Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Turning Point:  New Hope for the Climate - by Al Gore

Former US Vice President Al Gore (Credit: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for Free The Children) Click to enlarge.
In the struggle to solve the climate crisis, a powerful, largely unnoticed shift is taking place.  The forward journey for human civilization will be difficult and dangerous, but it is now clear that we will ultimately prevail.  The only question is how quickly we can accelerate and complete the transition to a low-carbon civilization. 

There will be many times in the decades ahead when we will have to take care to guard against despair, lest it become another form of denial, paralyzing action.  It is true that we have waited too long to avoid some serious damage to the planetary ecosystem – some of it, unfortunately, irreversible.  Yet the truly catastrophic damages that have the potential for ending civilization as we know it can still – almost certainly – be avoided.  Moreover, the pace of the changes already set in motion can still be moderated significantly.

There is surprising – even shocking – good news:  Our ability to convert sunshine into usable energy has become much cheaper far more rapidly than anyone had predicted. The cost of electricity from photovoltaic, or PV, solar cells is now equal to or less than the cost of electricity from other sources powering electric grids in at least 79 countries.  By 2020 – as the scale of deployments grows and the costs continue to decline – more than 80 percent of the world's people will live in regions where solar will be competitive with electricity from other sources.

The Turning Point:  New Hope for the Climate - by Al Gore

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