On July 13, members of the Tri-Valley Citizens’ Climate Lobby watched an online video illustrating the abilities of En-ROADS, a powerful climate-simulation tool showing how climate goals can be achieved through changes in energy, land use, consumption, agriculture, and other policies.
In the video, Drew Jones detailed and demonstrated the soon-to-be released 2019 version of the En-ROADS program.
Jones is a co-founder and co-director of Climate Interactive, a think tank that grew out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Jones stated that the think tank developed easily-understood climate simulations that could be used to change minds about the success of various methods to lower projected temperature elevations around the world. The simulations use graphs that, when producers of emissions are moved, depict the raising or lowering of future temperatures.
Present fuel uses were demonstrated, as well as the effects of deforestation, methane from animal gases, and other sources. The idea, Jones said, is that since each person using a simulation can personally see the effects, it should act as a means to establish new ways of thinking.
The simulations, recently presented to 36 U.S. senators, showed that continuing to burn coal, gas and oil in the present amounts would raise the world temperature 7.6 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. It will take over 20 years of not using these products in the current amounts to achieve any reduction in global warming, said Jones, adding that the best way to begin to achieve less use is by establishing a carbon fee that starts slowly and increases over the years. He noted that even $100/ton would add only $1 onto fuel costs for vehicles using gasoline.
In addition, if energy prices do increase due to cap and trade, there would be further commitment by the public and industry to conserve energy. This could be achieved by increasing insulation in buildings, using other energy-saving techniques, and developing vehicles with better gas mileage that produce less air pollution.
By doubling renewable energy production through increasing wind and solar use, the cost for energy would be at least 20% less than current costs.