Ryan’s notes

A mental model for combatting climate change

URL: https://nanransohoff.com/A-mental-model-for-combating-climate-change-846be1769d374fa1b5b855407c93da66


  • Visualize how we will get to net zero greenhouse gas emissions over time to stay under 1.5C?

  • How much greenhouse gases (CO₂e) do we emit globally each year (2020)? 50 gigatons

  • What are the three key areas of de-carbonization? Electrification, agriculture, heavy industry

  • The 3 steps to increase carbon removal to 10Gt/year are: 1: Develop a portfolio of low-cost carbon removal solutions, 2: Create large, predictable demand, 3: Create markets to match high-quality supply with demand

Electrify everything

  • Electrifying everything will reduce global GHG emissions by 33 %

    • 16.5Gt (with clean power)

  • How much GHG (CO₂e) do we emit in the process of extracting hydrocarbon fuels? About 7.5 gigatons (15%)

  • What are three key steps to electrify everything? Electrify the machines, flood the grid with clean energy, deal with increased demand and more variable supply

  • Electrifying everything (short of heavy industry) means addressing what household appliances? vehicles, heating / cooling, stoves

  • We won't just need to replace the grid with clean power, we will need to produce a lot more to deal with electric machines


  • How much GHG (CO₂e) do we emit to produce food (minus transportation, refrigeration, etc.)? ~20% (10Gt)

  • The two steps needed to decrease GHG emissions from agriculture are: use a lot less land + decrease fugitive emissions from livestock and soils

  • Cutting down forests is called deforestation

  • Re-growing forests is called afforestation

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