I also agree with McKinsey Global Institute’s 2008 Research in Review: Stabilizing at 450 ppm has a net cost near zero.
This is what the entire planet must achieve:
* 1 wedge of albedo change through white roofs and pavement (aka “soft geoengineering) — see “Geoengineering, adaptation and mitigation, Part 2: White roofs are the trillion-dollar solution“ * 1 wedge of vehicle efficiency — all cars 60 mpg, with no increase in miles traveled per vehicle. * 1 of wind for power — one million large (2 MW peak) wind turbines * 1 of wind for vehicles –another 2000 GW wind. Most cars must be plug-in hybrids or pure electric vehicles. * 3 of concentrated solar thermal (aka solar baseload)– ~5000 GW peak. * 3 of efficiency — one each for buildings, industry, and cogeneration/heat-recovery for a total of 15 to 20 million GW-hrs. A key strategy for reducing direct fossil fuel use for heating buildings (while also reducing air conditioning energy) is geothermal heat pumps. * 1 of solar photovoltaics — 2000 GW peak * 1/2 wedge of nuclear power– 350 GW * 2 of forestry — End all tropical deforestation. Plant new trees over an area the size of the continental U.S. * 1 wedge of WWII-style conservation, post-2030
Here are additional wedges that require some major advances in applied research to be practical and scalable, but are considered plausible by serious analysts, especially post-2030:
* 1 of geothermal plus other ocean-based renewables (i.e. tidal, wave, and/or ocean thermal) * 1 of coal with biomass cofiring plus carbon capture and storage — 400 GW of coal plus 200 GW biomass with CCS * 1/2 wedge of next generation nuclear power — 350 GW * 1/2 wedge of cellulosic biofuels for long-distance transport and what little aviation remains in 2050 — using 8% of the world’s cropland . * 1 of soils and/or biochar– Apply improved agricultural practices to all existing croplands and/or “charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass.” Both are controversial today, but may prove scalable strategies.
That should do the trick. And yes, the scale is staggering.
Note to all: Do I want to build all those nuclear plants. No. Do I think we could do it without all those nuclear plants. Definitely. Therefore, should I be quoted as saying we “must” build all those nuclear plants, as the Drudge Report has, or even that I propose building all those plants? No. Do I think we will have to swallow a bunch of nuclear plants as part of the grand bargain to make this all possible and that other countries will build most of these? I have no doubt. So it stays in “the solution” for now.
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