In my estimation, most people think we can just change our current fossil fuel energy to renewable energy and it is business as usual. A co-climate crisis activist friend of mine was even clueless after I told her what was on my list as solutions. What are people thinking? Everything we do and buy uses fossil fuels.
Well, if you go to your garden to pick a tomato, no fossil fuels are needed. But, we have to produce all of our food then! Yes, that is the direction we need to go.
So, when I read this article about heat intensive industries, like steel and cement, that have no real green energy alternatives, I thought, “Just add another massive challenge to this climate crisis.” There are some solutions but they can double the cost. The article, “This climate problem is bigger than cars and much harder to solve,” is by David Roberts in Vox on October 10, 2019. Roberts does a great job detailing all of the energy options and their costs. See the link below.
Well, and you might say, “Who cares” because it is something most of us rarely think about. It is not something we buy at the store each week. But, our whole economy depends on them greatly. All of our buildings and roads use cement and steel. There are also other heat intensive materials and processes like glass, fertilizers, refining, petrochemicals, etc.
Translated, this means that besides few options in green energy, these items are producing a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere when produced, as well.
So what do we do? In my mind, and there are other people in this camp, we need to scale back severely our notion that we have to have continuous growth. As a reminder, we are on a finite planet so continuous growth is going to hit a brick wall eventually. Climate crisis aside, there are only so many resources.
We can live simply. It is possible . . . but what type of economy will we have when we do. We have to learn to let go of our current lifestyle. There just may be something much better on the other side.