In fact, all of the fossil fuel energy sources we use originated with light radiated from our sun
Thanks, Thom, for another superb Report ! Very good to remind us all that we depend on the sun for our energy--past and/ or present. I'd like to take your wonderful topic in the direction of American consumers and Putin's War--and what WE each can do to address both critical issues TODAY. I live off-grid, have a nearly 20-year-old hybrid Honda Civic that gets about 50 mpg--the best car I've ever owned in my 75 years--, and wonder why we don't have a nationwide movement to reduce our gas consumption (& thus decrease Putin's income) via ride sharing, using mass transit, and buying EV's or more efficient gas-engine vehicles? Instead of wasting our time blaming gas companies for ripping us off at the pump--which they are doing!--, why don't we consumers take the initiative to stop giving them our money? Cutting our use of fossil fuels that produce the global-warming gases you very clearly outlined in your Report today would also help protect our home...planet Earth...TODAY...instead of waiting for the Build Back Better bill that won't ever see the light of day. And, as you also mentioned, the use of alternative sources of energy--wind, solar, and even hydro (like I have)--is cheaper and will reduce pressure on today's household budgets in this "inflationary period." Instead of blaming President Biden for high gas prices (over which he has no control--but gas companies do), we could reduce the costs ourselves by making better choices in our modes of transportation, sources of energy, volume of consumption, etc. By lowering our consumption of fossil fuels, we would also reduce the demand for them worldwide.... thus driving down the price of oil worldwide....and thereby reducing the cost of what little we would then use here in the USA. I see a win-win-win-win-win all around: fight Putin & his War on Ukraine by cutting his fossil-fuel income; relieve pressure on household budgets; stop blaming Biden for things he can't control--and thus fight the Repugs who are blaming him for their own political purposes; and SAVE THE PLANET--our home. And last, we would each be a significant participant in converting our fossil-fuel economy into a clean-energy economy--without waiting for our dysfunctional Congress. How wonderful would that be? Fantastic, I say ! Yes, let's cut out the middlemen, fight Putin's War, save money, prove the fossil-fuel billionaires irrelevant, and save our planet--all at once ! What say you....?
So please excuse my not being informed about this. What about lithium used for car and cell phone batteries? Is that the element we are taking from the earth in third world countries, and not just there? Have I not heard of the robbing of Peter, or excuse me, something more abusive, to pay/please Paul? And, familiar as you are with indigenous living, are we on the way to returning to the earth that which we should not have taken? I know it’s all going to take some time, but should we be at least speaking of these sacred practices, once known, in our relationship with the land? And, to minimize our past mistaken footprints are we now recycling these batteries properly?
I am probably way behind on all of this.
Thom has described the most elegant answer to the ugliest of problems. In addition, the link that he provided to an article from the Yale School of the Environment (summarizing an IMF study of the actual costs of burning carbon on Earth) showed that the world's citizens paid $5.9 Trillion in 2020 to subsidize the oligarchs of carbon, and that represents about 1/15 of the world’s GDP. By framing the issues around negative carbon externalities with a great solution and a concise metric to support it, he has given us viral-worthy messaging to help defeat the specious (and lethal) claims that the carbon oligarchs have been flacking for decades. (Even one of the great enemies of the environment in our time (Koch Industries) finally has seen the (sun)light and has invested a bunch of money in making batteries, so maybe someone has finally made Charles an offer he can’t refuse.)
So one question: Why hasn’t President Biden even mentioned fossil fuels EXCEPT to remind the fossil fuel rapists that they have leases open on OUR NATIONAL LANDS to pump oil out of the ground? And to say he will dig up lithium for electric cars - for free? When will ordinary cities and towns be able to afford electric public transit? I am TIRED of waiting, Thom.
This Report takes a big portion of your lifetime's work and makes it simple enough for a fifth-grader. I love it!
Solar is the best way to go and the technology just keeps getting more efficient and cheaper. Cell phone charging, cooking devices, and light to study by is available in the most remote places on earth.
Every day someone else jumps into the electric vehicle pool. Hertz just did---they ordered 65,000 vehicles over the next five years. Why? Because the customers will demand them, and the maintenance will be minimal. Hertz will have them to rent by the end of the year, and it's a Polestar model with a 250 mile range.
We ARE getting there, children.
Two of our three cars are electric. One is a plug-in hybrid and 85% of the 30,000 miles are battery. The other car is all electric. We have 240v chargers for both for quick charging and our electric power comes from wind turbines. Our cars are driven by the wind.
There are many problems with switching to electric cars. First there is the problem with suburban sprawl thanks to GM, Firestone Tire, and Standard Oil, having conspired to destroy electric trolley car lines after WW II which they did successfully. The result is the need for larger home lots and more parking and garages which already consume more than 50% of the land in American cities. Second is the need for rare earth minerals for the batteries and these are now sourced from China and Russia controlled areas. Third is the long charging times at public charging stations that result in backups of motorists needing a charge. Fourth is that nearly all EV cars omit a spare tire and so a flat tire results in needing a flat bed tow truck to haul the car to a tire store (if one is open for business).
Want to have cleaner air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions then focus on the two largest contributors which are the meat and dairy industry that generate more than 50% each year, and the U.S. military which is the world's largest consumer of petroleum products. Electric passenger cars are a feel good diversion from the real sources of the current problems. A mother who drives her electric car with her kids to buy happy meals at McDonald's is not being green.
My concern is along spiritual lines, rather than the using of resources. What unseen influences are we releasing from sub-earthly realms by drilling a plethora of holes in Earth's surface? Granted, it's probably a necessary development, in order to test humanity and move us along to the next stage of our evolution, but I doubt that very many have given this any consideration.