Greg Scott, Livermore
Accelerated climate change disruption kills by more frequent and intense weather extremes. Weather is not climate, though any particular climate has a set of usual weather, and fewer times of unusual weather. We, as a world, are responding and reacting to weather extremes: we are not easing the climate crisis. ("Ways to Ease the Climate Crisis", Ann Brown, The Independent, 7/15). Only a repeated pattern of response(s) over years and generations would be actions in regard to climate. Few of our current deeds are going to alleviate accelerated climate change disruptions in the near future, or beyond. Carbon dioxide has a 40% persistence in 100 years. According to a report from REN21, a green energy policy network, in 2009 the world obtained 80.3% of its energy from fossil fuels.
In 2019, after a decade of enormous installation of solar-electric and wind power, global energy generated from fossil fuels was 80.2% of our total energy production. Not much change there. We continue to be highly dependent on fossil fuels. In California 41% of our emissions come from transportation. The thinking is we are going to greatly reduce this by switching to electric vehicles (EVs). California has around 15 million registered vehicles with less than 1 million of those being EVs. Twenty percent of buyers who purchase EVs subsequently buy an internal combustion engine vehicle. We are not transitioning rapidly to EVs anytime soon. Getting under the shade of a tree is a smart move on a hot weather day, however, it does little to ease the changes we are causing to occur in climate. Planting shade trees is a wonderful idea, though realize the southeastern Amazon is now a carbon emitter and not a carbon sink. These little ideas of EV charging stations, planting shade trees and discouraging Net Energy Metering (NEM) rooftop solar-electric are tepid and inconsistent ideas at best, considering the scale of the climate change disruption problem. We seem to want to continue business-as-usual, or not far from it, which is leading us to brutal consequences. Our governorship leaders are bought, feeble and/or feckless on the climate problem. Only well-considered, broad changes will avoid climates that are antagonistic to humans and other species on which we are dependent. Anything else is an 'easing' fantasy, for we are past the tipping point and already through the looking glass on human-induced climate disruption.