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We Need to Revise our Climate Goal

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Tony Paradiso's picture
Principal, E3

I provide consulting services primarily assisting renewable energy-related companies in areas such as strategic planning, marketing, and operations. I have helped bring to market numerous leading...

  • Member since 2023
  • 65 items added with 13,728 views
  • Mar 31, 2023

We can forget the 1.5 degree C target – it isn’t going to happen.

I realize that stretch goals are important, but at some point, it becomes clear that a goal is unattainable. At that point, rather than risk demotivating people through disappointment, it’s best to reset expectations and attempt to establish an achievable stretch goal.

That’s where we’re at with climate change. With global emission hitting a record in 2022, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius just isn’t going to happen. According to the International Energy Agency emission grew 0.9% to 36.8 gigatons in 2022.

The largest emitter remained China followed by the U.S. But on a per capita basis there was a surprising emissions leader: Canada. The U.S. was second.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Mar 31, 2023

Agreed that stretch goals are important, but I think it also highlights why nearer-term goals than 2050 goals are also critical. 

Tony Paradiso's picture
Tony Paradiso on Mar 31, 2023

Matt - Agree. I would look at setting five or 10 year goals to better assess progress. It's just foolish to keep saying things like - we need to quadruple our current pace... That never happens. Shorter, intermediate goals allow you to approach the problem in smaller, and hopefully more manageable bites.   

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Apr 4, 2023

On the contrary: We need to re-emphasize the consequences of failure. They are not acceptable. The result: Too little, too late.

Tony Paradiso's picture
Tony Paradiso on Apr 6, 2023

Mark - I understand your position but reality matters. And reality says there is virtually no way that the current goal will be met. At this point the wise thing to do is reset expectations and rethink the overall approach because the current path isn't getting it done. 

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Apr 4, 2023

We may already be too late. We need to push and work for the goals we have. We need to letceveryone know there is no 2nd chance. 

Tony Paradiso's picture
Tony Paradiso on Apr 6, 2023

Jim - You may be right in which case nothing we do will matter. However, no one knows for sure whether the point of no return has been reached or whether it's 10 or 100 years from now. Climate science has not proven to be particularly accurate. It sort of reminds me of the fanatics that keep predicting the end of the world and when it doesn't happen they just pick a new date. I'm not saying that climate scientists are fanatics. I think their models are getting more and more accurate, but they are not definitive.

What I do know is our entire approach is misguided. We throw all this money at wind and solar when the grid is the critical path item that needs to be addressed first. To accomplish that we need to revise how decisions are made because the current structure "has too many cooks in the kitchen." Not to mention how inefficient both solar and wind are in generating electricity. We also should be allocating more resources on carbon capture/sequestration technologies. 

Tony Paradiso's picture
Thank Tony for the Post!
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