Look, the data are in. Individual actions to combate warming are called for, they are great, and they are small. Only very large actions will have very great effects.
The Carbon Mitigation Initiative at Princeton lays out 12 different things than can and should be done. Here are some of them:
- Increase fuel economy of 2 billion cars from 30-mpg to 60-mpg by 2050.
- Decrease driving for 2 billion 30-mpg cars in half, through mass transit, urban design for walking and biking, telecommuting, and other measures.
- Develop zero-emission vehicles including plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles powered by renewable energy.
- Increase efficiency of new appliances and buildings to achieve zero-carbon emissions, resulting in 25% total reduction by 2050.
- Ramp up wind power, (cost competitive now) to add 3 million 1-megawatt windmills globally, 75 times current capacity.
- Add 3000 gigawatts of peak solar photovoltaic, 1000 times current capacity.
- No new net coal power plants – for each new plant built improve efficiency from 32 to 60%, require CO2 sequestration, and take one old plant off-line.