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NERS Colloquium: Bret Kugelmass, Energy Impact Center
September 27, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Solving climate change requires far more than the total elimination of annual greenhouse gas emissions. The complete decarbonization of electricity, agriculture, transportation, building heat, and industrial sectors may reduce the rate at which we accumulate heat, but will have no impact on the previous emissions that already, and will continue to, cause the majority of radiative forcing. Drawing inspiration from mathematics and physics, Bret Kugelmass derives a pathway towards global scale removal of greenhouse gas on a timeline fast enough to spare the most vulnerable communities. He presents a counterfactual to calls for policy “solutions” of sacrifice, efficiency, and taxes which often ignore energy demands and political realities of the developing world. He will argue that in deploying nuclear energy at scale, we can power the transition to a global carbon negative economy in a way that aligns short-term individual economic motivations with long-term environmental preservation.