A new Stanford study calculated the cost of global renewable energy would be $62 trillion (yes, with a “t”). But the big upfront investment would create jobs, drastically reduce carbon emissions, and pay for itself in just six years.
It was hot this summer—record-shatteringly hot, in many places. And the extreme heat around the world in the last few months is only one symptom of the climate change caused by greenhouse gasses, which are released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels like coal and gas burn—more extreme droughts, wildfires, flooding, storms, and unseasonable weather patterns are also symptoms.
Unless we significantly curb how much coal and gas we burn in the next few decades, scientists are pretty much in agreement that the consequences will keep getting more severe. One of the simplest ways to cut back greenhouse gas emissions is in how the electricity we use is generated. Even though the current system is dominated by coal, oil, and natural gas, the technology for producing energy from renewable sources like wind, hydro, and solar is effective, available, and increasingly economical.