Magazine article UN Chronicle

Global Warming: Could Be Cool

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Global Warming: Could Be Cool

Article excerpt

I am both alarmed and encouraged to realize that global warming and the finitude of oil are really the same problem. Oil is running out so fast that by the time my daughters are my age (I am sixty), it will all be gone; but if global warming goes unchecked, it won't matter because melting icecaps will have triggered worldwide catastrophe.

What could I possibly find encouraging in all this? Well, with oil running out, we absolutely must harness wind and sun to power our civilization (using hydrogen to store and transport the energy) and if we do, we'll also stem our contribution to global warming.

Amazingly enough, the necessary technology already exists in embryo. Our only real hurdles are social and political: to make wind and solar energy viable, we'll have to generate power not from a few centrally controlled plants but from millions of tiny facilities distributed across the globe, with just about every household harvesting and feeding energy into a flexible global grid for all to draw upon as needed. …

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