The scientific journal Nature urges policy makers to “keep fossil fuels in the ground” if we are to have any hope of preventing dangerous levels of climate change.
Photo credit: MattysFlicks
Christophe McGlade and Paul Etkins of University College London have found that we must leave two thirds of our fossil fuel reserves in the ground if we are to have even a 50% chance of reaching our climate change targets. This is because fossil fuels that are extracted from the ground are inevitably burnt, increasing CO2 emissions and contributing to global warming.
What are the consequences of global warming?
Politicians worldwide have agreed that that a 2℃ is the safe limit for global warming. Yet currently we are on track for a 5 to 6℃ temperature rise by the year 2100. According to scientists, the result of a heated planet would be:
The destruction of coastal cities worldwide.
That the entire tropics would be uninhabitable, displacing millions.
The Arctic would be ice-free all year round.
It goes without saying that such a situation would be a disastrous for our children and our grandchildren. In order to prevent climate change on this scale, we must move away from our dependency on fossil fuels and embrace alternative energy technologies.
Does renewable energy technology offer a realistic alternative?
The most common criticism leveled against renewables is that they cannot possibly provide all of the electricity that a country needs. What if I told you that not only is it possible, but in fact it’s already been done.? Iceland, for instance, already sources 100% of its electricity renewably, as do Albania and Burundi. In fact, here’s a list of 45 countries that are already at least 60% powered by renewables.
The truth is that renewable energy technologies are both effective and affordable. Unlike fossil fuels or nuclear energy, solar panels, wind turbines and hydro electrics are safe for humankind, sustainable and socially responsible. If Albania can do it, why can’t we? We must act now to adopt alternative energy consumption and avoid disastrous climate change.