Lecture 21 (Climate Change: Move to Action (Winter 2008))

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{{#if:Lecture 21 is about energy and complements Lecture 15. Jasper Kok is the primary author. The lecture starts with a return to the concept of "dangerous climate change," and the growing conclusion that beyond a change in surface temperature on the order of 2 degrees Celsius, the impacts of global warming are mostly negative - hence, dangerous. The conclusion is, therefore, that we must develop a plan to limit the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Hence, we must address, straight on, the use of energy.

Carbon dioxide reduction can be achieved by using less energy or finding alternative forms of energy that do not emit carbon dioxide. In the short term, by far the most effective way we have of reducing emissions is through more efficient generation and use of energy. The lecture spends significant time on the work of Pacala and Socolow, who argue that with existing technology and focused practices and policies, that we can reduce our emissions, stabilize the amount that we emit, and ultimately start to reduce emissions. This is the concept of wedges, the linear increase of reduction that comes from, for example, increasing use of more efficient lighting. A portfolio of possibilities to make wedges to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions is discussed.

Following this, the potential of renewable energy and biofuels is introduced. While sources such as wind energy are becoming cost effective, often with the need for policy-based incentives, there is a limit to how much of current and future energy demands can be met with these sources. Yes they are important; no, they are not THE answer. Solar energy is the source with greatest potential, but faces some technological challenges. While these challenges are likely to be tractable, they will require time.

The growing realization that our current methods of biofuel production are more than problematic is, next, discussed. Specifically, land use and competition with food crops stresses an already stressed resource of production and use. Plus, it is increasing clear than many of current and near-term biofuel strategies release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than current fossil fuel energy sources.

Finally, an important issue is introduced - the link between water resources and energy. Energy exploration, acquisition, and production place great demands on water resources. Again, this is an already stressed resource, which climate change and energy production will amplify.|== Lecture Summary == Lecture 21 is about energy and complements Lecture 15. Jasper Kok is the primary author. The lecture starts with a return to the concept of "dangerous climate change," and the growing conclusion that beyond a change in surface temperature on the order of 2 degrees Celsius, the impacts of global warming are mostly negative - hence, dangerous. The conclusion is, therefore, that we must develop a plan to limit the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Hence, we must address, straight on, the use of energy.

Carbon dioxide reduction can be achieved by using less energy or finding alternative forms of energy that do not emit carbon dioxide. In the short term, by far the most effective way we have of reducing emissions is through more efficient generation and use of energy. The lecture spends significant time on the work of Pacala and Socolow, who argue that with existing technology and focused practices and policies, that we can reduce our emissions, stabilize the amount that we emit, and ultimately start to reduce emissions. This is the concept of wedges, the linear increase of reduction that comes from, for example, increasing use of more efficient lighting. A portfolio of possibilities to make wedges to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions is discussed.

Following this, the potential of renewable energy and biofuels is introduced. While sources such as wind energy are becoming cost effective, often with the need for policy-based incentives, there is a limit to how much of current and future energy demands can be met with these sources. Yes they are important; no, they are not THE answer. Solar energy is the source with greatest potential, but faces some technological challenges. While these challenges are likely to be tractable, they will require time.

The growing realization that our current methods of biofuel production are more than problematic is, next, discussed. Specifically, land use and competition with food crops stresses an already stressed resource of production and use. Plus, it is increasing clear than many of current and near-term biofuel strategies release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than current fossil fuel energy sources.

Finally, an important issue is introduced - the link between water resources and energy. Energy exploration, acquisition, and production place great demands on water resources. Again, this is an already stressed resource, which climate change and energy production will amplify.|}} {{#if:Powerpoint Lecture 21|===Lecture Link=== Powerpoint Lecture 21|}} {{#if:*Business as usual

    • Do we need to act to prevent ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’ in the climate system?
  • Wedges to mitigate climate change
    • Energy supply decarbonization tools
    • Energy efficiency
    • Renewable energies
    • Carbon capture and sequestration
    • Biofuels
  • Specific wedges of mitigation
  • Externality: energy and water|===Lecture Outline===
  • Business as usual
    • Do we need to act to prevent ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’ in the climate system?
  • Wedges to mitigate climate change
    • Energy supply decarbonization tools
    • Energy efficiency
    • Renewable energies
    • Carbon capture and sequestration
    • Biofuels
  • Specific wedges of mitigation
  • Externality: energy and water|}}

{{#if:Socolow and Pacala: Keeping Carbon in Check (Scientific American, 2006)|== Assigned Reading == Socolow and Pacala: Keeping Carbon in Check (Scientific American, 2006)|}} {{#if:Fargione: Land use, Energy, Biofuels, Climate

Searchinger: Ethanol, Energy, Climate

Milly: Impact of climate change on water management strategies|== Relevant Reading == Fargione: Land use, Energy, Biofuels, Climate

Searchinger: Ethanol, Energy, Climate

Milly: Impact of climate change on water management strategies|}} {{#if:This is a foundation document on the role of water use in energy production Department of Energy: Report to Congress - Energy and Water Use|== Foundational References == This is a foundation document on the role of water use in energy production Department of Energy: Report to Congress - Energy and Water Use|}} {{#if:|== Relevant Readings Posted by Others == {{{Relevant Readings Posted by Others}}}|}} {{#if:Energy, Response|== Topics Covered == Energy, Response|}} {{#arraymap:Energy, Response|,|q|| }} {{#arraymap:W08|,|q|| }} {{#arraymap:Relevant, Foundational References|,|q|| }}



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