Quick Take: The Numbers Inform the Story on Environment Modification

In the movie portrayal of the Titanic’s journey throughout the Atlantic Ocean, the guests aboard the ship do not understand that something has gone terribly incorrect until it’s too late.

George Rhee, a professor of physics and astronomy at UNLV, equates that fateful occasion to today day and the prospective effects of stopping working to act on environment change due to mounting proof.

And he does so with numbers.

“I see renewable energy as a lifeboat,” Rhee said. “It’s method of conserving lives. I think worldwide, climate modification is a WWII kind of problem, and it requires a WWII type of effort to solve it.”

Rhee is assisting Nevada address the problem of climate change through an online calculator he created that determines the state’s overall nonrenewable fuel source need by 2050, based upon a series of renewable energy alternatives picked by the user.

Rhee breaks down the significance of the calculator, how it works, who need to utilize it and why.

Where did the concept originated from? The idea was inspired by a comparable calculator established for the U.K. by David MacKay, a British physicist and mathematician. The driving force for me in creating the calculator is that I believe environment modification is genuine and that it’s guy made. We all require to do our part to fix this problem. Nevada runs primarily on nonrenewable fuel sources and this requires to change.

And the impacts of environment modification are becoming more visible. Anybody who doubts that can take a walk by Lake Mead and can see that year by year, or perhaps, month by month, the water level in the lake decreasing. You can see the effects. We’re breaking temperature level records in Nevada and Nevada is warming faster than the rest of the world.

What is the calculator? The calculator takes a look at a range of four choices for each supply and need choice, with the choices going from organisation as typical, to the optimum that we might do. For instance, in the atomic energy classification on the supply option side, the very first alternative I provide is that we never produce a nuclear reactor in Nevada, due to the fact that I don’t see us constructing one unless public opinion changes.

What’s the next action up from that? Going from not having a nuclear power plant, to having one.

The idea is to look at what resources we have to attend to climate modification and switch to renewables in Nevada.

How do you use the calculator? The first step is to choose what your need is going to be so that you can figure out how much supply you’re going to need. What you want to do is reduce the demand in order to minimize the issue of changing to renewables.

Having one cars and truck with one person driving is one of the most inefficient methods of moving individuals around. Public transportation is one method to reduce emissions. Another is to electrify transport. One option in the Nevada transport category is to amaze transport entirely by 2050. But if you need to energize whatever that’s not electric, we need to construct even larger solar plants.

If we strive enough, we can fix this issue. It’s perfectly manageable.

The calculator can end up being a conversation starter, specifically with crucial Nevada stakeholders, Rhee states. We can’t simply state no to everything and expect environment modification to resolve itself.

That’s the discussion that I’m attempting to get going. People are extremely singing at saying no. You want a wind farm? People say no. A solar plant? Individuals state no. That’s not the method we’re going to resolve this issue. We have actually got to get people to say yes.

The concept of the calculator was to offer us a tool to look at our choices so we can choose politically what we can do. We have the innovation to do this, but do we have the political will to do this?

How do we solve climate change? It’s a quantitative problem. You pay an energy costs in your house, and you’re charged per kilowatt-hour of energy. The only way to fix this problem, is to be quantitative.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Environment Modification (IPCC) advises that we reduce fossil intake to essentially absolutely no by 2050 to prevent two degrees of warming and associated climate disturbance.

Achieving the target is refrain from doing or pass away. 4 degrees of warming is much worse than 2 degrees of warming, so we shouldn’t quit if we do not rather make it.

About Rhee: Rhee works in a number of fields of study including cosmology, extragalactic astronomy, and sustainable energy. He teaches a class– Physics for a Better Environment– where issues surrounding environment change and renewable resource are taken a look at. The course is used this spring.

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