiterate economists a voice at any table seriously considering human survival is idiocy. STFU, ecologically illiterate economists.

Third, if we should resolve climate change, we have not resolved the ecological emergency.

Fourth, we are ruled by oligarchs whose ancestors wrote and shoved down democrat’s throats the US Constitution, which empowers them and curtails our democracy. We have no freedom to thrive guaranteed by the Constitution. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are in the Declaration of Independence, which The Constitution pre-empted.
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Fifth, we humans will not survive the moneychangers without serious energy descent.

Bottom line: we will not make it out of this century at current levels of energy consumption, because we can’t consume it without making harmful pollution, thanks to moneychangers inventing their Right to Pollute, in the 70s.

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Mining is destroying the planet. The amount of mining increase that it would take for 100% increase simply can not happen. Zero chance.

So what do we do? LESS!!!

The race is on! The biggest and greatest race that has ever been run! Actual survival for humanity and the biosphere as we know it. The jackpot of jackpots… the kids will live.

I am so sick of the denialists who take pride or refuge in their ignorance but even worse than they are the defeatists who take pride in their fatalism. The defeatists, in this case, those mostly on the left (who at least acknowledge the reality of global warming) love to share their ‘end is nigh’ fatalism with the enthusiasm of religious fanatics awaiting the apocalypse! Oddly enough, climate defeatists display the same dismal psychology of those ‘enraptured’ with the Rapture - i.e. that bad humanity will get what it deserves, that humanity will be punished for… for… being human.

To the denialists I say simply - read a F’n book.
To those ‘enraptured with the Rapture’ I say - the Apocalypse has been delayed… sorry for any inconvenience!

And to those on the left who endlessly and with astounding repetitiveness share their dreary defeatism and fatalism, as if they would convince others to give up the fight (or maybe they are really just making excuses for their own laziness about doing something besides blathering) to them I say truly - give us a F’n break! We are ramping up and pumping up to run and win this race… for the kiddies! And ourselves.

Join us in the fight. Join us as we run this desperate race or shut up already. Trying to convince people that their efforts won’t make a difference in time, does nobody (not even yourselves) any good.

Yay Greta!

> Jacobson is a Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy, which was founded by Jay Precourt, an oil and gas magnate and board member of Halliburton, the oil and gas services firm. The board of the Institute is a who’s who of oil, gas, and renewables investors.

The “catastrophic safety concerns” that such people like wind and solar for not having are concerns for fossil fuel revenue. To the extent they are government-funded, losses of fossil fuel tax revenue are also something they’d like to not see.

Let’s not forget that the largest carbon polluter in the world us the US military - including the private mercinaries like Blackwater - followed by the militaries of every other country.

You might get sick of those you call ‘defeatest’. I get sick of reading article after article that DOESN’T mention PEACE as one of the fundamental ways to tackle climate change. I am so over the politicians who talk about combating “terrorism” and climate change in the same sentence. I am sick to death of kids who will take a day out of school to go on a climate march but won’t miss the Friday night beer party to hold a candle at a peace vigil.

I am not a denialist. I am a realist. If we don’t stop war, then the coming nuclear war will cause the end of the human species (and every other one) long before climate change will. I don’t see the end of war coming anytime soon. And there are most certainly not nearly enough people willing to strike for peace.

Do I take pride in my realism? Absolutely. Do I work for peace? With every fibre of my being. How about you?

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If we don’t eliminate fossil fuelled engines through choice and alternative technologies and fuels that don’t derive from carbon feed sources sequestered from the active carbon cycle of our planet, we will eliminate them through getting rid of the builders of such devices. Personally, I prefer the former to the latter.