The Problem - Short Summary
We currently face a wicked problem that has no easy solution.
Climate change is but only one symptom of exceeding planetary boundaries where we have overshot the carrying capacity of our ecosystems.
We need to reduce and eliminate our use of fossil fuels in order to mitigate the impact of climate change otherwise we risk triggering tipping points which would result in an irreversible cascade of climate change leading to a hot-house Earth.
Our continued survival depends on not over burdening our ecosystems. We need to reduce our impact on the environment by reducing our current levels of production and consumption.
In an industrial society, we are totally reliant on high grade energy for our survival, so we need to transition from fossil fuels to high-grade renewable energy and infrastructure.
Current levels of renewable energy are insufficient to manufacture more renewables. We need to continue using fossil fuels to manufacture renewables such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.
Reducing our use of fossil fuels is imperative in order to mitigate the impact of climate change.
We have no choice but to divert our use of fossil fuels on a limited and reducing carbon budget from unnecessary and frivolous consumption to investments in renewables and infrastructure. This applies especially to the well-developed countries like New Zealand.
Renewable energy cannot scale up to the same energy levels per capita that we currently enjoy in the well-developed countries.
We will need to learn how to live well on a much-reduced budget of energy per capita during and after a transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
It is possible to do this because much of our current consumption of energy in the form of goods and services does not necessarily lead to greater well-being.
It is as supportive communities that we can continue to thrive.
What is possible will not happen unless we face up to realities and respond to the urgent need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions without delay.
We need to adopt the Precautionary Principle and target net zero emissions by 2030 instead of by 2050.
The longer we delay, the greater will be the accumulations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the subsequent increasing risk of irreversible climate change.