Can Higher Oil Prices Curb Climate Change? Jeff Rubin Says, Yes
Denmark, for example, has seen their carbon emissions plummet despite the fact that they get 80 per cent of their power from coal. While China uses the same percentage of coal-based power, they have experienced rising emissions. Why? Because the kilowatt-hour cost of energy in Denmark is significantly higher than in China. When we get to the point where we can no longer afford to burn as much fossil fuels as we do today, how do we cut back? Japan, for example, is a prime model for us to follow in terms of reducing energy consumption. Through small initiatives like turning off the lights, transforming elevators into staircases, and lowering air conditioning levels in office buildings, the country has been able to drastically reduce its dependence on non-sustainable energy sources. "The things that have made it successful are not the decisions taken by the ministry of finance in Japan, or the Central Bank of Japan," Rubin notes, "it's the decisions made by everyday Japanese—and there's a big lesson to be learned for that for the rest of the world."
The hopeful side of these rising fuel costs, Rubin concludes, is that the future is taken out of our hands. We don't have to be as concerned about cutting our emissions because they will reduce naturally. In his talks with David Suzuki, the unlikely pair discusses the relationship that the economy has with the environment. As an internationally renowned economist, Rubin presents the surprising, yet hopeful, opportunities that lie in the future of energy. Our world is rapidly changing, but Rubin is hopeful that the end of one opportunity will signal the beginning of another.