Underestimating the problem

The most critical problem facing the planet right now is climate change.  Canada is poorly positioned to take advantage of the coming shift in the global economy that will accompany the required economic changes needed to address this issue.

The scope of the problem is so unfathomably big that we can’t fully grasp the implications and costs of what it will take to address the problem.  In all likelihood it will be too late before we actually take enough action to avoid catastrophe.

In 2013, the global production of coal was 7823 megatons. That represents an ENORMOUS amount of energy. 195,575,000,000GJ.

The scientific consensus is that at current production levels we have 26 years of CO2 production remaining before we pass levels that will keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees.  With production still increasing it seems absolutely impossible we will stay under that limit.

For instance, replacing all coal with solar power globally over the next 20 years will cost 5% of global GDP every year for the next 20 years.  And that will only extend our timeline for collapse, and doesn’t take into account population growth or modernization of the developing world.

I calculated that replacing the energy created from the 7823MT of coal will require an installed cost of solar panels at more than $100T.

We’ve ruined the planet 🙁