Some Facts on Climate Change Solutions
Casey Coates Danson, Director, Global Possibilities
All I read is bad news about climate and since we need to look for solutions, here are a few that I know of through my work at Global Possibilities. Most have to do with the built environment, duh!
Buildings consume 42 percent of our nation’s energy and 72 percent of its electricity. SOLUTION: Work on a an energy efficiency revolution to vitalize the real-estate sector, create jobs, and help to rejuvenate the national economy whilc DRAMATICALLY reducing the need for fossil fuels. According to Amory Lovins, of RMI, this could save $1.4 trillion net present value – the savings are worth four times their cost. This can be accomplished by deep energy retrofitting to save half the energy used by the US existing commercial buildings by 2050. We can transform existing buildings into state of the art, adding major value and improving human health and performance. On an individual level you can install solar panels to your roof and therefore get yourself off the grid to independence in case of weather and climate disasters.
Fossil fuels generate 70 percent of the nation’s electricity. After profitable efficiency measures, at least 80 percent of electricity in 2050 can be reliably and affordably produced from wind, solar and other renewable sources.
The U.S. burns 13 million barrels of oil a day, three-fourths of its total oil use for transportation. The hidden costs of our dependence on oil is roughly $1.5 TRILLION a year, twice what we pay for oil, bringing its cost to one-sixth of GCP – plus any costs of independence, security, stability, health and the environment, according to Amory Lovins, RMI.
We need to create the infrastructure for electrifying vehicles which need to be designed with a focus on lightweight and advanced composite materials and manufacturing to create safe, ultralight, super-efficient vehicles.