In a recent opinion piece for the National Observer, author and Cleantech advocate Tom Rand outlines why our need to transition to low carbon energy sources is so urgent, and how current advances in renewable energy solutions can make that possible – if there is sufficient will to act decisively. He points out that “[m]ore than 40 gigawatts (GW) [of solar panels] were installed globally in 2014. (A gigawatt is equivalent to the output of a large nuclear or coal plant.)”, and cites a number of Canadian companies that could help lead the way to our low carbon future.
In true form, Rand provides us with pragmatic reasons to be hopeful, while pulling no punches on the shocking magnitude of the problem. He points out that “fossil fuels… have been instrumental in current rates of global warming, in which we are adding four Hiroshima bombs of heat to the atmosphere every second.” To address this, investments in clean energy must be made on an enormous scale. “UN climate chief Christiana Figueres estimates we need to triple clean energy spending to stop warming anywhere near 2°C.” In the context of current subsidies to and investments in the fossil fuel industry, this is entirely within our reach.