As someone who has been very active in developing technology-centric environmental solutions, I have long maintained that there are two primary factors for environmental decay: Supply chain inefficiencies and compound global pollution.
There are, of course, lots of modeling that pits CO2 emissions against climate mitigation benchmarks. But if you're paying any attention to the background science, this seems to be going deep and narrow on the wrong assumptions.
Even worse, these assumptions do the one thing that no model can ever do to mitigate climate risk, which is to exclude externalities. Externalities are side effects which are typically not accounted for in climate or general economic assessments of risk.
With climate risk assessments, we need to begin modeling at current epoch phases to get a handle on what is actually going on with the environment and respective ecologies. This translates into a contextual understanding of how the climate actually changes (as it has been doing for billions of years).
Then we need to get a much better handle on cause versus correlation. One way to do this is to reframe the composition of all environmental pollutants and their relationship not just to temperature, but in how they distort biospheric balance.
You'll notice something very interesting here: CO2 is a trace gas that has far less overall impact as a pollutant than Nitrous Oxide does. So why all the focus on carbon emissions? Why has no clear distinction been made between bad carbon and good carbon, especially when carbon supports all life on this planet?
Alas, political agendas tied to a climate crisis have blinded us from the real problem and opportunity to bring our planet into biospheric rebalance.
All of this global pollution is the by-product of extreme resource waste.
The way we fix this is to create sensible mixed energy models unique to every region, and by which local economic participants reap the rewards for their responsible resource stewardship.
As the preeminent Vaclav Smil has written for the last five decades, 85%-90% of the planet still uses fossil fuel infrastructure and its resultant energy. The point is not to throw this infrastructure away or destroy it, but to repurpose it. The right mix of baseload energy with a basket of renewables results in resources that can be regenerated for their utility and their profits, which can also be redistributed.
As just one example, coal infrastructure can be used for clean energy outputs (meaning coal conversion is carbon captured and then regenerated), not to mention that coal mines themselves often contain precious minerals like humates which can be used to exponentially increase agricultural yield.
This amounts to energy transition planning that makes complete social, environmental and economic sense.
Despite alarmist claims to the contrary and a maniacal push for Green New Deal policies, the U.S. actually has some of the lowest pollution levels on the planet. The opportunity for real environmentally minded people is to use mixed energy modeling to create energy and natural resource independence at the hyperlocal level, such that big government bureaucrats can get out of the way, and let the real innovators (like us) provide real access to regenerative resources for all people, especially for the "underclassed and underprivileged".
As for the application of these hybrid models, I have written extensively about solutions in tow and various ways we are innovating around the economics of environmental change, here, here, here, here and here.
As the current set of systems continue to break down, more and more will be revealed as to the alternatives. Stay positive!