Solutions to Climate Change

If you were to type, as I suspect many of my students did, “Solutions Climate change problem”, you would receive around 79 millions responses from Google. Most of these boil down to 10-12 main solutions that maybe categorized as follows.

  1. Changes in power generation
    1. Use less coal
    2. Increase % of nuclear power
    3. Increase alternative energy generation
      1. Solar
      2. Wind
      3. Biofuels (this is complex – corn not so good; others like algae more promising)
    4. Make power generation less polluting by using sequestration and/or scrubbers
  2. Changes in demand
    1. City design
      1. Public transport
      2. Building design impacting heating etc.
      3. Waste water recycling (adaptation)
    2. Electric Vehicles
    3. Energy Efficiency improvements
      1. Industry
      2. Vehicles
    4. Agricultural practices change (both mitigation & adaptation)
      1. Crop Choice
      2. Using genetic engineering to improve the resilience and productivity of crops
      3. SRI system of rice cultivation
    5. Lifestyle choices
      1. Eat less meat
      2. Fly less
      3. Consume less
  3. Policy Changes
    1. Grow more trees
    2. Cut subsidies to fossil fuels
    3. Promote subsidies to increase adoption of alternative fuels

Here is what my students came up with:

photo (1)

Most of these solutions fall into the broad bucket called “Mitigation” – meaning measures used to lower the amount of CO2 we humans put into the atmosphere. Read more about what the IPCC has to say about this.ipcc_wg3_ar5_summary-for-policymakers_approved

Another popular thinking method is the “wedge approach” – wherein the amount of CO2 equivalent emissions to be cut is divided into a number of wedges or alternative solutions. More on this here:http://cmi.princeton.edu/wedges/calculations.php

Adaptations is another ocean by itself broadly involving protecting ourselves from the impacts of a warming world: better plants, resilient cities, health insurance.

In the next slide we will dive deep into one particular solution, which in my mind has the best potential to lessen the amount of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere: Solar Energy.

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