Sunday, 9 February 2020

The Citizen's Guide to Climate Success - Now Available

The book is available in paperback, hard cover, Kindle/Kobo and Audible.

Follow this link for reviews of "A Citizen's Guide to Climate Success"

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Humanity has failed for three decades to decarbonize our energy system to address the climate threat, yet average citizens still don’t know what to do personally or what to demand from their politicians. For climate success, we need to understand the combined role of self-interested and wishful thinking biases that prevent us from acting effectively and strategically. Fossil fuel and other interests delude us about climate science or try to convince us that every new fossil fuel investment is beneficial. But even climate-concerned people propagate myths that hinder progress, holding to beliefs that all countries will agree voluntarily on sharing the cost of global decarbonization; that carbon offsets are effective; that behavioral change is critical; that energy efficiency and renewable energy are cheap; and that carbon taxes are absolutely essential. For success with the climate-energy challenge, we must strategically focus our efforts as citizens on a few key domestic sectors (especially electricity and transportation), a few key policies (regulations and/or carbon pricing); and the identification and election of climate-sincere politicians. As leading countries decarbonize their domestic electricity and transportation sectors, they must use various measures, including carbon tariffs, to ensure that their efforts spill over to affect the efforts of all countries. And although wealthier countries are unlikely to provide the support that developing countries desire to forego dependence on coal and oil, the combination of tariff threats and the local air pollution and climate benefits from decarbonization will motivate efforts even in these poorer countries. This book offers a clear and simple strategic path for climate-concerned citizens to drive climate success by acting locally while thinking globally.

Meet the MythBuster for climate change - Grist


  1. Thank you for writing this book! Just one point I read in the last chapter "But to argue that nuclear power is essential is to deliberately ignore all of the sound research by the IPCC and other leading institutions showing decarbonization scenarios with little or no nuclear" Seems inconsistent with the following? "In a report last October (2018), the IPCC featured four model pathways for limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the threshold at which most experts believe the worst impacts from climate change can still be avoided. All four model pathways included increases in nuclear power generation by 2050, ranging between 59% and 501%."

    1. Might seem inconsistent, but it isn’t. Nuclear is currently only a small share of the global energy system (3-4% depending on how it is measured as primary energy). In the IPCC scenarios that energy system grows significantly by 2050. If nuclear is only 60% larger, its share of the global energy system would still be below 5%. Consistent with what I wrote, this is a scenario “with little nuclear." Of course, I was not denying that the IPCC and other institutions can produce scenarios with lots of nuclear. My simple but important point was that a decarbonized future with a minimal role for nuclear was possible according to the independent experts doing the IPCC assessment. To give further support, in the Global Energy Assessment (2012) one of our scenarios was also one in which nuclear’s share did not increase, even while the global energy system stayed within the 2 C carbon budget.

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