Written by Nile Drochak, ESLLC 2017-2018
It is evident among a vast majority of scientists, that climate change is real, and humans are the cause of it. From understanding this fact, Mark Z. Jacobson and his colleagues from Stanford University have created a plan to make 139 countries “entirely powered by wind, water, and sunlight by 2050 after electrification of all energy sectors”, thus lowering the carbon footprint humans leave behind. If the trend of climate change remains the same, the consequences of climate change will devastate cities, agriculture, and certain species.
The benefits of Jacobson’s plan include:
24 million long term jobs
4-7 million less air pollution deaths per year
Save $20 trillion in health and climate costs per year
International power demand reduced by 13%
Demand for fossil fuel reduced by 23%
The 139 countries chosen were “projected to have the easiest time making the transition to 100% wind, water, and solar”, such as the United States, China, and the European Union. Since these countries produce the most amount of carbon dioxide, proposing this plan for 100% renewable energy would be the most efficient way to combat climate change, as opposed to using our resources on countries which do not produce as much carbon dioxide. However, Jacobson’s plan has “been criticized for the massive investment it would take to move a country to the desired goal”. In addition to the monetary benefits from following this plan as stated above, there would also be benefits which cannot be measured. For example, emotional characteristics such as the happiness of the people, should be taken into account when evaluating the return on investment of the planet.
Mr. Jacobson and his colleges have taken the right steps t o solve climate change by creating an initial plan for people to learn from and follow. There is more than one way to solve climate change, however, Jacobson created a tangible plan which people can evaluate and apply science to test its validity. I believe the reason why the conversation of climate change can be disregarded as a pressing issue in our current society, is due to the problem’s longevity. The negative effects of climate change may not reach the older generation because they will not be alive to be affected. Not only are the negative effects distant from the present, but the solutions proposed will also take place in the similar future. However, my generation will be fully aware and affected by climate change if we do not decide to change our current trend.