Stabilising the climate

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stabilisation rechauffement climatique moyens enjeux limites

There is no miracle solution to climate change. Today, no one technology or method will solve the problem. Each has disadvantages that are worsened by technology being used on a large scale. Methods that work in a particular country or region will not necessarily work in others.

Nevertheless, there is a whole range of options we can use to stabilize the cause of the problem: our greenhouse gas emissions. These options deal with energy efficiency, energy substitution, capturing and storing carbon, nuclear energy and how society is organized. Each possibility must be evaluated in relation to the others.

Thus, installing two million 1 Megawatt wind turbines would reduce CO2 emissions by about 1 billion tons a year. This is as much as taking half the cars off the road. Which solution should we choose? It is an economic matter (at what costs? To the detriment of which other investments, health or education?), a social matter (who wants wind turbines and who does not?) and an environmental matter (what the secondary effects are on a large scale).

Even if we start using the available solutions immediately, it is no longer possible to avoid extensive global warming. We must be prepared for a different world. Researchers call this adaptation. For a long time, this was a contentious subject because adapting could be considered a form of defeatism and an excuse to stop fighting global warming. This is no longer the case; global warming is such an important issue that there is no longer any choice. Both strategies are necessary. The sooner action is taken, the easier it will be to realise and the less it will cost.


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