How to Stop Global Warming in Five Easy Steps
Following a UN panel’s warning that humankind is running out of time to stop the daily increase in carbon emissions, an academic shows us how easy it is to fix the problem.
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM — On Monday, August 9, the U.N.’s science panel published a study that shows how humanity is running out of time to do something about the steady increase in global temperature.
On Tuesday, a professor published a short list of simple solutions that would solve the crisis.
The professor’s article is called “We Have Four Years Left to Keep Warming to 1.5 °C. Here's How We Can Do It.” Here are the details:
A day after the U.N.’s science panel warned that humanity has only four years left to stop the trend of increasing global emissions, Matthew Paterson, research director of the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester, published a plan for how this trend can be halted.
Writing in the Conversation, he says to limit the globe’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we need to take these fairly simple steps as soon as possible:
First, we need to ban all new coal-fired power plants, all new oil and gas operations and all airport expansions. In essence, the world could agree to a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.
Existing coal plants could be rapidly replaced with renewable sources of energy, like wind farms.
Radical improvements could be made in the energy efficiency of buildings.
Instead of using natural gas for heating and cooking in buildings, people should only use electricity.
Ground transport could be decarbonized by a shift to electric vehicles, such as electric cars, trucks, buses and trains.
Lastly, people should move away from private cars toward bicycling, walking and public transport.
Paterson says achieving all of this in 10 years is technically possible. But there are significant obstacles that are fundamentally political.
For instance, fossil fuel companies continue to fight to prevent action that threatens their profitability, lobbying governments to weaken legislation and to protect their subsidies.
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