One way in which the daunting and growing threat of climate change can be fought is through reinventing the entire nation's energy infrastructure through utilizing only clean, renewable sources. Though this seems like an impossible and idealistic task, Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, and U.C. Berkeley researcher, Mark Delucchi, were among the first to outline how all 50 states can accurately achieve this goal by 2050.
In their report, which was published in the online journal edition of Energy and Environmental Sciences, the team laid out each state's possible capability to capture solar energy, along with other sources of renewable energy, such as wind and geothermal. The states' plans are quite aggressive in nature as they call for major changes in both infrastructure and energy consumption patterns. One of these steps include the assumption that all cars on the roads become electric.
Jacobson said the main hindrances to this plan are political, social, and convincing industries to change their ways. He said that informing the public on what is possible is the most effective way to combat this issue.
"When you account for the health and climate costs – as well as the rising price of fossil fuels – wind, water and solar are half the cost of conventional systems," Jacobson said. "A conversion of this scale would also create jobs, stabilize fuel prices, reduce pollution-related health problems and eliminate emissions from the United States. There is very little downside to a conversion, at least based on this science."
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