The Good News: Almost Everyone Else Knows that Global Warming is Real
President Obama’s pledge to reduce U.S. emissions 26-28 percent by 2025 was very aggressive. Without support from the federal government, we can’t get there. But the good news is that we can still make significant progress.
There are plenty of reasons for encouragement. Cheap natural gas is rapidly replacing coal in the power sector. Numerous states are adopting policies to require ever increasing amounts of renewable energy in electric generation and clean cars. Innovations in battery storage are dramatically reducing costs and allowing wind and solar to be integrated into the power grid with more reliability. And shareholders and consumers are forcing big companies to get it right—just this week, Exxon Mobil shareholders voted for greater transparency in how the company is responding to climate change.
There has been a clamor from the business sector over the past few days urging President Trump to stick with the treaty. Consumer-facing companies will not abandon their leadership on climate change if the U.S. withdraws from the accord. There’s a reason Google and Walmart and Apple and Amazon have committed to achieving total reliance on 100 percent renewable energy in the next few years. These companies are planning for the long haul. They want the certainty of fixed-price energy, which can’t be delivered by natural gas or oil. They want federal-level action versus more costly and inefficient regulation by 50 separate state governments. And they want to reduce their business risks associated with impacts of climate change