Climate inaction will be judged harshly by our kids

For the world to have any hope of getting to net zero in time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to accept two truths.  The first is that climate change is real, is impacting us now and will get worse, if left unchecked. The second is that climate change can’t be addressed for free.

I had assumed the first of these was settled, but now I am not so sure. The relationship between climate scepticism and opposition to renewables, makes me think some climate change deniers have found a new platform.

But, on the basis that most of us agree on the need to take climate action, we need to get real on the costs. The investment required to decarbonise our energy system is immense, whether delivered through renewables and storage, or nuclear. And neither of these come without risk to nature.

But, scientists at both the International Energy Agency and the CSIRO agree that the cheapest forms of new electricity generation are solar and wind. Both are much quicker to deploy than nuclear.

Which gets me to a third truth. If we leave it until just before 2050 to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, we’ll not only leave the worst impacts of climate change to future generations, we’ll also leave them the bill for the increased carbon abatement that will then be required.

The hostility of millennials to boomers will be nothing, compared to the fury alphas will show gen x over climate, if we squib our responsibilities while our hands are on the wheel.

This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.


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