Sooner or later, the residents of planet Earth will realize that the dependence on fossil fuels will end and that we will ultimately have to rely on renewable forms of energy.
Once government leaders understand that the Earth isn’t making any more coal, oil or natural gas, and that continuing to burn them is creating a number of impacts that are increasingly being felt across the entire world, we will have crossed an important threshold.
While we have grown accustomed to looking at the large populations of China and India, which combined have about 37 percent of the world’s people, as major challenges for dealing with global climate change, the tide is turning quickly and the U.S. is now the one often seen as lagging behind and dragging its feet.
China and India have discovered that through major investments in wind and solar power that they and other nations in Europe have driven down the cost of these renewable technologies such that, in many areas, they can generate power at lower costs than fossil fuels like coal. Change is happening much quicker than many believed possible or expected. This is good news.
While China is still the Earth’s single largest emitter of carbon dioxide, generating about 28 percent of this greenhouse gas (the U.S. is No. 2, producing 16 percent of the total, while India and Russia are tied for third with 5 percent each), for the past three years China has reduced its coal usage and recently terminated plans to build more than 100 new…
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