Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Challenges and Hope

Looking through this issue of Green Energy Times, I feel the dismay of the times, but I am also filled with hope. It is clear that we have challenges, but it may be even more clear that we have hope.

The article on the front page titled, “The World Is Burning Around Us, Elmo,” reminds us of the sad state of the world. We are seeing increasing numbers of droughts and wildfires, paradoxically with storms and floods also problems. The damage comes to hundreds of billions of dollars.

On the same front page, there are other stories with an interesting message: We can address the problems causing climate change, saving money and making our lives more comfortable as we do. Why would anyone drive a gasoline-powered car, if an electric car is less expensive to drive, as it assuredly is. And since both a land owner and the rest of the community benefit economically when solar panels are installed, it is getting much more attractive to build solar arrays.

On page 3, we have an article about Mark Z. Jacobson describing the advantages of combining battery storage with renewable resources. Dr. Jacobson has been crunching numbers for years that show clearly the advantages of renewable energy and that neither fossil fuels nor nuclear power are needed. Here, he shows that hydrogen and fuel cells can have a place. Again, the message is that renewable energy and storage are enough.

Some people worry about agricultural land being used for solar arrays, but there are studies showing how to use 1% of the land for solar power and the rest for agriculture. One of them, on page 10, shows how to preserve agriculture in the Northeast. The grid gets more electricity, and the farms produce nearly the same amount of food.

On page 12, we see that community solar power is coming to New Hampshire. On page 14, we see that New York is getting really serious about offshore wind power, and that promises thousands of onshore jobs. On page 15, we learn how renewable energy is helping low-income households.

We are reminded of problems we must not deny, in the page 20 description of the decline of the snow pack in the Northeast. But then, on page 21, there is a description of geothermal heat pumps used for greenhouses. And this is followed on the next page with a story about the solutions are being used on college campuses. Heat pumps can reduce both our energy bills and our use of fossil fuels.

The strong admonition that we deal with the climate crisis, in the article, “Our Climate System is Moving Out of Control,” on page 32, is followed on just the next page by “Can We End the Climate Crisis in One Generation?” And that has a long list of actions we can take.

Things can look bad – unless you see the whole story. What we really need to beat climate change is to act.

Think climate, think local, act global. – Nancy Rae Mallery

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