For reference, I’m taking the following as given: climate change is real, it is caused by fossil fuel emissions, and the goal of a post-carbon energy future is an admirable one. At this point in the 21st century, I believe most well-informed people would agree with the above, but there are nuances to each of these issues which prevents global consensus.
Climate change may be real, but its impact both short and long-term is unknown. The same could be said for the effect carbon emissions have on climate. We know it’s increasing average temperatures, but the exact cause and effect is poorly understood. Lastly, a post-carbon energy future is the ultimate goal in eventually restoring some kind of balance with the planet, but at what point can we make the switch? The answer to this question can be nebulous, black and white, or yet to be proven… depending on what you believe to be possible. The difficulty in answering this question is that energy touches almost every aspect of human civilization, so proposing any kind of dramatic shift in the way energy is produced, consumed, or priced will have profound effects on our society. Continue reading A Post-Carbon Energy Transition