Is this the most illuminating article you’ll ever read on climate change?

It’s an article from Google engineers Ross Koningstein and David Fork who worked together on the bold renewable energy initiative known as RE<C.

The article is fascinating on so many levels:
1. It concerns the defining subject of our time and the biggest threat to our planet: climate change
2. It explains how Google has devoted projects and resources to tackling the issue
3. The conclusions that the engineers make are both daunting and inspiring

Where are we in our battle against greenhouse gas emissions? What about carbon capture? How might Google’s 70-20-10 model help clean energy innovation?

Without wanting to give too much away, here’s a couple of paragraphs from their conclusions:

To reverse climate change, our society requires something beyond today’s renewable energy technologies. Fortunately, new discoveries are changing the way we think about physics, nanotechnology, and biology all the time. While humanity is currently on a trajectory to severe climate change, this disaster can be averted if researchers aim for goals that seem nearly impossible.
We’re hopeful, because sometimes engineers and scientists do achieve the impossible. Consider the space program, which required outlandish inventions for the rockets that brought astronauts to the moon. MIT engineers constructed the lightweight and compact Apollo Guidance Computer, for example, using some of the first integrated circuits, and did this in the vacuum-tube era when computers filled rooms. Their achievements pushed computer science forward and helped create today’s wonderful wired world. Now, R&D dollars must go to inventors who are tackling the daunting energy challenge so they can boldly try out their crazy ideas. We can’t yet imagine which of these technologies will ultimately work and usher in a new era of prosperity—but the people of this prosperous future won’t be able to imagine how we lived without them.

Check it out in full:

It might be the best 10 minutes you spend trying to get to grips with the size of the climate change subject.

The reason why I find this the most important article I’ve read on climate change up-to-now (and I’ve read a lot) is because the sheer scale of the task in front of us is unparalleled in terms of difficulty and importance. Even Google with all its resources and hefty ambitions found their target was not only destined to fail but also that the target itself was not ambitious enough. We are going to need some out-of-the-box thinking in the next decade or so otherwise the future is looking gloomy.

And we should be forgetting about those pipelines supposedly to boost our economy, we need those boreal forest trees for carbon capture. When you fathom the world we currently live in, the Alberta tarsands development make no sense at all.