In 2015, Hawaii Governor Ige signed House Bill 623 calling for 100% of energy generation from renewable sources by 2045.

Late in August 2018, the California Senate passed a pair of bills, SB 100, calling for 100% of energy generation by renewable sources by 2045 and 60% by 2030, and SB 700, calling for 3-GWp of behind-the-meter energy storage on schools, farms, homes, nonprofits and businesses by 2026.

SB 700 reauthorizes the state’s Self Generation Incentive program for five years and extends consumer rebates through 2025 for a total cost estimated at $1.2-billion. Both SP 100 and SP 700 require the signature of California Governor Jerry Brown.

Meanwhile, other states and cities across the US are stepping up, in the absence of any federal support or guidance, with their own goals. For example, the city of Orlando, Florida is moving forward with its goal of generating all energy from carbon free sources by 2050.

Comment: Laudable as these efforts are, climate change is moving more rapidly and destructively than are attempts and plans to help ameliorate it.

One hundred percent of energy from carbon free sources by 2050 in Orlando – 100% of energy generation from renewable technologies by 2045 for California and Hawaii– would have been wonderful news 30 years ago when NASA scientist James Hansen warned the US congress of the dire consequences of not acting now.

Following Dr. Hansen’s laudable, dire and scientific-backed warning in 1988, here is what happened. Goals were announced. Conventional energy proponents pushed back. Slowly people began implementing actions to combat climate change. Conventional energy proponents pushed back.

And now … all of our good intentions and willingness to compromise so that those who do not value breathing or believe in science can be brought into the fold have brought us to the point of 2018 being on track to be the fourth hottest year on record, to the point where climate change is accelerating storms past our ability to recover from their aftermaths, to the point where wildfire season is year-round and because of the fires and resulting smoke, the air in the US state of Seattle, Washington was similar to that of Beijing for a period during summer 2018.

The point is that goals of 100% of energy generation from RE by 2045, 2050 – even 2030 do not go far enough. Either humans act now, which will be expensive, or, construct a huge dome to protect themselves from the climate they have destroyed, or make plans to immigrate to other planets.

Hint, the least expensive actions to take are the ones we take now even if those plans displace the conventional energy archetype.

Lesson: The most dangerous threat to all life on earth and the most dangerous predator is humankind. The lesson is that the current state of affairs could have been avoided by acting 30 years ago and not making convenient excuses (globally, every country) not to act. Sadly, the lesson is that we are continuing to delay action while applauding ourselves for setting goals. In other words, humans do not seem to learn their lessons.