Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Megatrends to the Rescue!

I would say most discussions of progress on global warming still tend toward the gloomy. But as it's becoming more and more obvious that big, positive trends on energy consumption and production are here to stay, we're starting to get more discussions that dare to be hopeful.

One such discussion was recently in the UK Guardian, enumerating "seven fast-growing global megatrends" that are shifting the energy picture. Here's the introduction to the article, but I recommend reading the whole thing:
Everybody gets paralysed by bad news because they feel helpless,” says Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who delivered the landmark Paris climate change agreement. “It is so in our personal lives, in our national lives and in our planetary life.”
But it is becoming increasingly clear that it does not need to be all bad news: a series of fast-moving global megatrends, spurred by trillion-dollar investments, indicates that humanity might be able to avert the worst impacts of global warming. From trends already at full steam, including renewable energy, to those just now hitting the big time, such as mass-market electric cars, to those just emerging, such as plant-based alternatives to meat, these trends show that greenhouse gas emissions can be halted.
“If we were seeing linear progress, I would say good, but we’re not going to make it in time,” says Figueres, now the convener of the Mission 2020 initiative, which warns that the world has only three years to get carbon emissions on a downward curve and on the way to beating global warming. “But the fact is we are seeing progress that is growing exponentially, and that is what gives me the most reason for hope.”
Exponential progress. That sounds pretty good. And in the era of Trump no less.

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