A Part of the Solution.
Four of the Happy Eco News Top 5 stories this week are about solutions to the climate crisis. It seems to me that people want to read about solutions to the very real and very scary problems in the world right now.
A new report from a global commission led by Bill Gates, Ban Ki-moon, and Kristalina Georgieva (CEO of the World Bank), states that investment in business and infrastructure to combat the effects of climate change needs to occur, and it needs to occur now. These changes will not only benefit the people of the world, but are also in the world’s economic self-interest: The report calculates that some of the key investments needed could generate $7.1 trillion in total net benefits. The report titled Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience, asks the simple question: Will we delay and pay more or plan ahead and prosper? Change is coming whether we like it or not and as the old adage says pay now or pay later, but either way you will pay. Thankfully it appears that many smart investors are taking heed.
The natural gas industry has done a great job convincing the public that gas is cleaner than other fuel to generate electricity. What they don’t tell you is that methane (natural gas) is 30 times more damaging to global warming than carbon. By some estimates, 25% of the manmade global warming we’re experiencing is caused by methane emissions! Leaky pipes and wells and transportation are the major causes. In a report by Bloomberg, the writing is on the wall for gas plants: get out of the way because solar is about to take over. By 2035, it will be more expensive to run 90% of gas plants in the U.S. than it will be to build new wind and solar farms equipped with storage systems. It will happen so quickly that gas plants now on the drawing boards will become uneconomical before their owners finish paying for them. Investors have been taking note of this and it has become increasingly difficult to obtain financing for capital projects, but even more interestingly in my opinion, is that it will start to affect existing projects. If it is cheaper to build and run a solar farm than it is to maintain operations at an existing gas plant, why continue with gas? Ironically, it is the same situation that happened to coal. Natural gas was cheaper and displaced the coal industry to the point of it now being effectively obsolete.
Change is coming and it is coming quickly. It is no longer any king of secret that the companies that adapt now will have the economic advantage in the not t distant future.
In other top happy eco news stories, Greta Thunberg throws shade at Donald Trump after his sarcastic tweet about her. An amazing 16 year old, Greta has single-handedly started a movement resulting in 7.6 million people demonstrating in cites around the planet. The widespread attention has forced politicians to take note and promise to make change. San Francisco’s organic waste composting program is so successful that it is being used to sequester carbon at scale (at the same time providing quality compost for agriculture). In Africa, nations are working together to plant a 4,800-mile wall of trees along the southern perimeter of the Sahara desert. The intention is to slow the growth of the desert by using trees to provide stability in soil, amend lost topsoil, and shelter for other plants to provide fodder for cattle grazing that has denuded the landscape there. Their hope is to interrupt the cycle of damaging agricultural practices that have made is so difficult to survive.