Editor’s note: Welcome to Grist’s presentation of Alex Steffen’s new book Carbon Zero. This is the final installment! Here’s the full table of contents. And this post will tell you a little more about the project. If you like what you read, you can order Carbon Zero from Amazon.
Even if we perform great feats of innovation, hard times lie ahead and the impacts of climate change are unlikely to be fair.
History and geography matter. There are some places that are dealing with natural attributes and human legacies that will be almost impossible to address. (Bangladesh, for instance, will find it very hard to adapt to sea-level rise under the best circumstances; many auto-dependent American suburbs will likely experience economic distress as resource and energy costs rise; the U.S. desert Southwest will be extremely stressed by both anticipated heat waves and fossil fuel-dependent land uses and economies.) How temperate the local climate is likely to be, how stable the surrounding ecosystem services are likely to remain, how wise (or lucky) the region has been in growing energy-efficient cities, how rich the local people are, ... Read more