Transportation, a key contributor to climate change, could finally play savior instead.
In 2016, the French government announced one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in modern history: a 620-mile highway passing through Normandy built of solar panels instead of asphalt. The panels, the government said, would generate 790 kilowatts per day and power 5 million homes.
That ambitious plan flopped. In its first year, the road generated half the intended solar power. Normal wear and tear only reduced the output. Yet the public relations setback was a mere speed bump in the rapid emergence of a potentially life-changing technological advance. For an era craving creative ideas for battling climate change, solar roads may help society race to a solution.
From the Netherlands to America to China, governments, researchers and companies are developing roads that double as solar-power generators, transforming what the future could look like for both the global energy and transportation markets. It’s an approach that could turn the transportation industry — one of the biggest contributors to climate change — into a savior for the planet instead. They’re learning from the French project and its mistakes to build more viable alternatives, trying to dot the i’s and cross the t’s this time around.
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
by Paul Hawken and Tom Steyer
In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. Available On Amazon
Designing Climate Solutions: A Policy Guide for Low-Carbon Energy
by Hal Harvey, Robbie Orvis, Jeffrey Rissman
With the effects of climate change already upon us, the need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions is nothing less than urgent. It’s a daunting challenge, but the technologies and strategies to meet it exist today. A small set of energy policies, designed and implemented well, can put us on the path to a low carbon future. Energy systems are large and complex, so energy policy must be focused and cost-effective. One-size-fits-all approaches simply won’t get the job done. Policymakers need a clear, comprehensive resource that outlines the energy policies that will have the biggest impact on our climate future, and describes how to design these policies well. Available On Amazon
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
by Naomi Klein
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism. Available On Amazon
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