What Makes You Hopeful That We Can Reach Net Zero Emissions by 2050? Here’s How People Responded.

I’m no scientist, but it seems like at least some of the major players around the world are committed to helping us reach net zero emissions in the next few decades.

And I think we all know that the faster we accomplish that, the better off the future of humanity is going to be.

What makes you hopeful that we can reach net zero emissions by 2050?

Here’s what people had to say on AskReddit.

1. That’s a start.

“Scotland produces so much renewable electricity that its capable of powering multiple Scotlands.”

2. Increased awareness.

“Improvements in energy sources, such as more nuclear power plants and solar farms.

More and more cities switching to electric or natural gas powered buses.

The increased awareness of climate change by millennials.”

3. Might be right.

“COVID shifting huge portions of the Western workforce away from the “commute to work 5 days a week” system will drastically reduce urban weekday carbon emissions.”

4. Headed in the right direction.

“There’s more public support for taking big steps to avoid a climate disaster than ever before.

It’s inspiring to see governments and companies around the world set ambitious goals for reducing emissions.

The world’s power to invent makes me optimistic.”

5. Safer.

“I hope that Nuclear programs will take off. Lots of people are hating on nuclear power as they think it will be Chernobyl V2.

But in reality, today, lots of nuclear programs are way more safer and way more efficient compared to old times, also uranium is really strong and we don’t have to worry about it as much as we can recycle large portions of it.”

6. Moving forward.

“A bunch of countries have started banning sales of new gas-powered cars by 20XX. And renewable energy is getting cheaper and more efficient by the year.

We probably won’t have 0 net emissions by 2050, but it’ll (hopefully) be far, far lower than what we have now.”

7. You never know…

“More and more people subscribing to plant-based diets!

There are so many alternatives, research, and influences in this field that it has become so easy and even a little trendy.

Whether your motivation to reduce meat consumption is financial, ethical, environmental, (or like me and a combination of the three plus the fact I always hated handling raw meat), this is the single most effective thing we can do as individuals. So I’ve been told.

Well, that and reduce our use of jet-fuels. The pandemic has helped reduce that for us and while some will want to hop on a plane as soon as humanly possible, others may still wait a while before venturing too far from their safe zones.”

8. Follow your lead.

“I no longer buy new things and I compost and reuse. Meat is a once- or twice-a-week thing. I ride a bike which only costs £120/year to maintain, and 95% of the replaceable material is steel which is near-infinitely recyclable.

And I work at a recycling facility.

I’m pretty sure we can reach net-zero through folk rejecting new takes on old technologies, and instead accepting that the key is to reduce usage and allow for things being used over and over again.

I have recently started using reusable ziplock plastic bags for my salads which i take to work – you just stick ’em in with the pots and pans and wash them up like you would anything else.

Also, the Co-op water bottles I buy and re-use are 100% recyclable and 100% recycled.”

9. Check it out!

“I am the author of “Building a Better World in Your Backyard”.

It turns out the solutions are really very easy. And those solutions will put more money in your pocket and add more luxury to your life. A person could be carbon zero within a year.

The average adult carbon footprint in the US is 30 tons.

Switching from a standard American diet to a vegan diet will cut 4.5 tons. Getting 90% of your vegan food from a garden will cut an additional 5.5 tons. Using animals wisely, in your garden will cut another 1.5 tons.

If you live in Montana and you switch from electric heat to a rocket mass heater, you will cut your carbon footprint about 28.6 tons.”

10. The writing is on the wall.

“I work in automobile advertising— I know, I know, the abuse has been flung at me before on Reddit (and I really get it).

But let me give you some good news, as far as ads and cars go:

They are ALL absolutely SCRAMBLING to get their electric (not just hybrid, but electric) models into order, advertised, and out there.

If it’s a hybrid model today, you can bet they’re working at this very moment to figure out how to do an all-electric version. They have to. The competition is going in that direction.

And it’s not just the cars— I just finished an ad campaign for a major auto client this week that was all about how we’ll roll out charging stations across Europe, how that’ll integrate with your home electricity, and what incentives we can get the buyers to get their car onto their home energy bill (eco incentives, etc.)

There’s a lot to unpack there, no doubt. There will be coming problems there, unquestionably. But, in an industry that usually sucks even me dry, I have hope that the market is at the very least driving in that direction.

No doubt about it, emissions will go down in the coming years. I doubt it’ll be zero net emissions (trucks gonna truck, and people still love their combustible engines), but the big boys see the writing on the wall and they’re making moves to stay alive in an electric market.”

11. Still worried.

“Even if we can meet the goal of zero emissions by 2050, I’m still worried about the accumulated negative effects by then.

But at the same time, I’m optimistic that we will be able to invent new technologies to potentially mitigate the worst of it, like carbon capture and maybe even larger scale environmental temperature control.”

12. A lot of potential.

“The best examples are active measures to put carbon back into products, or projects like the Saharan green wall.

We need the transitions that are already happening and to stop subsidizing oil so the real costs can hit the market with appropriately taxed and apportioned dangers.

But the things that will push us over the edge are the 4 new types of Nuclear power being actively explored beyond just test reactors again, tonnes of biofuel or bioprocessing systems to take greenhouse gases out for chemical products or physical ones to store for later use.

The problem is the ramifications before or after, politically or how much we let conservatives actively hamper us – it won’t be on individual conservation or whether or not we have the tech.”

13. Good point.

“Its never really been about the scientific viability

We already knew that our tech was getting good enough to phase out fossil fuels

Its about convincing oil companies and mining barons to stop blocking progress and accept change.”

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