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MACROSCOPE

Strategy Versus Evolution

Reaching President Obama’s CO2 emissions goal for 2050 will require strategic planning

Alex Pavlak

Engineers—not policy makers—devised the programs that developed the atomic bomb, put men on the moon and built the Internet. So how would engineers manage the challenge of building a clean energy system?

Engineers are rational planners. They know that systems development starts with a well-defined goal. In early 2009 President Obama declared an admirably clear target: Reduce CO2 emissions by 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. This is a rational strategic goal because if we are serious about controlling climate change, we will need emissions reductions on that scale.





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