Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford professor, has developed a model showing how it is feasible for the world to shift to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. His model takes account of the emissions from fossil fuels, of course, but also other pollutants that affect public health. When you combine these effects, it is apparent that the transition to clean energy will be a lifesaver and a great saver of energy too. Jacobson opposes the investment in nuclear power, which is far from lacking its own carbon emissions, when you count the work involved in mining, transporting, processing, and hiding and guarding the ingredients. Moreover, nuclear is far more expensive and will take far too long to create additional plants. Jacobson criticizes the US new infrastructure bill as containing many flaws, most of the “pork barrel” features. The question that Metta raises is whether public opinion and political structures can change quickly enough to meet the timeline for restraining the world’s temperature in the time frame that has been accepted in COP meetings. Jacobson says that is is possible, and that 60 countries are on track to meet their pledges, but Metta continues to regard this as overly optimistic, and to argue that other methods are needed to give us additional time; these include cloud brightening and iron salt aerosols. This debate will. continue.
• Mark Z. Jacobson
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