by Judith Curry
David Roberts at Grist has a really interesting post entitled “The gobsmackingly gargantuan challenge of shifting to clean energy.” The post is based upon an excellent presentation by Saul Griffith. Griffith considers a target of 450 ppm. The punchline of his analysis:
It turns out, to get on a trajectory to hit 450 ppm, we’re going to need to turn off most of our fossil fuel energy, end deforestation, and build about 11.5 new terawatts of clean energy capacity by 2033 (30 years out from the 2003 baseline).
The graphics in Griffith’s presentation are really illuminating, check it out.
Soooo. . . . if our projections of climate change, say with 3C sensitivity, were 100% certain, is there any feasible way to accomplish this? Roberts says:
There’s no predicting innovation, much less politics. But the one thing we do know is that the task ahead is enormous, so gobsmackingly big that the smart money is almost certainly on failure. If we want a chance at success we’re going to have to rethink a lot of our assumptions about consumption, economic analysis, policy design, and political strategy.