Report on Energy and Climate Change:
Problems and Opportunities
Talk and Discussion with Pat Murphy
Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions
Today the world is facing increasing CO2 from fossil fuels, declining quantities of suchfuels, record income and wealth inequity, and a population that has reached 7 billion.
The common factor to these is cheap plentiful fossil fuel energy, which will not be as cheap in the future. CO2 has reached 387 parts per million (ppm) in the Earth’s atmosphere – above the 350 ppm considered to be the maximum allowable without causing damage to the climate.
Most people, over 95%, assume some kind of technological breakthrough will deal with these issues. Possibly 5% believe that our current lifestyle can be maintained with renewable energy and breakthrough bio-fuels. Far less than 1% of the population has any sense of the real need to reduce per capita energy consumption.
Technology breakthroughs such as fuel-cell or electric cars have not borne the promised fruit. Nuclear fusion has made no progress. Carbon sequestration is still only a dream. Renewable energy is growing rapidly but from a very small base. The low energy density and intermittency of most renewable energy sources are often overlooked limitations. The main focuses to date, electrification of transport and “green” building are still in the range of 1% improvements.
Community Solutions proposes a paradigm shift – Plan C, where the C stands for curtailment and community. This involves measuring the ideas and proposals that are so popular by using such evaluation techniques as “energy return from energy invested” (EROEI) and Lifecycle Analysis. These techniques are ways of measuring the feasibility or fallibility of proposed options. Using per capita measurements in a global context is also vital to determining what is possible. It addresses the huge difference in energy recourse use between the first and third world.
Today it is clear that a CO2 reduction target is necessary. According to the UN’S International Protocol on Climate Change the target must be to reduce CO2 80% by 2050. Community Solutions is exploring ways to do this in the areas of personal consumption: our cars, homes, and food, more than 60% of the nation’s CO2 emissions.
Pat will discuss possible solutions in detail, sharing what is being done in the three consumer areas – by individuals, private organizations and the U.S. government, and make specific recommendations for personal actions one can take.
When: November 15 from 7pm to 9pm Where: The Dairy Barn
8000 Dairy Lane, Athens OH 45701
For more information call 740 466-5289