Case Study Sample - Stabilization Wedges Model

3 pages
689 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Case study
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A stabilization wedges model is a tool that conveys the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions which can be made to avoid dramatic climate change. It is an approach that mitigates climate change. The method was developed by researchers from the Princeton University. The objective of this model is to show how the use of available technology can solve the great issue of global warming. The main aim is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It minimizes the carbon dioxide concentrations by the use of various strategies to attain a stabilization triangle.

The two co-directors; Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow emphasize the critical of an early action by the use of stabilization wedges so that the levels of CO2 being exposed to the atmosphere can be avoided. According to the film global carbon has been rising for that twenty years and when they mix with the oxygen, they form a layer which causes the temperatures to rise. The huge task is cutting carbon emissions, and Stephen Pacala has come up with a way to do it. Pacala uses his skills to explain how carbon emission can be minimized by coming up with a wedges theory. The documentary shows that industrial revolution is the primary factor that has significantly increased carbon emissions. He draws a triangle which shows the world greatest worry. It represents the carbon levels that people must avoid putting in the atmosphere for the next fifty years

When Pacala calculate the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the air, it was seven thousand tons per year. He then divides it into one billion times section. The next thing he does is to make wood wedges that represent technologies that would fill in his triangle.

There are four categories in which wedges strategies are organized.


He demonstrates a green wood which according to him its the easiest and the cheapest wedge technology strategy that can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emission.

Power DecarbonizationThe yellow wood represents this category in Pacalas triangle which is making triple the number of nuclear power plants for more than the last fifty years.

Fuel decarbonization

This category is shown by the blue wood. It represents cleaning coal plants by burning the carbon emissions.

The sun

This category is indicated by the redwood which is a natural way to produce energy.

Many technology solutions can be used to solve the problem of carbon dioxide emissions. Pacala says it only depends on our choices.

We can achieve this by using efficiency strategy because they are easy to use and consume fewer resources. This can be accomplished by;

Doubling the fuel efficiency of more than one billion cars from thirty mpg to sixty mpg this will make them emit less carbon dioxide. Another way is to reduce the number of vehicle miles. This is cut in half. People can opt to choose more efficiency practices in commercial and residential buildings. These include energy saving bulbs and other electronics.

The available technology can be used to reduce carbon dioxide by replacing one thousand and four hundred coal electric plants with more natural gas generated facilities.

Using solar technology, there should include an installation of one hundred times the coal electricity with solar power. Use of four million windmills which could produce hydrogen for fuel cell cars. Nuclear technology will be added to the current global nuclear capacity so as the reduce electricity which is generated by coal.

The Wind can generate electricity that could serve every need. The ministry of energy would increase the number of windmills to two million which will serve the electricity demand in the world.

Natural practices such as promoting tropical afforestation will help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by absorbing it. All agricultural soils should be put in conservation in every part of the world.

Carbon from coal plants could be stored or sent underground like what is happening in Sahara desert. Instead of letting the gas to the atmosphere, this gas is piped, and the tube goes deep into the ground.


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