So is a 40 percent cut in emissions possible? The foregoing number crunching exercise suggests that it could be. But the commitment is huge: We're talking about the equivalent of shuttering every single one of America's coal plants in favor of hundreds of new nuclear facilities, hundreds of thousands of windmills, or millions of solar panels—or perhaps replacing the entire U.S. auto fleet with zero-emissions vehicles. The magnitude of such an effort would be similar to the projected costs of President Obama's proposed government-funded health insurance plan or the price tag for the War on Terror. These are big changes, not to be glossed over in glowing speeches about international cooperation and our bright green energy future.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The cost of carbon dioxide reduction
The World Wildlife Federation and the International Institute of Environment and Development issued a statement from 40 leading climate scientists last week claiming that developed countries would have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 to prevent an average global temperature increase of 2 degrees celsius. Is that even possible? Ronald Bailey at Reason Online takes a look: