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Posted: May 22, 2021

What’s this about net – zero?

Letter to the Editor

Increasingly there is a notion that when trying to deal with a problem you do not at the same time support those things and activities that are part of the problem.  This seems to be a fair description of the demonstrated problem-solving strategy that is part of the problem.

Yes, this is about energy and why we need to consider its’ future.  The 2020 joint report from the Royal Society and US National Academy of Sciences gives an easy-to-understand explanation of the problem and evidence to support that understanding and yet there continues to be denial that a problem even exists and some governments that acknowledge the problem, but inertia is their current strategy.

Some countries like New Zealand, Spain, USA and the EU have announced real policies to deal with the problem, many of which involve the removal of government funds that currently help support the problem. While 50 Ph D economists in the USA support pricing carbon emissions as a way to avoid regulations and stimulating innovation.  At the same time there is a claim that pricing carbon will destroy the current economy and result in significant job loss.

At the same time gain, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report with a plan to reach net – zero emissions by 2050 and that transition would be affordable and would result in a complete transformation of global energy systems.

The same report, however, suggests this transformation would still allow for “robust economic growth,” which seems counter to the notion of sustainability on a planet with finite resources.  Although easier said than done, Buckminster Fuller suggested: “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Ron Robinson,


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