Did you remember to turn off the lights before leaving home? Did you cut your shower short this morning? While these issues are important in decreasing your carbon footprint, I argue that how you spend money is significantly more impactful.
Replacing fossil fuel power with variable wind and solar power means that more energy storage and power transmission capabilities are necessary. Despite this, we find large climate benefits and a range of other pollution benefits of switching to renewables.
The study of the socioeconomic metabolism – society’s material and energy use – is a young field of research which has recently gained a lot of prominence in the science and policy communities, mainly due to its strength as a conceptual framework that allows for an integration of traditionally fragmented research domains. Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology published a special issue on this topic.
Let me take you back to high school chemistry. Do you remember this? It probably brings back bad memories of crushed dreams upon the…