Solving climate change is surprisingly easy…for the most part. In many parts of the economy, decarbonized options are either quite viable already or will soon be viable. In many cases, like cars, this hinges on using electricity powered by clean energy rather than internal combustion powered by fossil fuels.
But the world economy is complex, and some things that we need in the modern world will be tough to decarbonize. For all of the flaws of fossil fuels, they are pretty darn useful and, more to the point, nearly irreplaceable in a lot of cases. In essence, one big thorny climate problem is that for at least a while, until technological innovation advances beyond a certain threshold, we will likely need some sort of fuel (or fuels) with similar characteristics to fossil fuels but without their downsides. This might seem like a pipe dream. Fuels and fossils go hand-in-hand, right?
What fuels do we use in our day-to-day lives that aren’t fossil fuels? This notion of replacing fossil fuels with cleaner fuels on a scale sufficiently broad and quick enough to decarbonize some of the trickiest parts of the global economy - isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. It turns out there’s an abundant source of fuel that fits the bill. It’s not just abundant; it’s literally the most abundant element in the universe– that fuel comes from hydrogen. As the clock ticks on humanity’s ability to avert catastrophic climate change, hydrogen might be the missing link between our messy, carbon-heavy world and a clean, decarbonized future.