The solutions are at hand today

Last week, I wrote about guilt and action. I suggested that guilt could be a motivator for action and that the sage advice to avoid all guilt might be wrong if it avoided taking responsibility and having empathy. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

But feeling guilty, whether justified or not, is not the answer. Nor is giving up and feeling hopeless. We need to know that the solutions are at hand. Solar, wind, and hydroelectric power are cheaper than fossil fuels today. Right now! And electric cars and heat pumps that heat and cool buildings (including homes) are ready to take advantage of the cheap energy produced by renewable energy sources today. Right now! As Bill McKibben wrote last week in an article in the New Yorker “rapid advances in clean-energy technology mean that all that destruction is no longer necessary”.

Furthermore, the cost of renewables is going down while the cost of non-renewable energy is climbing which means getting off of fossil fuels and onto renewable energy is not only the best thing to combat global warming and save the planet, but it also is the most economically prudent thing to do today. Right now! In fact, a group of scientists from Oxford University wrote in September, 2021 in the Washington Post that “Our modeling shows that what we call a “decisive transition” of accelerated zero-carbon deployment would save the world $26 trillion in energy costs over the coming decades compared with continuing today’s energy system, while at the same time meeting the Paris targets.”

Yes, we can solve the climate crisis, but only if we keep the pressure on our leaders to stop listening to the old-school fossil fuel and power companies – those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo while damning future generations to live on an unlivable planet. 

We can do it and the recipe is simple: decarbonize the grid with renewables and electrify everything. Is it all smooth sailing, with no bumps in the road? Of course not, but that’s where our collective actions, by communities and governments can help both hasten and ease the pain of the transition to renewable energy. 

Working together, we can help take care of our common home. 

Paul Litwin

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