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This is the first of a three part series entitled An Engineer Looks at Global Warming.
Engineers are trained not to take sides. They are trained to understand the problem before proposing a solution. They are trained that in coming up with a solution everything is a trade-off. Every alternative worth investigating will have plusses and minuses, benefits and costs.
This training goes against some of our most basic tribal instincts and is not always successful. But it does give an engineer a different perspective than most.
Engineers solve problems by asking questions. This series asks three questions about global warming:
1. How much time do we have?
2. What must we replace?
3. How can we balance global warming and fossil fuel replacement costs?
This post addresses the 1st question.