The over-reliance on models and their reliability has always been a criticism of 'sceptics'.
We know that a more widespread use of “energy crops” would consume vast areas of the earth’s landmass, and that the regrowing of trees that are cut down to burn for energy would take many decades to absorb the initial carbon release– a scenario the earth clearly cannot afford.
Over-reliance on biomass is definitely not the way to go.
The lower-emissions scenarios also accept the prevailing rhetoric of “net-zero,” assuming that more widespread carbon-sequestering methods like protecting forests can serve to compensate for still-rising emissions. We know that many if not most carbon offset schemes to date have been an absolute failure,
'Net-zero' is little more than a licence to carry on emitting as we are - with dealing with the consequences kicked into the long grass.
It is increasingly doubtful that genuine long-term climate solutions can be found without a thorough transformation of social and economic systems. It is true that the cost of renewable energy has fallen dramatically in the past decade, which is a good thing, and that leading auto manufacturers are aiming to switch to electric vehicle production over the coming decade.
We certainly need a thorough transformation - but switching to electric vehicles is not it, not even part of it.
We will likely see more solar and wind power, a faster tightening of fuel efficiency standards for the auto industry.
Fuel efficiency has to deal with the Jevons paradox. And, wind and solar are not exactly pollution and damage free, as detailed in BGL. And, can't be scaled up to replace fossil fuels, especially if we don't want to change our over-consumptive lifestyles. They end up being in addition to continued fossil fuel use.
the wealthiest ten percent of the global population are responsible for 49 percent of individual emissions. The richest one percent emits 175 times more carbon per person on average than the poorest ten percent.....So while the world’s most vulnerable peoples are disproportionately impacted by droughts, floods, violent storms and rising sea levels, the responsibility falls squarely upon the world’s wealthiest.
A counter to those who say population is the main driver. It's an indicator that climate change (and other environmental insults) and inequality are inextricably linked. No prizes for guessing the system that's behind both.
Greta Thunberg described it as a “wake-up call,” and urged listeners to hold the people in power accountable. Whether that can happen quickly enough to stave off some of the worst consequences will be a function of the strength of our social movements, and also our willingness to address the full scope of social transformations that are now essential for humanity and all of life on earth to continue to thrive.
How many wake up calls do we need? We certainly need a massive transformation. I would like to think we are up to the task......
Brian Tokar is the co-editor (with Tamra Gilbertson) of Climate Justice and Community Renewal: Resistance and Grassroots Solutions. He is a lecturer in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont and a long-term faculty and board member of the Vermont-based Institute for Social Ecology.
Institute for Social Ecology? Set up presumably by crusty old 'anarchist' and ex-anarchist Murray Bookchin. Didn't think much of Deep Ecology or 'Lifestyle anarchists' if I recall correctly. Heard him lecture at Leeds Uni about 30 years ago.