It is not a secret that I am not a big fan of “man-made” climate change (previous misnomer: global warming) hysterics. Now hold on a minute. Climate change may (!) be real, it is – at least in my eyes, based on objective scientific observations – highly doubtful it is completely man-made. The very fact (the fact that everybody always carefully avoids in any discussion) that all planets in our solar system show significant climate change effects alone is, at least in my eyes, conclusive proof that it simply cannot be solely man-made. No matter how much one cares for the environment, it is simply absurd to blame “our” CO2 for the observed and proven effects on other planets. I do however passionately support any sane, well thought-out efforts to keep our lovely blue spaceship Earth as clean as possible. The now well-disproven “Peak Oil” madness aside, the current incredible abundance of cheap fossil fuels – many found through new techniques, and more and more every month – should not and must not lure us into a false sense of energy independence security, or even worse, allow us to unnecessarily and almost irreversibly pollute the environment.
Lets have a look at the largest energy gobblers: India and China. We already knew, for example also from observations by Mark Dansie, that China was doing very remarkable things in terms of renewable energy generation. This month, new research showed that both countries are on track to beat their own carbon emission goals under the Paris Agreement. The so-called “Greenhouse gas” pollution from both countries is growing more slowly than they predicted a year ago and the difference is substantial – roughly 2 to 3 billion tons annually by the year 2030. What is more interesting than these vague Carbon Footprint numbers is the fact that actual pollutants are declining rapidly as well.
Five years ago, the idea of either China or India stopping – or even slowing – the use of coal was considered an insurmountable hurdle. It is now a simple fact, and the pace of the change is clearly picking up. But not just in India and China. Worldwide the phenomenon is gaining traction, and that can only be a Good Thing in terms of a sustainable civilization and the environmental legacy we leave for our children.
In the USA a new report came out showing the remarkable growth of clean energy in states across the country. Back in 2010, just three states received 10 percent or more of their electricity from non-hydro renewable energy. Today, 17 states have eclipsed the 10 percent mark and three of those states—Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas—are leading the way with 30 percent of more of their power coming from wind. Another three states—California, North Dakota and Oklahoma —exceed 20 percent.
What’s most striking about these trends is that the clean energy transcends politics—with the top 10 states for renewable energy including five red states and five blue states.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe also signed an executive order instructing state regulators to establish rules to reduce carbon pollution from the state’s power plants. Among the businesses strongly supporting the governor’s move is Mars Inc., the Virginia-based candy maker, which has set a goal to run all of its facilities – including its McLean headquarters – with 100 percent renewable energy.
Other major players are, for example, BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager with $5.4 trillion in assets under management. They, too, are supporting more use of renewables.
It’s clear: the times, they are a’changing. And this time, it’s a Good Thing.