Monday, July 4, 2016

Accelerate the Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels

This is an Independence Day unlike any that have preceded it. For the first time in history the world has signed a global climate agreement that will add significant pressure to end our dependence on fossil fuels.

However, we need to expedite the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources of energy. This is a great time for Americans to declare their independence from dirty sources of energy and begin working towards a future free of fossil fuels. Two hundred and fourty years ago, US colonies freed themselves from the injustice of British rule, now America needs to free itself from the tyranny of fossil fuels.

The United States' Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. On that day, thirteen American colonies proclaimed their freedom from Great Britain. On the fourth of July 2015, America needs to start thinking seriously about a declaration of freedom from fossil fuels.

A few years after the American revolution, the industrial revolution dawned, beginning America's meteoric rise to global dominance. However, fossil fuels are the engine that drove this growth and they are also the leading cause of climate change.

Americans have some important choices to make and ending fossil fuel subsidies is an important first step. But this cannot be accomplished as long as Republicans continue their denial of climate change and unyielding support for dirty energy.

We must rethink some of the basic notions of the old economy. We need more efficient and sustainable visions of the future. We must also find ways of meeting our energy needs while radically decreasing climate change causing emissions. This means we must begin moving towards 100 percent renewable energy.

The G7 has already agreed to eradicate fossil fuel use by 2100 and getting all our energy from clean sources is possible. Stanford professor Mark Jacobson is among a growing number of researchers who have provided evidence to support the contention that we can transition to 100 percent renewable energy in the US. Jacobson has developed plans for all 50 states to transform their power infrastructure to rely on wind, water and solar power.

The Paris Climate Agreement signed at the end of last year signals the death knell for fossil fuels. In the wake of the deal signed at COP21 investors are growing even more wary of the risks associated with stranded assets

Eliminating fossil fuel use and adopting renewable energy is our only hope if we are to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.  The energy implications of the global climate deal suggest that the end of fossil fuels is in sight. It also expedites the dawn of a new era powered by renewable sources of energy.   

No comments: