I regularly think about how anthropogenic(man-made) climate disasters will wake and accelerate the spread of the next influenza pandemic.(Every 68 years influenza pandemics repeat themselves in the pattern H2, H3, H1)
I spent some time yesterday pondering what would be necessary to quickly blitzkrieg carbon emissions and buy humanity time to research battery chemistry and build out a solar grid over the course of the next 50–100 years. We can think of battery chemistry as the big hurdle.
That’s how long an energy transition takes, and it always takes more years because the population grows. Humanity’s transitions from wood to coal to oil to natural gas have always taken decades because replacing the grid is a non-trivial task. To put it concisely, the switching costs are tremendous.
If we wanted to save the planet from climate change, I would think the following are necessary/vital:
- Overfund Planned Parenthood and Birth Control organizations, companies, and NGOs. This reduces the total number of humans and means less global energy consumption.
- Pour billions into battery research. (Lithium!). It’s the greatest bottleneck to Solar power being of any real utility to the masses.
- Provide massive subsidies for the installation and purchase of high efficiency natural gas furnaces, CFC Bulbs, and Diesel Vehicles. These things all reduce carbon emissions across the board.
- Fund high speed rail at the federal level aggressively. It’s ridiculous that we don’t have high speed rail between major cities in Canada and the USA. It happens at the federal level. Let’s get some freaking bombardier trains and stop burning 10,000kilowatt hours.
- Fast-track permits for geographically optimal renewables — Wind turbines for wind alleys, hydro for waterfalls, geothermal for hot zones, solar for high quality solar irradiance/temperature, and Nuclear for all else.
- Fast track Nuclear Power Plants to crush coal as quickly as possible.
- Teach millions of children about Embodied Energy as a curriculum requirement and require embodied energy labels on 100% of consumer products at the federal level.