By: Karl Mathiesen (theguardian.com)
"From action in China and the US to falling solar costs and rising electric car sales, there is cause to be hopeful
For the last few months, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have been at record levels unseen in over 800,000 years. ...
But solutions are available. Here are ten reasons to be hopeful that humans will rise to the challenge of climate change...1) Barack Obama has made it one of his defining issuesAny politician who runs as the personification of hope is bound to be a bit of a let down. And so it seemed for five long, hot years. Barack Obama inaugurated his first US presidential term by promising to “roll back the spectre of a warming planet”....2) China has ordered coal power plants to close
Just a day after the launch of Obama’s big crackdown on coal, He Jiankun, a top Chinese government climate advisor told Reuters, “The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap”.3) The cost of solar has fallen by two thirds
According to the authoritative IEA thinktank, the price of installing photovoltaic (solar electricity) systems dropped by two thirds over the past six years. The resulting solar explosion has generated a “prosumer” market, in which the owners of homes and businesses are taking ownership of a growing proportion of the energy supply.....4) People are taking their money out of fossil fuels
Dozens of cities, institutions and investors are taking their money out of fossil fuel companies after the launch of a divestment campaign in the US around 18 months ago. Similar campaigns were used in the past to hamstring apartheid South Africa and tobacco companies, but this one is happening faster than any of those. ....5) Bangladeshi women are being retrained as solar technicians
The UN says global warming will impact more women than men because they make up the majority of the world’s poor. Close to two billion people rely on wood, charcoal and agricultural waste for cooking and heating. The primary gatherers of this toxic, labour,...6) Renewable energy will soon take the lion’s share of new power
Falling technology prices, innovation and some decent government initiatives have seen renewables taking an increasing share of global electricity generation. After stalling through the early part of last decade, the increase is now inexorable. ..7) European homes are using 15% less energy than they were in 2000
In every part of the world (barring the Middle East) governments are taking advantage of the cheapest way to bring down their emissions – by saving energy. Energy efficient housing and appliances have seen global household emissions drop almost 1% per year...8) Cutting emissions has become a business imperative
A recent WWF/Ceres report found that the 53 US Fortune 100 companies who report their emissions had cut their carbon footprint by 58 million megatonnes in 2012 - roughly equivalent to the total emissions of Peru. This was achieved mainly through energy efficiency measures, although switching to green energy sources was also a factor....9) Oil is becoming much more expensive to find
Oil and gas companies are finding it increasingly expensive to find and extract their buried gravy. The Wall Street Journal reported in Januarythe total capital expenditure of fossil giants Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell grew to £70 billion in 2013...10) Electric car sales are doubling each year
Since 2011 electric car sales have doubled every year. Consumer acceptance of the technology is on an exponential growth curve thatresearchers say will see more than one million such vehicles driven across the world by the end of 2015...