June 01, 2016

Turning Point: On the Cusp of an Energy Revolution

Jim Murphy

Turning points usually happen unannounced and are only obvious in hindsight. Despite the fact that climate change is still seen as a polarizing issue (among politicians, not scientists) and fossil fuels are still pervasive, we are experiencing a major paradigm shift in our energy sector. As coal collapses, oil begins to crack, natural gas stalls, and renewables soar, we are seeing the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era. The question that will define the ultimate success of this moment is whether we will seize upon it and accelerate into place policies that will nurture this seismic transformation. If we move quickly on the policy front, we can leverage these market changes—spurred in part by policy decisions already made—to avert the calamitous climate change related impacts that will flood cities, cause severe water shortages, and result in crippling heat waves, mass extinctions, and unpredictable shifts in resources like forest types and productive agricultural areas. We also can creatively transform a major sector of economy in a manner that will benefit us all.

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