I watched an amazing documentary talking about renewable energy wedges as a solution to our energy and carbon emissions problem. The main points of this presentation were that energy is needed for everything, our current energy is depleting the planet, and that we need to find solutions. The video said that the U.S. has invested a large amount of money looking for clean energy solutions to help solve this problem.

The main task is to cut carbon emissions.

The wedge theory states, there is a problem
between where we are and where we need to be. He broke it into a triangle,
which represents the total amount of carbon dioxide that we must avoid putting
into the atmosphere in the next 50 years. The ideal target is controversial
because it is a difference of 7 billion tons per year. There are 15 possible
"wedge" solutions each equaling 1 billion ton carbon emissions. The
gap, like stated before, is 7 billion tons, so the gap can be filled with any 7
of the 15 wedges. The wedges can be duplicated. Some of the 15 wedge solutions
include:

- Efficiency
(easiest & cheapest)
- Tripling
the number of nuclear power plants over 50 years
- Cleaning
coal plants by burying their carbon emissions
- Sun,
which means solar panels and/or wind turbines

There are many possible solutions to this
problem with the wedge model.

Interestingly enough, some people are
disregarding this theory/solution. The wedge theory is successful in that it
takes a bigger problem and breaks in down into smaller pieces, thus, making It
simple. Some believe that this theory is *oversimplifying* the problem to where people (the public) are
too relaxed about it and feel that it is so simple that it's nearly solved. An
article titled: Did Princeton Professor’s “Wedges” Theory Oversimplify
Cutting?, discusses this “problem." (Source) It is so bizarre to me that for so many problems we have
in the world today, we struggle to find a solution, and many solutions are
difficult or costly, etc and we have now found one that seems attainable and
people complain because its *too
simple*.

I enjoyed this video, and it was interesting
to hear more about the wedges. I have heard the wedges talked about in other
classes, and, in my opinion, this documentary could have been improved by going
more in depth about the stability wedges. By, possibly, describing how they
find that each wedge is equal to each other. They showed that each wedge is
equal to 1 billion tons of carbon but how did they find that out. I am
interested in the calculations. Also, the wedges could be improved by
discussing the other system feedbacks and impacts each one causes along with
the economic impact. Some wedges are going to create more jobs, some are going
to need more raw materials than others, etc.