2022: A Net Zero Future

The Substack letter 2022: A Net Zero Future makes some forecasts (not really predictions) for the year 2022. The focus is on businesses and industries that are adopting Net Zero programs.

  1. Companies and businesses will increasingly lead the response to climate change — not because they want to “do good”, but because they want to be commercially successful. Governments will support but not lead.
  2. Energy will become more expensive and supplies more erratic.
  3. Supplies of materials critical to climate change technology will become erratic or limited due to international tension and competition.
  4. Oil companies will invest in the production and distribution of green hydrogen for both transportation and energy storage.
  5. Climate activists will spend more time working with industrial managers and engineers developing realistic responses to the predicaments that we face.

The final prediction is more on the lines of a hope than a forecast of what will happen. Climate activists have done a good job highlighting the predicaments that we face. There is far too much complacency and vague denial by people at large. The activists make it clear that, if we continue on our present trajectory, that the consequences will be serious indeed. We need their sense of urgency.

But there comes a point at which it would help if they were to think through the reality of some of their suggestions. For example, if we stop using fossil fuels altogether by the year 2030 the reality is that millions, maybe billions, of people would starve. The cure is worse than the disease.

We often hear that “we need to listen to the scientists”. That’s true, but even more, we need to listen to the engineers and project managers. By making demands that are clearly unrealistic the activists hurt their own cause. Yet we need their voice.

Book: Net Zero by 2050: Technology for a Changing Climate