12 Years, 10 Years, 18 Months - Yesterday?

Supposedly what scientists say is how much time we have to do something drastic about carbon emissions.

It's a crock, but not because drastic climate change isn't happening.  To start with, a lot of climate change is already baked in the cake.  Even if we could stop emitting carbon tomorrow, or yesterday, or even last year,  oceans would continue to rise, the Arctic and Antarctic would continue to melt, and heat waves will continue to get worse.

Of course the more carbon we emit, and the longer we continue emission, the worse it will get.

So it's past time to start thinking about amelioration as well decarbonization.

On a possibly more optimistic note, I recently drove through big chunks of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.  One interesting thing I saw was hundreds or maybe thousands of acres of mostly new solar panels. Much of this land is very desolate, so solar panels don't crowd out any other human uses.  The Sun shines nearly every day there.

The US generates a bit more than one terawatt of electricity all told.  Solar panels can produce up to 200 MW/km^2, so producing 1 TW of daytime power would take about 5000 km^2, or roughly 4 % of the Mojave desert.  The Sonoran desert is about twice as large and the Chihuahuan desert even larger, and the Sahara enormously larger than all three combined.  The power potential is there - one just needs to figure out how to transport and store it.


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