There’s a recent phenomenon in which smart people, mostly white men, parachute down from a higher plane to tell us mere mortals the truth about fighting climate change. Colorfully dubbed “first-time climate dudes” by journalist Emily Atkin of the newsletter Heated, they invariably offer some version of doom and gloom, whether it’s Bill Gates calling any attempt to rapidly reduce greenhouse emissions to near zero “a fairy tale”, or novelist Jonathan Franzen proclaiming in the New Yorker that we must “accept that disaster is coming.” Sorry, climate dudes, but I think you’re dead wrong. Wrong too is John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, when he says that half of future emissions cuts will have to come from technologies not invented yet. He should know better. In fact, we already have the basic technologies we need to slay the monster of climate change. Moreover, these technologies are not just affordable now, but they continue to get cheaper (and better) at a stunning pace, and new ideas are constantly emerging. In fact, humanity may look back after 20 or 50 years and wonder why we ever thought it was so hard or so expensive to move beyond the era of fossil fuels.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientist 25th May 2021 read more »