Atmosphere of Hope – Searching for solutions to the climate crisis

“We’ve had a decade of lost opportunity and for most of that decade I must say I didn’t have that much hope, but some things have really changed.”

Tim Flannery, one of the world’s leading climate writers says that despite years of wasted opportunities to make an impact on climate change, things are changing. Flannery points to a new report by the International Energy Agency that says in 2014 we decoupled economic growth globally from emissions growth “that is a fundamentally important moment.  It means clean energy is just wiping the slate now, it’s building up so quickly.”

Flannery says actions on the part of individuals have also made a difference “changing the light bulbs, buying a hybrid car, putting solar panels on your roof, whatever, that is really having an impact now, and that is good news.” Beyond that Flannery says the real big breakthrough is the emergence of a third way “which give us the promise of pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere in 20 or 30 years and so avoiding that 2 degree threshold, the dangerous threshold.”

Flannery’s best-selling book The Weather Makers was one of the first books to bring the topic of climate change to a general audience. His latest book is Atmosphere of Hope, Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis proposes a way forward.  Flannery says despite years of political inaction, business leaders are making note of changes in the economics of carbon emissions. “the market is moving ahead in any case, I have a friend who invests in wind power, he just signed a power purchase agreement in Texas, to sell electricity from wind at 4 cents a kilo watt hour, 12 months ago that would have seemed like cloud cuckoo land, those prices would have been too cheap to make sense, they’re not now because renewables are cutting their costs so fast.  So competition  with the fossil fuels from these renewable sources is really gathering pace.”

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Tim Flannery will be speaking at the Tattered Cover on East Colfax in Denver on Monday November 9th at 7pm

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