In June 1992, world leaders, including President George Bush, agreed to combat climate change at the Earth Summit meeting in Rio de Janeiro. This week, at “Rio+20,” leaders, experts and activists will once more gather to ponder the fate of the planet.
Optimism will be in short supply. Since the first conference, global carbon emissions have increased by some 50 percent — an outcome that those who were present 20 years ago would surely have seen as disastrous. And we are continuing this sorry trend: As the Arctic becomes ice-free, we can expect that it will be drilled for oil.
But below most radars, and despite the alarming news, the seeds of an energy revolution are being sown. Given some luck and the right policies, that revolution could yet help us resolve the climate crisis.
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