Full article at:A big challenge for politicians gathering in Paris for the UN Climate Summit, or COP21, is the fear that weaning ourselves off fossil fuels means giving up the very comfortable lifestyles we have enjoyed for the last century.
But a more realistic vision of the future does not have to involve going back to living in trees and caves.
You have to admit - it's so convenient to have a blue flame from natural gas instantly appear in your kitchen stove to cook dinner, or provide hot water for the shower and heat for the home.
There is tremendous freedom getting into a vehicle all by yourself and driving it anywhere on the continent, confident that a filling station will always appear somewhere over the horizon.
The synthetic clothes we wear, the plastics that mould our lives and just about all of the other conveniences that have shaped modern civilization have been provided by the black gold that comes out of the ground.
If it weren't for those nasty emissions that come out of tailpipes and smokestacks, we wouldn't need international conventions on climate change. But they do. And that means getting rid of the processes that produce those emissions.
Part of the vision of a carbon-free future is already here. The hottest four-door sedan on the road at the moment has no tailpipe. The fully electric Tesla Model S goes from zero to 100 km/hr in three seconds. It will blow the doors off a conventional combustion engine car, and does it with zero pollution.
This is not to say that all future cars need to be expensive, high-performance dragsters. There are other electric vehicles at more reasonable prices. But the Tesla demonstrates that going green can still embody the luxuries that have been available to us for so long.
Mainstream automakers are finally catching on to the idea that people are willing to buy electric cars, if they provide the same comfort and convenience as the vehicles they've been used to.
However, it doesn't necessarily mean we have to give up our entire lifestyle. We just need a new vision of what that future life will look like.