Reaching Net Zero: What It Takes To Solve The Global Climate Crisis

By, William D. Fletcher and Craig B. Smith


Global warming is the most important and complex public policy and international relations issue in the world today. Global warming is not just a technical problem. It involves business, finance, economics, politics, international relations, public health, and national security. Most aspects of our society will be impacted in some way by global warming. Solving this problem requires educating and mobilizing the public to support the changes that have to occur.


Net zero is defined as the point where human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are either completely stopped (in reality, impossible) or where any remaining emissions are removed by expanding forests (natural sinks) or by man-made systems that remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it permanently underground. The earth’s temperature has already increased by 1.0°C over pre-industrial times with visible effects on the earth’s climate. To limit global warming to 2.0oC or less, scientists estimate that greenhouse gas emissions have to be reduced to “net zero.” 


This book is a comprehensive treatment of global warming, focusing on what can and should be done to reduce global warming immediately, with a discussion of relevant case studies, practical problems to be overcome, and the technical, economic, and public policy issues involved in implementing the solutions recommended by the authors. The authors provide practical solutions that can be implemented now with today’s technology that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put the world on a path toward net zero.


Although the IPCC goal of reaching “net zero” by 2050—a little over 30 years from now—is unachievable, we should start immediately with the technology we have. Addressing the problem now will stimulate new approaches and improve technical solutions that will get us to net zero eventually.


Reaching Net Zero demonstrates that If we don’t do the big things, the small things may be commendable but aren’t sufficient to stop global warming. The big things are: (1) educate the voting public so that they will support needed changes, (2) institute a carbon emissions fee to offset fossil fuel subsidies, and (3) participate in and strengthen international efforts to stop global warming.


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    Paperback (400pages, 61 illustrations, 14 tables)



  • Preface: Why read this book?

    • Introduction
    • Addressing Global Warming
    • The Earth As A System
    • Fundamental Drivers Of Global Warming
    • How Do We Know Global Warming Is Real?
    • How Do We Know Man-Made CO2 Is The Issue?
    • What Are The Effects Of Global Warming?
    • International Efforts To Address Global Warming
    • What Would It Take To Reach Net Zero?
    • Energy Alternatives
    • Unique Problems Of Major Contributors To Global Warming
    • Why Is Global Warming Such A Difficult Problem To Solve?
    • Some Successes And Failures
    • Action Plan: Efficiency, Power, Transportation and Land Use 
    • Can It Be Done?
    • The Way Forward


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