Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, has written a succinct, blunt op-ed for CNNMoney in which she says that while there is endless talk of a clean energy-fueled, sustainable future,
(T)he path we are currently on is bleak -- and black...(I)f current energy policies do not change, coal will overtake oil as the world's primary source of energy in the foreseeable future...This carries grave implications for climate change, for in its current form, coal is simply unsustainable...Radical action is needed to curb greenhouse gas emissions -- especially those from coal -- yet that radical action is disappointingly absent.
I've written frequently about carbon capture and storage technology, the lack of progress in deploying it at scale, innovative approaches like the one I led in Pennsylvania that could advance the technology, and the need and the opportunity to apply CCS to not only coal, but natural gas-fired generation as well.
There are endless studies, talks, and pronouncements about all of this. But little concrete action. If that situation is not, as van der Hoeven says, radically altered, the future of the world as we know it is indeed bleak.