We must go full carbon-free, not just consume less
Consuming less while destroying jobs is not the goal. Instead, we have to transition to a full carbon-free economy with plenty of jobs.
We can’t just consume less. It’s too late to just consume less fossil fuels that still accumulate as CO2 in the atmosphere. We must go full carbon-free due to past emissions. We may even have to find new technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, even if we reach zero GHG emissions in the course of this century.
Living like monks won’t work, because a drop of consumption would slow down the economy, destroy jobs, and increase inequality, especially with the younger generation, unable to get an entry job to learn basic skills. No, we can never cross our arms. Economic growth (of the GDP) must not be capped. GDP growth is not just about producing dirty objects. It also includes services such as healthcare, green energy, recycling and defense. Finally, economic growth is about job creation.
Instead, we must consume more recycling services, more renewable energy, and buy more batteries, even a lot of them to create a scalable supply by corporations, to create jobs, and perhaps to diminish inequalities. We must keep producing to replace it all with new renewable energy, yet to be developed. It’s the only way to develop green-tech and a green mass-market, in order to provide cheap green energy, even to poor countries.