Movements Start Small #21
The optimists are out there! I really like the optimistic vision laid out by Electrify by Saul Griffith. The two main ideas are:
1. Everything needs to be electrified and starting with buildings is something we know how to do today.
2. Heat pumps, solar, etc all pay for the themselves over a multi-year time horizon vs combustion. So, finance needs to help: do what America did for housing early in the 20th century and create government backed financial products to enable electrified tech to be deployed.
What do you think about governments and regions that are unstable deploying nuclear energy? Hydro/solar/wind are geopolitically inert.
As far as the activists that are on the "ban fossil fuels" end of the spectrum I am empathetic to starting at that extreme as a way to build political will. Personally, given the time value of carbon, I wish that the petroleum companies would at least acknowledge the inevitable required end of their industry. Instead they are using every political and marketing tool at their disposable to delay and confuse. Given the petroleum industries deep pockets and powerful lobbying arms it breeds mistrust and frustration amongst those trying to create political will.
If you like fiction "Ministry of the Future" by Kim Stanley Robinson is a fairly optimistic view of how humans may muddle through policy, finance, and technology to solve climate issues.