Trend: Reducing emissions will be big business in the next several decades.
Joel Makower at Two Steps Forward describes Princeton scientists Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala who have calculated that a series of bold actions over the next fifty years are needed to reduce climate emissions.
Socolow and Pacala argue that stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations will require reducing emissions by 7 billion tons a year by 2054. To make this more understandable, they identified 15 potential "wedges," each of which could handle one billion tons of the total. Thus, it will take seven such "wedges" to accomplish their goal.
The wedges are sobering in their scale and scope. Here are just five examples of things we must do worldwide, each of which, when phased in over the next fifty years, will prevent the release of 25 billion tons of carbon:
Double the fuel economy of 2 billion cars worldwide from 30 mpg to 60 mpg Cut electricity use in all homes, offices, and stores by 25 percent Replace 1,400 large coal-fired power plants with gas-fired plants Increase solar power 700-fold to displace coal Increase wind power 80-fold to produce hydrogen for cars
Keep in mind that this isn't an either/or proposition. We'd have to do ALL these things -- plus two more -- to keep greenhouse gas levels stable in check below 550 parts per million, double pre-industrial levels.