I’m Still a Cockeyed Optimist When It Comes to Climate Change

Last week, NRG Energy announced plans to reduce CO2 emissions 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.  And this reduction is not from a 1990 or 2005 baseline; it is from 2014 emissions.  NRG’s statement indicated that it had already reduced emissions by 40% since 2005.  By my math, that means that the 2030 and 2050 reductions would be 70% and 94%, respectively, below 2005 emissions.

If NRG can do it, why not others?  And if others do it, we will certainly be on a path to mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, according to John Sterman of MIT’s Sloan School, as quoted in the Times story on the NRG announcement.

I still don’t know quite how we get from here to there.  While voluntary commitments are nice, we’re going to need a cap-and-trade program or carbon tax at some point.  Nonetheless, taking the long view, I see momentum building in the right direction.

Call me a cockeyed optimist.

One thought on “I’m Still a Cockeyed Optimist When It Comes to Climate Change

  1. I always enjoy this cockeyed optimism! Not to throw dry ice on it, but to answer the question “why can’t everyone do it ?”–
    1. Not everyone has a favorable enough mix of fuel burning capacity to be able to trade-off coal for gas (e.g., the amount of reduction for an oil-to-gas trade would be less)
    2. Not everyone can find a cost-tolerable sequestration option– even this one reads iffy.
    Then comes the question of momentum–this is 2014. In 2015 will we see a momentum shift aimed at preventing EPA from enforcing the
    Power Plant Rule? I hope not, but no bets here.

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