Get to Net Zero: Solutions To High Energy Prices and Higher Electric Bills is Non-Partisan
It is becoming more urgent than ever to find suitable ways to meet global energy needs as supplies are further disrupted by current man-made factors. Weather extremes and natural disasters are growing, and all efforts to move toward climate solutions are diminished by partisanship.
A recent Commodity Outlook report from the World Bank claims that the Russian war in Ukraine is causing shock waves, altering global patterns of trade, production, and consumption in ways that will keep prices at historically high levels for possibly up to two years. Most Americans report they are already upset with soaring gasoline prices at the pump. Add to that higher grocery prices and other necessities.
According to World Population Review, there are more than 21 conflicts or wars in the world today. There have been 323 weather and climate disasters in the US during the last 42 years since 1980. The cost of damages from these disasters exceeds $2.195 trillion.
NBC: Climate Change And Drought Forcing Hard Choices Across California, May 9, 2022.
The Economist: See what three degrees of global warming looks like, October 7, 2021.
The unprovoked Russian war on Ukraine could influence a host of issues, from global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to food crises. It has also jolted elected officials and politicians to reevaluate their plans for energy procurement. Additionally, the climate crisis is making it urgent to encourage and subsidize renewable energy production.
Scientists have presented solutions that can be scaled to achieve the goals set by the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The report clearly states Climate Resilient Development is already challenging at current warming levels with a narrowing window for action.
"The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a livable future,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner Co-Chair of Working Group II, IPCC.
IPCC: Video message by UN Secretary General at the WGIII AR6 press conference, April 4, 2022.
BBC: UN scientists say it's 'now or never' to limit global warming, April 4, 2022.
CBS: Huge carbon emissions cuts needed, UN climate report finds, April 4, 2022.
In the United States, the majority of Americans say they want the country to take steps to become carbon neutral by the year 2050. This is possible if the development of renewable energy sources like solar and wind, especially during this growing need for energy, is prioritized.
In some states, elected officials are acting to achieve net-zero goals. Maryland Governor Lawrence Hogan. recently signed the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 into law. The legislation will require the state to reduce its GHG emissions to 60% below 2006 levels by 2031 and to attain net-zero by 2045. It will also permit exploring extensive targets for minimizing emissions and other similar actions.
Other states need to follow suit. The goal must be bipartisan and follow the science. But when the SEC proposed rules to standardize and increase climate-related disclosures for investors, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin objected to these requirements. In the same vein, Texas Controller Glenn Hegar asked 19 foreign and domestic finance firms to explain whether they were boycotting the fossil fuel industry. In a release by his office, Hegar is quoted:
We know some of these companies hold investments in oil and gas today, but what about the future? Are they selling the hope of a green tomorrow with promises to divest or reduce their fossil fuel exposure? A handful of companies are echoing promises by the Biden administration about a “transition” to green energy. They’ve managed to convince people that electric cars and wind and solar power generation can meet our energy needs, and if we just stop investing in oil and gas, the transition will be swift and painless. Anyone who has paid any attention to recent events knows that just isn’t true.
CNBC: SEC chief Gary Gensler on agency's proposed changes to climate disclosures, March 21, 2022.
DW: Banks increase funding for fossil fuels despite 'net zero' pledges, February 15, 2022.
NBC: Are Major Companies Living Up To Their Net-Zero Pledges To Combat Climate Change?, February 10, 2022.
Our Eden: Your Bank is Funding Climate Change, November 13, 2021.
Also in Texas, Governor Gregg Abbott recently signed a law to ensure natural gas remains a fuel source in city climate plans. And the state’s Rep. Joe Deshotel introduced House Bill 17 based on, "what is happening on the West Coast,” where cities have passed energy efficiency plans that prohibit new subdivisions from offering natural gas heating, requiring instead that new homes be heated by electricity.
Politics must not stand in the way of scientific solutions regardless of the causes. A global community of scientists, politicians, and citizens must work together for a better future. While drought, flooding, freezes, severe storms, tropical cyclones, wildfires, and winter storms are considered climate-related disasters, many more types of man-made disasters such as war and conflicts affect humans and other living things and the future of energy self-reliance. People must use their voices to raise their concerns. In his 1977 book, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, author, poet, and environmental activist Wendell Berry wrote, "The earth is what we all have in common.”
IEA: A 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use, March 18, 2022.
IEA: A 10-Point Plan to Reduce the European Union's Reliance on Russian Natural Gas, March 3, 2022.