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100% renewables: ‘wishful thinking’ or an imperative goal?

David Klein

100% renewables: ‘wishful thinking’ or an imperative goal?
100% renewables: ‘wishful thinking’ or an imperative goal?

By David Schwartzman

In this essay, I was provoked to respond to Stan Cox’s widely-shared article “100 Percent Wishful Thinking: The Green-Energy Cornucopia”, in which he argues that a transition to 100% renewable energy is neither technically feasible, nor desirable.

It is my contention, in contrast, that a 100 percent global renewable energy transition is, indeed, technically possible in a short time frame (20 to 30 years) with a capacity to supply the same level or even more energy to civilization, than the present infrastructure dominated by fossil fuels.

However, this outcome is unlikely in our present economic context:

Insight 1: This renewable energy transition is not likely to bear fruition within the constraints of market capitalism as we know it. Further, a process forward for global demilitarization is a necessary condition to prevent climate catastrophe with its requirement of near future decarbonization of energy supplies.Axiom 1: Not only is the Pentagon is the world’s single, biggest insitutional consumer of fossil fuels, but global military expenditures now approach $2 trillion per year.

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100% renewables: ‘wishful thinking’ or an imperative goal?