06 February 2012

Simple Energy Math at Grist

Over at Grist, my long-time critic David Roberts does some simple energy math and finds that emissions reductions will be difficult because energy efficiency gains, while undoubtedly a good thing, won't make much of a dent in reducing emissions. Roberts might have saved himself some time by starting with The Climate Fix;-)

The numbers lead Roberts to conclude that we need to engage in a process of global economic contraction. Once he works through that math, he'll find his choices are (a) to keep poor people poor and make rich people poor, or (b) to focus on technological innovation to accelerate the decarbonization of economic activity. Where ever he comes out on that debate, (a) isn't going to happen -- iron law and all that.

But seriously, kudos to David for taking the time to run the numbers and report the results -- we all benefit from such analyses, uncomfortable as the results might be.