Another Wake-Up Call

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Yesterday, November 10th, the International Energy Agency released its annual analysis of trends in energy supply and demand, World Energy Outlook 2015. According to the report, the world is shifting from fossil fuels to lower-carbon sources of energy, but the change is occurring too slowly to prevent a dangerous increase in the Earth’s average temperature. The report states:

Despite the shift … more is needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change. There are unmistakable signs that the much-needed global energy transition is underway, but not yet at a pace that leads to a lasting reversal of the trend of rising CO2 emissions…. The net result is that energy policies, as formulated today, lead to a slower increase in energy-related CO2 emissions, but not … the absolute decline in emissions necessary to meet the 2° C target.[1]

Reading reports like this one, day after day, I’ve become convinced me that we—as individuals—had better wake up and get involved. Today’s energy policies, which reduce emissions via technologies, regulations, and markets, can only do so much. To address climate change adequately, each of us must take responsibility for our own greenhouse-gas emissions and reduce them.

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[1] International Energy Agency. World Energy Outlook 2015: Executive Summary, p. 7. (Emphasis added.) http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/WEB_WorldEnergyOutlook2015ExecutiveSummaryEnglishFinal.pdf

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