I’m intrigued by the battling of optimism and despair, worry about solvable problems and hand-waving and ignoring of the real ones in ReaonBowl's post. It’s typical of us to think this way; it’s what comes from not having a practice to develop a tolerance for uncertainty. We have trouble because in reaching for some kind of certainty we get split between the 2 choices we know are not certain and end up usually taking one (denying delayalists) or the other (Guy McPherson) or vacillating between them according to the momentary direction of the wind.
We should all get used to the phrase "Don't you know there's a climate crisis on?"
All the problems brought up so often as bulwarks against making this transition, pale in comparison to the costs of not doing it. Some have already been solved; some are real problems but are fixable, some we'll have to find alternatives to despite the difficulty and uncertainty now.
"It is no use saying, “We are doing our best.” You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary." Winston Churchill in WWII
Although the US military has been addressing fossil fuel use more seriously than most organizations, it can and should be cut drastically in any case. A huge part of it is dedicated to trying (badly) to protect our oil supply lines, a task that becomes superfluous as we use less and then no oil (most of which comes from not the Middle East, anyway). Most of the rest of the military is dedicated to protecting the perceived interests of other US corporations and the US empire in general. The US and the world will be tremendously better off once we give it up. Reduction by half to 3/4 in the next 8 years would give us an able working force for a new CCC--Climate Conservation Corps, to set up the infrastructure needed to transform society. It would boost the economy, since almost every use of money gives a better return than military expenditures. Reduction and reassignment of the military could be a push toward the political and economic equality we need to solve the greenhouse gas problem.
The alternative to flying the vast majority of trips made is high speed rail, a US network of which could probably be in place in about 10 years, certainly completed in 15 if we made it a national priority, which we must. In less than 20 we could probably have trains getting us where we want to be faster than planes today even for coast to coast trips, and more convenient, pleasant, and with a fraction of the energy use and carbon emissions. Our entire transport system could be powered by renewables, much of it by wind and solar on the RR rights of way.
Coal burners in China are being built despite the decrease in coal use, because of utterly insane economic systems and reasons. For the insane morons at Wattsup to think that’s a reason for anything except firings and drastic changes in the economic system is, well, no surprise. Shame on ReaonBowl for citing those despicable lying sociopaths.
As Coal Use Drops, Investors Blow Nearly $1 Trillion Globally on Unnecessary New Plants
$1 trillion could provide electricity powered by renewable energy to 1.2 billion people—but it was funneled into extraneous coal projects instead
Somebody, probably not the fools responsible, will get stuck paying for those stranded assets in the usual ways. Shame on them for saddling humanity wth yet more useless and destructive machinery. But like all the other insanity we see every day, this bit doesn’t change anything about what we have to do or can do.
A combination of moving closer to work, working at home or closer to home, trading jobs as it makes more sense to work closer to home, taking alternative transportation (walking, cycling, buses, rail, even carpools, (which could instantly increase by about 10,000% in the places most people work, except people just don't want to or haven’t bothered) and EVs as a national priority (suppose the 400,000 Tesla orders made in the first month they were available could be filled in 2 years, matched by equal numbers of other EV models.)
A big reason for not being able to live and work in the same area is inequality. Part of the solution is changing the tax structure back to what it was during the Eisenhower administration or beyond, along with compensatory programs like federally mandated and guaranteed pensions, medical care, necessities.
We have a model to accomplish the mobilization we need. Monday morning, December 8, 1941, the US woke up and started to get to work on winning a war it was horrendously unprepared for. The world's 17th largest military in the world, sized between Portugal"s and Bulgaria's, was transformed by a national plan (prepared for in advance as some have prepared for today's needed transition). People gave up what they thought was a lot, but which was actually a tiny amount compared to what most people have lived without their whole lives then and now (and compared to the war privations in the USSR, for example).
Today's economy is geared overwhelmingly toward providing trivial extravagance for the richest few percent (including most people posting here); giving most of that up would help everyone in lots of ways and give us even more industrial power to harness for the transition. Efficiency, conservation, wiser and more ecological lives, and clean safe resilient renewable energy; reforesting the planet, transforming annual commodities-centered, chemical industrial agriculture to low-meat, local organic perennials-based permaculture are the solutions and all could be accomplished with a climate mobilization.
Getting people on board for the industrial US-WWII-like revolution we need is the project of: www.theclimatemobilization.org