So, two uplifting videos for today. These are ones I watched some time ago, but I never made a semi-permanent place for them. They are important.
There most certainly is a climate emergency. But it really is not that hard to fix this:
- End all subsidies for fossil fuels, financial, tax incentives, and structural. Structural incentives are things like free permissions to mine and drill on federal lands, and eminent domain for building pipelines. Note this is not the same as banning fossil fuels. It means reducing public support for them. Yes, gasoline and diesel prices will go up. Remove all tax subsidies from fossil fuel business and companies by making them a special case in tax codes.
- Remove restrictions and local bylaws for building zero Carbon energy sources, including rooftop solar and land-based wind. Some people complain about utility scale solar felling forests, commanding swaths of agricultural lands, and their aesthetic impacts, claiming all the while they “support solar”, but not there, and should be put on rooftops and developed lands first. Well, there is substantial opposition to putting solar on residential and commercial properties, too, particularly ground mounted solar. The latter is generally more productive, and is needed for properties which have homes and buildings which are tree shaded, without having these felled.
- Provide deep subsidies to build out EV charging networks, and provide utility scale battery storage, whether lithium batteries, or the recently developed iron batteries.
- Demand that any new fossil fuel infrastructure or improvements to it use a rapid depreciation scheduled where zero value is 2040.
- Institute national retraining programs for zero Carbon energy as part of revamped and expanded educational programs paid by the public. These will be some of the best investments conceivable. The monies saved from fossil fuel subsidies can readily be used to support these. Zero Carbon energy development will pay for itself. These educational programs will provide a workforce, one which is presently small and constraining solar, wind, and storage development. There is a severe shortage of electricians.
I have a quibble with Professor Moomaw’s talk … Yes, forests and soils — and oceans — take up 60% of CO2 emissions. But these sinks do not bind up these emissions permanently. Permanent sequestration takes a great deal longer. In the case of forests, sequestration is ultimately done in soils. Afforestation and proforestation can help and are necessary, but they are quite slow in their taking up of CO2. Young forests are volatile, meaning most young trees fall over and die, returning their Carbon to the climate system.
Finally, old forests consisting of big trees only are produced if wildfires are allowed to periodically burn through forests, eliminating the small stuff.