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From the Editor

Posted By NAEP Admin, Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Climate Change: What’s Next?

This month the focus is on what’s next and when in the climate change arena. A distillation of the science, the politics and practicalities will determine where we go from here. The scientific community is working to explain what has been happening for some time, maybe since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and they have had substantial success in their effort to educate the public.   And politicians have been struggling with less success to reach agreement on which nations are willing and able to do what to contain and perhaps eventually reverse the current and potential atmospheric damage many scientists describe and envision.  Other than the description of dire happenings should we miss shifting deadlines the discussion of when has been neglected.  Last month we discussed Big Oil’s estimate of when peak oils consumption would occur. Three to five decades from now seemed to be the consensus. If they are even close, it’s difficult to see much net reduction in overall global carbon production any sooner.  Any reduction in carbon emissions by developed nations could well be at least offset by increases from developing nations as they predictably seek to raise the living standards of their populations.  And then there is the question of how much can developed nations reasonably be expected to  reduce their output without causing a unacceptable reduction in their living standards or in any case.  An article by Eduardo Porter titled “Traditional Sources of Energy Have a Role in Renewable Future” in the June 21, 2017 issue of the New York Times addresses that issue much more comprehensively than I have.  If you are interested in what’s possible, you might want to take a look.       


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