The year is 2030. Thanks to accelerated cross-sector innovation, low-carbon lifestyles have become the norm. We enjoy energy-efficient homes attuned to individual needs; connected transport systems that enable the seamless movement of people and flow of goods; healthier food choices and a thriving natural world — thanks in large part to innovations which are being developed here and now in 2022.
The UN estimates that, to create net zero living in 2030, up to $4.5 trillion of investment is needed every year from this point forward. If we collaborate, innovate, and invest now, what specific technology and benefits could we see by 2030?
It’s taking California 25 years to build just half of its high-speed railway from nowhere to nowhere. It’s taking 20 years for the Portland area to construct a new major water line.
Where I live, which is a mostly easy-going small town/rural area, if a developer wanted to build a new subdivision, it would take about 3 years for the applications review and public hearings before they could break their first ground. It would then take about 2 years to build out the subdivision.
To achieve NetZero by 2030, we’d have to replace energy plants, home natural gas heating and hot water systems, massive upgrades of home insulation, replacement of vehicles, railroads, and airlines. There are not sufficient people or resources to make these changes in a short period of time.
They expect we will eat plant-based diets (mostly) that are “energy efficient”. How we deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to those areas under snow for 4-6 months of the year is not specified.
The idea that we achieve NetZero in 8 years does not pass the giggle test. I’m calling bullshit on this Insider fiction piece.
This does not mean we should not be continually striving for improvements. It means we need to be realistic and not smoking hallucinatory drugs.
Reminder – my home is powered by solar PV. We updated our ceiling insulation to R-60. Our home is heated by locally sourced renewable wood byproduct pellets, which the UN says is carbon neutral. My older compact car averages about 42 mpg and it is more energy efficient to keep driving it than to replace with a new EV (due to total lifecycle energy costs). We have installed a 220v 60-amp circuit in the garage and a 220v 40-amp circuit on a pedestal outside for future EV charging. Our solar PV array produces sufficient power for all local EV driving. We compost plant waste in our yard. What else might we do?