"Can technology alone stop global warming?"
Of course not. We need at least three other things:
- Major political change — to deploy the technologies fast enough. My first take on this is at “Is 450 ppm (or less) politically possible? Part 1.”
- Major price change — to add a cost to emitting greenhouse gases that approximates the terrible damage done by them. All the technology advances in renewables (or nuclear or coal with carbon capture) that you can plausibly imagine in the next decade won’t make coal cost-uneffective — this is a critical point to understand.
- Major behavior change — Most people need to understand at a visceral level that unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions are the gravest threat to the health and well-being of future generations that we face (by far). If we get the needed political and price change much of the behavior change will follow. But not all. Climate change is probably going to have to get much more visibly worse before we see widespread and significant behavior change — much as few people make a dramatic change in their diet and exercise before the heart trouble occurs.
I’ll be blogging more on these three points in the coming week(s).