As someone who does not use fossil fuels to power my house or my car, I think trying to prop up the oil, gas, and coal industries is a lot like trying to revive the typewriter, the Polaroid camera, and the Walkman. A technology shift to clean energy is in progress, and is bringing plenty of good jobs with it. Let’s take care of the people in the traditional energy sector whose jobs are being left behind, but not by artificially subsidizing the coal, oil, and gas industries, or giving them a free ride on the greenhouse gas emissions they create.
Current U.S. energy jobs consistent with a low-carbon future:
Current New Jersey energy jobs consistent with a low-carbon future:
· 31,000 energy efficiency
· 23,000 transmission, distribution, and storage
· 9,000 solar
· 500 wind
(same link as above; scroll to bottom for state-by-state analysis)
We need to help the workers in the old energy industry because they are having trouble finding new jobs:
Climate records and trends
Almost every decade of the past 100 years has been warmer than the previous one, and the trend is likely to continue this decade as 2016 was the third year in a row of record high average temperatures.
Extreme weather (which is on the increase) killed thousand in 2016.
The U.S. had a record number of floods in 2016.
“Veteran Arctic climate scientists are stunned.”
Impacts on communities
Monmouth Beach experienced coastal flooding in January.
70% of New Jersey voters would like to have a policy of 100% clean energy by the year 2050 (with 15% opposed).
What other countries are doing
China halted construction of 100 coal plants.
Dutch trains are now powered 100% by the wind.
Clean energy progress
The Tesla gigafactory for battery production is up and running.
Eight states led the way on clean energy in 2016 (New Jersey is not on the list).
Examples of the kind of disruption caused by climate change
Extreme heat, droughts, and extreme rain are effects of climate change that are especially disruptive. Below are examples of the types of disruption climate change is already causing. In other words, climate change is causing more of these events to occur.
Reference for tracking impacts: http://www.climatesignals.org
Reference for tracking flooding: http://floodlist.com/
California finally got some relief, with only 50% in moderate drought, and less than 2% in extreme or exceptional drought (the number I’ve been tracking).
Drought empties China’s largest lake.
Drought in Syria likely to be worst in 900 years.
Drought in Sri Lanka is worst in 40 years.
Drought in Somalia brings risk of famine.
Wildfires in Chile are burning out of control.
Sea level rise is wiping out fishing villages in Bangladesh.
Record rainfalls in Thailand.
Torrential rains in Congo.
Coral reefs are dying in Japan (70% of the largest one is dead):