News from the Columbia Climate School

Why There’s Hope for a Sustainable Future

steve cohen
Steve Cohen discusses sustainability with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

In a recent interview, Earth Institute executive director Steven Cohen told the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs why he’s an optimist when it comes to sustainability.

No single branch of government can stand in the way of the market forces that are making renewable energy competitive, he explained to the Council:

“Part of the reason this is happening is that it’s in our self-interest. It’s not just an altruistic act. First, moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy is going to create a less expensive, less costly way of generating energy. … The source of energy from the sun is never going to cost us anything. So receiving that energy and storing it will get cheaper and cheaper as the technology advances.”

In addition, much like the engineers of the first mainframe computers could never have predicted the tiny computers we now carry in our pockets and purses, humanity is still at the beginning of this energy transformation, and we have no idea what innovations lie ahead.

“We don’t know what the energy technology is going to look like 10 years from now,” said Cohen, “but I can tell you it’s going to be better than what we have today.”

A video of the interview was posted today on Youtube.

Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
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