Question: *Star question* Do you think that carbon neutral or carbon zero is possible? - MalaikaQ, live chat
anon answered on 14 Jul 2020:
I am still rather new to engineering, and I am by no means an expert within renewable energy, but personally I believe it is possible to be carbon neural/zero just not very probable within the near future.
I think the key to reach that goal will be achieved through a combination of Science, Engineering, and (most importantly) cultural advancements. It will not be possible without improvements to all three of those areas.
Clean energy will be achieved either via a combination of greater advancements in renewable energy (such as wind, solar, tidal etc.), and better storage of that energy, or by cracking the monumental challenge of Fusion energy that would effectively produce unlimited energy with no carbon production as a consequence. But even if we had a singular fusion reactor up and running getting that energy from one place to another is not an easy task, it would require advancements in super-conductor material science to allow transfer of energy without energy loss along the way.
Culturally we need to move away from consumerism (the act of buying a new thing to replace an old thing) and move towards an era of building things to be renewed and reused.
Ideally, the best way for humanity to live in harmony with this planet is to have a world wide CIRCULAR ECONOMY.
A circular economy is beyond the basic recycling we do now, in fact recycling is the last step in the renewable cycle, as every item is designed and built to be upgraded/reused. But a true circular economy would be something that is very hard for our current society to adapt to, as it requires a radical change of perspective.