If you get the chance take a look at this program http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00hr6bk
if you have not already seen it. Most of the program is the 'normal' stuff which is widely known but in this program an 'energy specialist' is asked to do some calculations with regards to our future energy requirements, and is given some very reasonable guidelines on what those requirements will be. He is asked to work out what energy sources can then provide for those requirements and how quick they would need to be built etc., etc. The results are quite staggering and yet these are additional energy requirements.
This led me to the conclusion that regardless of CO2 or 'climate change' some major readjustments are going to have to be made at some time. The fact is we need to become more efficient in our use of energy just to have a chance of standing still, so to speak. This means, for example, put on extra clothes and turn the heating down a bit both at home and at work. How many offices do you see which are very cosy and warm in the winter months? How many people still make uncessessary journeys in their cars or on planes? How many business people still fly abroad for meetings when businesses could instead make use of communication tools like Skype? The company I work for committed to being CO2 neutral by 2020 and we have one of the worlds leading energy specialists working for us....he was learning his trade from 30 years ago before it became a popular subject. The company is a high energy user but has cut its energy use by about 35% in 4 years through investment in energy saving projects with regards to lighting, boilers, cooling water systems, resizing of chilled storage areas, etc. Now most of these have a payback in reduced energy costs and minor tax savings etc., however they still require a financial investment and for someone within the company to be able to look at the energy use and work out where savings can be made etc. How many companies are able to do this?
There remains a huge potential for energy saving but a part of this also requires people to make some changes to their lifestyles and thus far I do not see the appetite for it. Human behaviour is on the whole more inclined to act in the last moment, i.e., when the flames are licking at the door, so to speak, and as we know if at that point the fire is beyond control then all we can do is hope to escape to a safer place. As Mr Hawking said, Earth is our only home and so we have all our eggs in one basket and so let's hope we do not drop the basket.
We need to reduce our energy usage just to stand still while working on providing new sustainable energy sources.....regardless of whether it is to cut CO2 or just to provide a better standard of living for the bulk of the worlds population. Geo-engineering may have a part to play but there are other better options available at this time, in my opinion.