5 reasons for climate hope despite gloomy news

5 reasons for climate hope despite gloomy news

Despite deeply disturbing climate news of the past two days, let’s not freak out.

The world is making real progress in five areas that are crucially important for curbing climate change.

Let’s start with the bad news.

Methane emissions reached their highest recorded level in 2021.

The level of methane emissions continued to climb in 2022. The increase includes the explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which in September leaked about 155,000 tonnes of the gas into the Baltic Sea. It may be the biggest release of methane ever recorded for a single event.

Scientists worry that thawing tundra may have begun releasing some of the huge amounts of methane previously trapped in frozen ground.

In the short term, many countries will burn more fossil fuels.

With energy prices rising fast, governments are switching to any fuels they can get at relatively lower cost — including coal, which produces more carbon dioxide and air pollution than natural gas.

The world is on track to reach 2.5° C of global warming by the end of the century.

Even so, here are 5 reasons for hope:

1. Countries have committed to actions that appear likely to spare the world from the worst-case climate change scenarios.

Scientists say the consequences may still be catastrophic, but maybe not irreversibly horrific. We’ve made progress since 2015. We can make more.

2. Many nations are investing heavily to develop clean, renewable energy sources.

3. Many renewable energy sources are now cheaper than fossil fuels.

4. The world has started switching to electric vehicles.

But the pace is speeding up.

Norway will stop selling vehicles with internal combustion engines in 2025. The State of California will do so in 2035.

4. Technology keeps improving.

Researchers report incremental progress on nuclear fusion as a source of clean energy. Commercial use is still far out of reach. But some scientists believe that with adequate investment in research and development, fusion has real potential to deliver nearly unlimited power, starting in as little as a decade.

The world still isn’t doing enough, and the pace isn’t fast enough.

But worry and despair solve nothing.

So let’s stay calm and carry on — while paying much more attention to the important climate-related choices we make each day.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog

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Dave Vranicar

Entrepreneur, publisher, writer, collector & sharer of ideas that can improve lives