Climate Change Requires N2N

 

I have been reporting for several days on a fascinating new book, “Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper” by Robert Bryce and, in particular, what it means for climate change.
CaptureHere are some key points:

As Mr. Bryce says, “It’s time to focus our inquiry on the key question: if we agree that too much carbon dioxide is bad for the Earth’s atmosphere – what are we going to do? What’s the best “no regrets” climate policy as we move forward?” Here’s how to proceed:

  • We will need much more energy in the decades ahead in order to raise the living standards of the more than two billion people who are still living in energy poverty.
  • Hydrocarbons now provide 87% of the world’s total energy needs. There are still no affordable, scalable substitutes for the vast quantity of hydrocarbons that we use today.
  • People in the industrialized countries cannot and should not hinder the efforts of the world’s poor to gain access to cheap, reliable sources of energy.
  • We must give a very high priority to adapting and hardening our cities, networks and structures so they can better survive severe weather events.
  • N2N (natural gas to nuclear) provides the best no-regrets energy policy because those fuels can provide significant environmental benefits with relatively low economic costs.
  • The combination of natural gas and nuclear energy has reduced America’s carbon footprint by 54 billion tons over the last six decades. By comparison, wind, solar and geothermal sources reduced emissions by just 1.5 billion tons over the same period.

In other words, we need to be practical about the new sources of energy which will be needed to meet growing world demand. Renewable energy sources cannot nearly provide what is needed. Exploiting the current abundance of natural gas while further developing nuclear energy is the best way to proceed.

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