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When members of Energize America panel went on stage with Gov. Bill Richardson at Las Vegas two years ago, we brought with us an ambitious twenty point plan to revise America's energy policy. Swinging for the fences, we called for policies that would create two million new "green collar" jobs and increase conservation. We also called for moves as radical as:

  • 25% of Electrical Production from Renewables
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gases by 50%
  • Increase average fuel economy to 33mpg

And all of this was supposed to happen by the astonishing date of 2020.  

It seemed like a solid, even aggressive, plan at the time. It certainly asked for more to be done than most other proposals on the table. In particular, that 25% of electrical production from renewables within fourteen years seemed like a lofty goal.

That was then.  With the recent challenge set out by Vice President Gore, many things about that 2006 plan suddenly seem timid.  Gore's proposal would have us power 100% of electrical grid from carbon neutral sources by 2018.  Many voices have already been raised in support of Gore's plan, but predictably the defenders of the status quo are legion. It's funny how some of the same voices who are quick to point to the transition from whale oil to petroleum as a sign that technology will always be there to save us, are now screaming "not yet!"

Let's get this straight from the start.  There's no question that Gore's plan is possible.

But the biggest advance of Gore's plan might be more psychological than physical.  By setting such a lofty and laudable target, Gore draws both the screams of the naysayers and the minds of the general public in a way that a more timid plan would never achieve.  The result is exactly what the first paragraphs of this post already show -- to make plans that previously seemed at the cutting edge, look like the dull side of the knife.  In one speech, Al Gore has pushed the Overton Window of energy policy to the wall.  Everything that's proposed now will be measured not against half-measures, but against that 100% goalpost at the end of the field.

That change is important, and it's made even more important because the GOP, after decades of giving tax breaks to oil companies "for exploration" are determined to blame Democrats for high gas prices. You know, because oil companies somehow couldn't do any exploration.

For Energize America, the combination means that we can (gleefully, joyfully) throw away some of those goals set in 2006. In their place we need steps that recognize both the new space that Gore's plan provides, and the constraints that still need to be shifted. Some new proposals were already presented at Netroots Nation for the rest we're going to need the kind of passion and involvement from our fellow Kossacks that created Energize America in the first place.  

For candidates this fall, there is no way they can be less than fully engaged in this fight. 2008 is going to be a campaign that focuses on the economy, but in 2008 the economy is all about energy.

If you're interested in how some of the numbers break down...

In 2006, the United States generated a bit over 4,000 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity.  Of that, only 2.3% came from a mixture of wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass.  7.1% was generated from hydroelectric. So what most people would categorize as renewables was under 10%.

Another 19.3% came from nuclear.  Add it in, and more than a quarter of our electrical power now comes from sources that are carbon free.

Which leaves a gargantuan, but not not impossible task, in picking up the rest.  49% of all our electricity came from coal.  Another 20% from natural gas, and 1.5% from oil.  Put it together and you've got close to 3,000 billion Megawatt/hours on the far from carbon neutral side.

Sounds like a lot, doesn't it?  However, consider this bit of number crunching done back in 2004.

At the costs projected by Alpine Power Co, $87 billion would buy 192,904 windmills. The total resulting electricity production, again assuming each windmill can run one third of the time, would come to more than 1,015 billion kilowatt-hours per year. This amounts to about more than a quarter of all U.S. electricity consumption in 2000.

That's about 53 windmills a day for ten years, which hardly seems impossible across the whole country.  Why $87 billion?  Because that was the cost of the first special appropriation for the invasion of Iraq. How much have we spent (in dollars and lives) defending our access to oil since then?

And wind isn't alone.  Solar cell production was up 50% from 2006 to 2007, and the cost per watt of output, which stood at $100 in 1975, is down to around $4 for traditional silicon cells.  That price is expected to be cut in half over the next few months as new factories come on line.  Thin film cells, like those produced from nanosolar, are expect to crack $1 a watt next year, making them price-competitive with coal.  

And as Al says, for all of the above, the more we order the cheaper they get.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Another benefit from the Gore speech (19+ / 0-)

    Is that "But Kyoto has hardly any effect" and arguments like that go right out the window. The enemy decries any drastic measures, yet claims that watered-down plans, designed to appease them, will have little impact.

    With this, Gore is saying that we need to have a drastic effect, ASAP. Let's forget about appeasing the enemies of renewable energy from now on.

    Line in the sand.

    •  Solar is on the table. (9+ / 0-)

      A big part of the reason Republicans hope to paint Democrats as unfeeling is that they've gotten people to think that Solar Energy is too far in the future and Public Transit is "misery conservation."

      That Gore put Solar on the table and $4.00 gas made lots of people look into Public Transit makes it a lot easier for us to challenge that lie.

      I'm not asking you to take the country back, I'm asking you to take it forward-Van Jones.

      by Judge Moonbox on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:15:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Public transit does nothing but waste resources (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreyHawk

        Where public transit is feasible, it already exists.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:03:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tell me about it. (0+ / 0-)

          Do you expect me to believe that nothing stood in the way of public transit except the math in the budget decisions?

          That in no place did anyone think the reduced congestion was worth the extra taxes?

          That in no place did anyone desire to pay others to do their conserving for them?

          That nobody thought providing mobility services to the poor, disabled, and elderly would cut the welfare rolls?

          You've chosen to put "Skeptical" in your screen name, but you've shown no skepticism towards the Republican propaganda to maintain the oil-automobile monopoly.

          I'm not asking you to take the country back, I'm asking you to take it forward-Van Jones.

          by Judge Moonbox on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 06:30:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I expect you to believe facts.. (0+ / 0-)

            Running buses and trains around nearly empty does absolutely nothing for our environment.

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Jul 27, 2008 at 03:54:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What's the connection? (0+ / 0-)

              Between

              I expect you to believe facts..

              and

              Running buses and trains around nearly empty does absolutely nothing for our environment.

              I raised some specific questions, and you've addressed none of them. You just come up with a couple of Glittering Irrelevancies, and expect me to believe that somehow proves your point. It doesn't.

              I'm not asking you to take the country back, I'm asking you to take it forward-Van Jones.

              by Judge Moonbox on Sun Jul 27, 2008 at 06:10:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  BIG LINE (5+ / 0-)

      At last!!!

      And the best thing is that we can truthfully and enthusiastically sell this to the right wing fear crowd as a security measure for our national defense. As Gore said, Win (pollution vastly reduced), Win (jobs), Win (security)!

      I honestly can't see why all Dems aren't jumping in all over this, only the oddest of wingnuts don't see the beauty of being energy independent...

      Argue for your limitations and you own them - bach

      by dRefractor on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:24:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kyoto really is crap, and... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, socialist butterfly

      for being crap, it's starting to seem timid in some ways.

      The whole idea of renewable energy sources is really catching fire right now, with lots of work being done in cellulose to ethanol, but, more interestingly, algae to diesel and jet fuel.

      I discovered in a very direct way by the big difference things like compact flourescent lights, flat panel computer monitors, new more-efficient computers and appliances can make.

      We had run into trouble about 3 years back that left us behind on utility bills and having to pony up a deposit based on our two highest bills in the previous 12 months.  We recently got that back, and I realized that it was 50% higher than the two biggest bills in the last year.

      Amazing.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:23:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No argument here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney, Odysseus

        Most, I'm sure, recognize that Kyoto was incremental, not groundbreaking. That said, there is no weakness to any plan that is positioned as a stepping stone for greater changes. We have to stop using oil. Period. But we also have to replace it with something sustainable. We also have to reduce energy use in general through the measures you've stated (I've been caulking windows, for instance).

        No measure by itself will solve the problem, which is an absolute truth. Naysayers have used that complaint a lot to suggest that doing nothing would be better.

        Let's not suffer fools gladly. Let's not suffer fools at all.

        •  Doing nothing might not be the worst thing (0+ / 0-)

          we can do, but it's up there.

          There are lots of really good efforts being made that we can pursue aggressively without any negative impacts at all. To the extent that we don't do that, it's criminal.  

          Heck, dumb little things can pay back big.  

          My wife and I have each upped our gas mileage 10-15% percent just by paying a little more attention to traffic lights and the way we approach/leave them.  No hipermiling required.

          One big piece of news that seems to be getting lost is that big old gas-guzzling SUVs can save more than teensy-weensy gas-sippers.  Especially with the drop in used vehicle prices, lots of people can't turn and invest in a smaller car, but they can save a lot of gas.

          For example:  My ancient Prizm has gone from 30 to 34.5 mpg on my commute.  Good stuff, for sure, but it only saves 4.3 gallons per 1,000 miles.

          If I drove a 14 mpg SUV, and pumped it up a mere 10% to 15.4 mpg, the 1,000 mile savings would be 6.5 gallons.  Pump it up by the same 15% as my Prizm, and you'd save a whopping 9.3 gallons.

          Put another way:

          If you got a 15% discount on 4.00 gas, that would $3.40 a gallon.  Try to imagine the lines at a station selling gas at $3.40 a gallon while everybody else is selling at $4.00.

          Big stuff, even if it sounds small.

          Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

          by dinotrac on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09:44:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I was with a group of scientists last night (20+ / 0-)

    who were sadly laughing about Ford's earnings report and how we actively chose decline and disaster by not moving the mileage standards upwards long ago.

    Sigh.

  •  traning issue - need 75,000 techs (13+ / 0-)

    The country's best wind O&M school is right up the road from my hometown in Iowa ... they can do a hundred techs a year and the industry needs 75,000.

     We need a federal grant program to provide utility scale turbines ($3M+), facilities, and instructors to community colleges all over the country.

    http://strandedwind.org/...

  •  Funny that Texas (12+ / 0-)

    is the largest supplier of Windpower (from the wind turbines, don't be silly) in the nation, and aren't they investing in even more wind power? What happened to California, weren't they a progressive state that was feeling the energy crunch a decade ago???

    What happened?

    Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment. --Solomon Short

    by potty p on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:10:32 AM PDT

    •  science friday on burying emissions in under (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CalifSherry, rhubarb

      ocean caves?
      didn't hear it, but heard the teaser...
      http://www.sciencefriday.com/...

      Deep-Sea Carbon Sequestration (broadcast Friday, July 25th, 2008)
      What if you could take CO2, pump it down a deep hole in the sea floor and turn it into something harmless? New research suggests the idea is not so far-fetched. David Goldberg, Taro Takahashi and Angela Slagle of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory published a study on the subject in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. (Credits: Cover image courtesy of Shiny Things/flickr. Filmed and produced by Flora Lichtman.) See More Videos

      Could porous rocks deep in the ocean floor be a place to stash unwanted carbon dioxide? While researchers are trying to develop ways to scrub unwanted carbon dioxide from industrial and power plant emissions, the problem of what to do with the captured CO2 is a tricky one. Some have proposed injecting the gas deep into oil wells, while others suggest chemical ways to convert the gas into a solid form that could be buried. Now, scientists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory suggest that undersea basalt formations some 8,000 feet under the ocean off the shore of the Pacific Northwest could absorb up to 120 years worth of US CO2 emissions. Their work was reported last week in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In this segment, we'll talk with one of the researchers behind the proposal about how it might work.

  •  Think of it as haggling at the market (3+ / 0-)

    or setting a price at ebay.

    We have got to set the bar high. Do we even know if we have until 2020? What will things  be like by then? Will the pole melt every summer? Likely. Will there be even more natural disasters? Likely.

    and this is if we do act.

    An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind.

    by rini6 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:16:59 AM PDT

    •  It is always about negotiation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, GreyHawk, A Siegel

      Yes. This is what the repubs have always done. You offer them a carrot, and they demand the string, the stick, and the arm holding it. Gore has obviously learned that you win nothing from these people by giving concessions.

      Hear that, congress? Hear that, Sen. Obama? You win nothing by giving concessions. Set the bar high.

  •  End the occupation in Iraq (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalifSherry, GreyHawk, JeffW, skillet

    And all the corporate welfare. Once we stop borrowing the money to do such unnecessary things, we could then use it to fully develop alternative energy. As much as I don't like borrowing the money, at least it would be a major investment that would pay us back. Bush's borrowing is nothing more than throwing money into a bonfire with no return whatsoever.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:17:31 AM PDT

  •  We need the excitement of a national (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Devilstower, Odysseus, litho, GreyHawk

    project that will require pulling together.  The Moon race was good---while it lasted.

    Having a hard goal that we MUST meet has to be one of the best things going for this country.

    A thought:  to help fund small projects and maybe large ones, raise the top marginal income tax rate to 90-92%.  Lose most of the loopholes.  Use local bonds to fund solar cells and water heating for homes.   low return, but tax free.  If the people making huuuuuuge sums of money aren't going to be paying taxes, we might as well get something out of it.

    Remember- when the Republicans start accusing others of doing something they consider awful, it is because they are doing it and trying to cover it.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:17:47 AM PDT

  •  I listen to Science Friday on NPR (6+ / 0-)

    which regularly has programs about renewable energy. We have the technology to do this NOW, we just don't have the political will.  It is so frustrating that we aren't doing the stuff the scientists and engineers already know how to do.  I hope Al Gore can help us develop the collective political will.  I know he is trying.

    C'est une des superstitions de l'esprit humain d'avoir imaginé que la virginité pouvait être une vertu. --Voltaire

    by pateTX on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:21:31 AM PDT

    •  We HAVE the political will (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stagemom, GreyHawk, JeffW

      Only the fossil fuel companies have Republicans and a few bad Democrats on the payroll, Bush and Cheney as sockpuppets, and a private security and tendrils and pipelines into the armed forces and Defense contractors as their coconspirators.

      First you define your enemy. Then you move against him or her, or them as a group.

      The enemy isn't "lack" of will, or unwillingness to do it. It is 30 years of complacency, of thinking progress is natural and will get done of its own accord, of not recognizing a tiny handful of scum are actively leeching off the American people and growing rich on our suffering.If you cannot see that and want to stay passive in this, it won't get fixed. Gore and even Pickens sent a warning shot across the bow of the fossil fuel gunboat. It is up to us to reload and get ready to SINK that gunboat.

      In one respect the theft of the 2000, 2004 elections and naked greed of Cheney and Bush and their fossil fueled and minded patrons was like an inoculation against the  disease of passively trusting our elites to watch out for us. Time to dump them and do it the hard way.

      John McCain: a survivor, not a hero. Just ask his first wife. He had his chance to be a hero and blew it.

      by Pete Rock on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:36:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just goes to show what a little (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom, GreyHawk, A Siegel

    political power can do.

    For average citizens to request 25% renewable electrical in fifteen years is a reach -- edging on to the outer fringes of acceptable political debate.

    When Al Gore, with his powerpoint tour, movie, and book behind him, proposes 100% within ten years, we take it seriously.  We assess costs, benefits, viability.  We compare to Kennedy's moonshot challenge.

    We wonder how it can be done, and start working to make it happen.

    Political power.  It sure gets things done.

  •  Bernie Sanders currently on a rant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, socialist butterfly

    in the senate.....he must be from a cold state!

  •  Vic Sprouse (7+ / 0-)

    Former Senate Minority leader and rightwing blogger (also a chickenhawk, but I repeat myself) Vic Sprouse, now a GOP consultant, claims Gore's statement is going to  cost Obama a loss by 25 points. Here was my reply on West Virginia Blue

    ...

    Vic Sprouse, who predicted fellow Republican serial adulterer Rudy Guiliani would be the next president of the United States and he's now a "motivational speaker," is now predicting John McCain will win West Virginia by 25 points.

    Other forecasts made by Sprouse: each of his 22 marriages would be the last, victory would be achieved in Iraq in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, the Republicans would win enough victories to take over the State House and Capitol Hill in 2006, George W. Bush would go down in history as a great president and WVU Mountaineer Coach Turncoat Rich Rodriguez would win his legal fight.

    WhooHoo!

    We should just call Sprouse's predictions the Sprouse Curse.

    UPDATE:

    It is amusing how after Sprouse writes a blog post that tries to tie Barack Obama to all of Al Gore's positions since he's his "advisor" that Sprouse spends the very next column whining that Gazette columnist Phil Kabler ties Sprouse's candidates to Sprouse's less-than-pro-family values since Sprouse is their political advisor.

    Sprouse should take it up with Gary Abernathy, who played the "guilt by association" card earlier this summer.

    Here's what Kabler wrote July 14:

    Republican attorney general candidate Dan Greear might want to rethink his choice of campaign consultant, given the outrage over the latest chapter of the Vic Sprouse - Amy McKinley divorce saga.

    Seems Sprouse is trying to get his child-support payments reduced on the grounds that his son, Maxwell, who has CHARGE syndrome, is not in a vegetative state.

    Sprouse also has a contempt hearing pending for failing to pay alimony.

    While that fight has nothing to do with Greear, I've had several people tell me they won't consider voting for him as long as Sprouse is affiliated with the campaign.

    If Greear is running on a pro-adultery, pro-child abandonment platform, I see no reason why he should fire Sprouse. The same with Jonathan Miller and the other Republicans who have hired him. Some might question them for taking anti-family stances, but that's their business. Because under Sprouse's own rules, what ever position he takes as their advisor should count against them completely.

    Sprouse had just claimed in the previous post to his whining one that Gore's position on coal (Sprouse left out the part where Gore said every person employed in coal mining should be guaranteed a job in the clean-fuel industry) would cost Obama the election by 25 points in West Virginia.

    Surely Sprouse isn't adding hypocrisy to all of his many other sins and saying the people he advice as a paid consultant should be held to a different standard than the very standard he had just set for Obama?

    We were able to obtain videotape from the NSA of Sprouse at his home telling PHIL KABLER TO LEAVE HIM ALONE! Warning, Vic is very emotional here and some might not consider his appeal to Kabler as safe for work.

    Now that is creepy!

    And no, I don't know why he keeps referring to himself as Britney. Strange, though.

    Thrice is he armed who hath his quarrel just. Sherlock Holmes.

    by Carnacki on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:34:59 AM PDT

  •  I don't see 2018 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, GreyHawk

    I don't think that goal can be pulled off without building new nuclear power plants and we don't want to rush those.  There may be places where regulation needs to be modernized to account for new reactor types but deregulation in the name of expediency is not the way to go.

    There's yet to be a storage solution for renewables that overcomes the baseload problem.   I'm not as knowledgeable about this as a lot of people but it's always been my impression that the real technological blocker is batteries.

    ---
    Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

    by VelvetElvis on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:39:16 AM PDT

    •  According to the figures in the story (0+ / 0-)

      for $87 billion we can replace more than a third of current carbon-produced electricity from wind power alone.  If we spend twice that -- which may entail a federal push to reconvert some industry -- we may be able to get even more electricity from wind.

      Solar is pushed for major advances, especially as the cost comes down for both traditional solar cells and the nano technology used in film cells.  Raw materials for solar may start becoming scarce, but once we start putting real money into investment and start realizing economies of scale, it will explode exponentially.

      I don't see that nuclear necessarily has to be part of the mix.  If we as a nation approach converting to renewables in the same way we approached fighting World War II -- that is, as if our very lives depended on it -- our economy has more than enough resilience to respond effectively.

      •  figures are way off (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        There is no way that $87 billion in wind turbines can produce 1,015 billion kwh per year.  At a 30% capacity factor, each wind turbine would need to be 2MW to produce that much power, but $87 billion means a cost of only $451k each, which is $225/kW which is most likely one tenth the actual cost.  The numbers are somehow messed up....

    •  Putting a man on the moon is impossible nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel

      Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal. Drop by and support the Human Agenda

      by k9disc on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09:09:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  before the moon shots (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        we had men in space.  We knew how to make rockets.  The technology existed so getting to the moon was largely an engineering problem.  We knew what to do we just didn't know how to do it.  

        What we face now is both a technological and an engineering problem.

        We're nowhere close to a battery design capable of maintaining baseload.  We know neither what to do nor how to do it.  Look at how hard it's been just to find a battery design capable of powering a car for 60 miles.

        For the moon shot we made one rocket.  We're talking about millions of batteries. It's like JFK announcing he wanted to have moon rockets in mass production in ten years.  There are supply chain issues.  The factories will have to be built to build the batteries. New manufacturing techniques will have to be invented to make the battery nobody knows how to make.  Custom software will have to be written.  The scope is vastly larger than it was for the moon shot.

        I find the attitude "we put a man on the moon, we can do anything" to be irrational and slightly irresponsible. It's definitely not reality based.  It's dangerously close to the "get 'er done" mentality that lead to the debacle Iraq.

        ---
        Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

        by VelvetElvis on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09:43:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I will once (8+ / 0-)

    again make a plea regarding air conditioning efficiency.

    Across the South and West the single biggest use of electricity is air conditioning.  If you replace over a period of 10 years ac units with at least a 20 SEER, you would cut electricity use for AC by a substantial amount - maybe by half.

    Happily, AC units are still made in the US, so if you offered large tax credits to buy them, you would also be creating a substantial amount of jobs.

    This just seems so easy to me, and yet I seldom see it in lists of energy plans....

    •  well... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel

      I'm a big fan of replacing old air conditioners in homes with large cooling loads, but the SEER 20 units don't actually work at SEER 20...it's sort of a minor scam in the design of units that test well but don't really perform that well.  Those units also cost a lot more money than one with a rated SEER of 14 that actually perform close to their rating.  

      Also, the air conditioning load is only about one third the residential electric usage even in a place like Phoenix.  So even if you could couble their efficiency, that's just about a 16% savings in usage.  There are better investments for saving 16% of usage in most homes...

  •  If we lead... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, GreyHawk, A Siegel, lurks a lot

    the American people will come on board.  I've been on the street 5-6 nights a week knocking doors, talking to people-- R's, D's, I's, anybody who is registered.  I initially get a good deal of flack from the Fox News listeners with their drill, drill, drill mentality, but I persist with a combination of the EA 2006, Pickens, and my own idea plans.  People become excited by it because it hits real American concerns: Jobs, energy prices, getting to work, national security, economic security, etc. Above these things, the most powerful component is that it gets US back to OUR roots: building things, building wealth, building long-term prosperity.  Energy and its connection to the Economy is THE issue for this election year.  I would love to work with the kos community to update the EA 2006 plan to address current realities, challenges, and possibilities.  

    join me at http://www.tonybarr2008.com

    by Tony Barr PA09 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:46:57 AM PDT

  •  I thought Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, A Siegel

    might have said something in his speech about the economic growth possible from greening our energy. He could have used Germany as an example, and in doing so given the American journalists over there a great story idea.

  •  The time to start is now. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, A Siegel

    We've been waiting for a long time to save our future. We can do it -- and we'd better!

    Find out the latest in the global warming fight at Wonk Room!

    by The Cunctator on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 07:51:45 AM PDT

  •  Before we leap, we should uncover suppressed tech (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk

    We obviously have to get off fossil fuels and fast. However, there is plenty of evidence that suppressed energy and propulsion technologies have the capability to do much much more for us than solar and wind.

    There is one person who knows the truth, and his name is Dr. Steven M Greer. He has interviewed hundreds of witnesses from the military, intelligence and coroporate areas. Google him or the Disclosure Project.

    This subject is considered too controversial for politicians or corporate executives to mention on their own. Only if people take it upon themselves to learn and demand action, will progress in stopping suppression of new technology be made. Please consider thinking/researching outside the box on new energy technology.

    •  woo woo alert (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CalifSherry, RunawayRose, NRG Guy

      This Dr Steven Greer is a kookjob who thinks that the US Government is hiding captured flying saucer engines that could provide us with unlimited free energy.

      Seriously.

      No joke.

      (sigh)  I thank God every day that while the rightwing kooks get to run the EPA, our kooks just get laughed at.

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:15:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Community Choice Aggregation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, A Siegel, Batensmack

    In my California county, we are mobilizing as Marin Clean Energy, whereby the cities and county would bypass the Pacific Gas & Electric's energy purchasing function and buy direct.

    When we succeed, we'll greatly reduce CO2 emissions from buildings (air conditioning, heating, lighting) which will have a greater impact than anything else we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and we will shift the energy portfolio away from oil, away from coal, away from nuclear and stimulate more clean renewables.

    Marin Clean Energy has the support of much of our county board of supervisors which translates to a steady source of sound information.

    This is a big deal.

  •  NOT possible without more nuclear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9, GreyHawk, TheFreeFallingDollar

    That's about 53 windmills a day for ten years, which hardly seems impossible across the whole country.

    Oh really?  Cost-wise.. yes.. I can see doing it.. but 53 windmills per day? 7 days a week?

    There is no where near the production levels for that.. and even if you had a crash program for creating windmill factories, how many years does that chew up?

    The easiest way to get there is start building nuclear plants now, along with the wind and solar projects.  If we could get to 50-60% nuclear, especially in parts of the country where wind and/or solar is not feasible, we might be able to do the rest with renewables in ten years.

    Without nuclear, it's a pipe dream.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:00:42 AM PDT

    •  NUCLEAR, NUCLEAR, NUCLEAR (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, GreyHawk

      The only way out without returning to the dark ages!

      •  NO, NO, NO. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Or if we do, tell you what--we bury the radioactive waste in your backyard.

        If you support nukes so much, it should be a slam-dunk for you.

        And you won't even need street lights!  LOL

        John McCain--Anti-choice and anti-woman!

        by Sharoney on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:54:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lethal toxic waste from solar technology (0+ / 0-)

           I will happily accept my lifetime share of nuclear waste (about 1/4 of a cup) to be buried in my back yard if you will accept your lifetime share of the far more toxic and longer-lived byproducts of solar technology.

          The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

          by Plan9 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09:54:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You distorted the point of the linked article, (0+ / 0-)

            which was that Chinese manufacturing practices, which lack governmental oversight on worker safety and waste disposal, are the culprit.

            The result of all these new polysilicon plants in China, in addition to supplying the growing worldwide need for solar panels, is a set of serious environmental problems, mainly for poor Chinese villagers who populate the rural areas where Chinese chemical plants spring up. These (and other Chinese chemical plants) plants are typically located outside normal tourist routes, and operate outside the law, or outside the stated laws and policies of the Chinese National Government.

            In fact, the article you linked to states flatly,

            The specific problem with polysilicon manufacture is the byproduct SiCl4 (silicon tetrachloride) which can be recycled and processed safely, as is done by “developed nations.”

            My emphasis.

            Next time try not to misrepresent the article you are citing, please. It undermines your rebuttal.

            John McCain--Anti-choice and anti-woman!

            by Sharoney on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 10:08:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then don't buy products with Chinese polysilicon (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think you will be able to furnish your house with solar technology without some of it coming from China.  Silicon is in high demand and the Chinese are providing it.

              We are supporting the evil policies of the Chinese manufacturers/state.  Just as we are supporting the emissions of fine particulates from the coal-fired plants that supply 51% of US electricity and result in the deaths of 24,000 Americans per year.  

              If you want to talk about toxic waste, you need to look at the whole picture of energy generation and its risks and benefits.

              But I doubt if you will take the trouble, because you have an ideology that does not seem to permit making science-based comparisons.

              The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

              by Plan9 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 02:22:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

                But I doubt if you will take the trouble, because you have an ideology that does not seem to permit making science-based comparisons.

                Sorry, you know nothing about me, so your would-be zinger about my supposed ideology is an epic fail, to use the current vernacular.

                But your posts make it obvious that you like moving goalposts whenever you can't rebut a fact found in in your own cited source.

                So, was your original comment actually about SiCl4, which the article you cited says can be dealt with safely in direct contradiction to your assertion, or the fact that we are supporting the Chinese economy?

                You really should decide what argument you want to make before you post. Otherwise you just look foolish.

                John McCain--Anti-choice and anti-woman!

                by Sharoney on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:41:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  that's pretty funny -nt (0+ / 0-)

            Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

            by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 02:07:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  the nuclear industry has made the same (4+ / 0-)

      old promises to us for fifty years now.

      It hasn't delivered on a single one of them.

      And it won't this time, either.

      Nor has it solved any of the problems that killed it the FIRST time around -- the disposal problem, the proliferation problem, the fact that it's horribly expensive and can only keep its head above water through creative accounting that doesn't include ALL the costs (such as waste disposal).

      Germany DEVELOPED much of the new nuclear technology -- and has decided not to go with it.

      I won't even mention the fact that uranium resources aren't any more renewable than oil is, so even nukes are not a viable longterm solution.

      Nuclear has been dead for decades.  For good reasons.  

      It should STAY dead.

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:10:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's nuclear, and there's nuclear (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George, Odysseus, A Siegel, Batensmack

      John McCain pushes nuclear energy, and the wingnuts like to point to France's 75% nuclear power. I have news for them:

      France didn't do it by giving out all kinds of no-bid contracts to a bunch of 'self-regulating' Bechtels in the nuclear industry so that a handful of tycoons could rake in barrels of cash while workers got sick, corners were cut, and communities were imperiled. You can bet the right wing nuclear idea is something like that.

      Instead, France used a huge public utility that managed the design and oversaw the building process with the supervision of the government. The buildout was paid for using an awful lot of new tax money.

      Does anyone think that's what McCain has in mind?

      •  So, you're saying Obama can't do it right? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        Not sure what you are saying here.. .Are you saying McCain is the only one that will do nuclear?  (I think that IS the case, btw.. I have a feeling Obama only gives lip service to nuclear because he knows the fringe element in the Dem party will never allow another nuke plant to be built in the US)

        But, why not do it just like France did?

        Or, even better, build smaller, modular nuke plants that are much safer?

        As far as cost goes..  What are the costs of dumping millions of tons of coal waste into the atmosphere every year?

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09:20:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (0+ / 0-)

          I was only pointing out that McCain is a hypocrite on this issue, too. Because while he talks about France, there is no way he would actually do it their way.

          I have no idea where Obama really is on nuclear power. We could certainly get ideas from the French on how it is done, and he is the only candidate willing to talk to other countries...

      •  SUCH a good point... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, A Siegel

        ...only public nuclear plants serve the public good.

        •  I wasn't actually saying that (0+ / 0-)

          I did not mean to advocate for either method of building hundreds of nuclear plants. Just pointing out that McCain talks about French nuclear power, but would turn whiter than he already is if he actually looked at the method.

          I don't think the plants are a good idea either way.

    •  That's less than 200,000 windnills all told (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel, Batensmack

      Is there a comparable ramp-up of production in the past for the USA?  In 1937, we produced about 3,000 planes - by 1945, we had produced well over 250,000!  We did it in eight years, in response to the crisis that was WWII - this is no less a crisis...

  •  while reading this i am listening to the (6+ / 0-)

    hearing held by Energy committe, under chairpeople Lieberman and Collins with T. Boone Pickens.  His plan, that he is forcefully promoting is similar to that put forward by Gore, differing in details. he advocates total withrawal from foreign oil, a massive plan like the man on the moon, or eisnhower's interstate highway efforts to transform to wind power. He advocates a ten year moratorium on the production tax credit, massive investment in wind turbines, his goal on the surface is more achievable than Gore's, more like 30 percent of energy from wind in 10 years, he advocates natural gas cars but   doesn't discount electric cars, continued use of natural gas in the east and other areas of industry where it is dominant, but weaning off home heating oil. He also favours offshore wind power as well as offshore oil drilling.

    His main thrust is getting off foreign oil as he points out rightly that America is actually funding its enemies wars with us by buying their oil.  he points out how much further advanced Erope is than America.

    It is interesting to see the difference in the congress's attitude towards a private citizen. It seems that they don't have much faith in the ability of government to get things done either.  Finally people seem at least to be listening. One of the important things is to get rid of some of the backward looking neanderthals in the Senate and House. Sen. Stevens for one.  That seems to me to be a priority in this ocming election as well as electing a Democrat in the White house. It is essential to start electing people who understand the long term objectives for all the American people not just their own constituents.  That necessitates a quantam leap in tninking of both eelectorate and their elected officials.  one for all, all for one indeed.

    •  T. Boone Pickens... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      socialist butterfly

      ...put my grandpa out of work (forced retirement from Phillips Petroleum) during the white oil, Texas S&L mess of the 80s, which is where he made his money.  I like his plan, but I am wary of the messenger.

      •  ...probably owns a ton of land (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney, Odysseus, Batensmack

        on which to build these wind farms. My suspicion. Not that this should discount the effect of his intentions. He is a capitalist recognizing a growing trend, which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

        It would have been nice if GM and Ford had done that years ago. Holy hell, am I defending Pickens (wrist slap)?

      •  In my life work of media and communications (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel, Batensmack

        my mantra is 'consider the source'.  I have absolutely no illusions that Pickens is doing this out of altruism but i wouldn't discount his ideas on that basis.

        A major shift towards wind and solar energy as advocated by Gore and Pickens will require tremendous resources and human energy power.  I have no doubt either than there will be major winners and losers in what needs to be a global effort, that is the way of the world.  The winner hopefully will be the planet itself.  

      •  Even if he makes out like a bandit (0+ / 0-)

        it's a step in the right direction.

        Just because the messenger stands to gain, does not make the message wrong.

        All the news that scares us silly: postapocology.com

        by mwmwm on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 04:58:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  192,000 windmills is STUPID (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk

    Lets just cut up all our birds in these blades.  These work maybe 1/3 the time and will cause massive spikes in the power grid.  They will destroy the natural beauty of our vistas and in 2030 we will be tearing them all down!

    The French have successfully used nuclear and so should we.  

    •  I Strongly Disagree (7+ / 0-)

      There have been studies (often provided by Jerome A Paris) regarding the intermittency issue.

      The RPMs of the latest turbines are sufficiently low that wildlife issues are not much of a concern.  

      How many birds are dying from inhaling coal plant exhaust?

      Nuclear will take too long to use it exclusively...and it's too expensive.

      Natural vistas?  How many Nuclear cooling towers will we need?  I find those much less attractive than wind turbines.

      •  All right lets destroy your vista first! (0+ / 0-)
        •  because EVERYONE enjoys looking at (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharoney, Brooke In Seattle, geez53

          nuclear power plants and radwaste dumpsites.

          Right?

          (sigh)

          Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

          by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:19:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If they let you even get close enough. (0+ / 0-)

            Touché, Lenny.

            John McCain--Anti-choice and anti-woman!

            by Sharoney on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:52:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Relatively few people have even seen a nuclear (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bryfry

            plant or radwaste dumpsite (at Yucca Mountain the spent fuel would be stored underground anyway). For the amount of power they generate, nuclear plants don't take up much space. Wind turbines, on the other hand, are hard to miss in the areas they are built (not that there are lots of people typically living where turbines are built, which is part of the problem - the power generally needs to be transmitted hundreds of miles to where the demand is).

            Personally, wind turbines don't bother me, but there are those who object to putting them on forested ridge lines in New England and in Cape Cod.

            Right?

            (sigh)

            •  Snort. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              geez53, Batensmack

              For the amount of power they generate, nuclear plants don't take up much space.

              Right. Just ask the folks who USED to live near Chernobyl.

              John McCain--Anti-choice and anti-woman!

              by Sharoney on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:59:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Or the Oak Ridge Boys... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sharoney, geez53

                ...their town is gone and instead there's a power plant...

              •  That's like saying responding to an argument that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9, Batensmack

                the Goodyear blimp is safe by retorting, "Sure, just ask the people on the Hindenburg." Not relevant. Of course you could have said something like "Sure, just ask the folks who STILL live near Three Mile Island" but obviously that wouldn't have the impact you were aiming for.

              •  Our power reactors are nothing like Chernobyl (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Batensmack

                That reactor was made of graphite, which burns.  Our reactors are of an entirely different design.

                Also, our reactors are housed in thick-walled containment buildings.  Chernobyl was not.

                Chernobyl was designed to produce bomb plutonium.  Our commercial reactors are not.

                Even though Chernobyl was a horrible disaster, the death toll remains less than 60 after 22 years.

                The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

                by Plan9 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 10:03:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  our reactors are more like Three Mile Island (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sharoney

                  remember how safe and steady they kept telling us THAT one was . . . . ?

                  Like I dsaid, the nuclear industry has made all SORTS of promises, for 50 years.  "Too cheap to meter" . . . remember that one?

                  They've not delivered on a single promise that they made.

                  Not a one.

                  And they won't this time, either.

                  Nuclear has been dead for decades.  For good reasons.  And it should STAY dead.

                  Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                  by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 01:48:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Too cheap to meter" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Plan9

                    wasn't about uranium fission. It was about hydrogen fusion.

                    Safety, whether we are talking about automobiles, medicines, or nuclear power plants, is measurable and relative. Today's American cars, with their air bags, crumple zones and improved suspensions, can be shown to be safer than the models that were produced in the 70's and safer than Russian cars. But they aren't "safe" in the sense that people don't still die in them. Few things in life are completely harmless. When new drugs are evaluated, they generate all manner of statistics regarding complications and effectiveness and judgements are made balancing their risks against the potential benefits. Again, when a drug is declared "safe" it isn't meant in an absolute sense. The safety of western-designed nuclear power plants can also be measured. Judging from past performance (the public death toll currently stands at 0), they stack up pretty well against Soviet-designed nuclear plants (greater than 0) and coal-fired plants.

                    If nuclear power was "dead" it wouldn't still be generating close to 20% of our electricity. If it was "dead" there wouldn't be applications for over a dozen new reactors already in the pipeline.

                    The only thing dead is your empty dogmatic rhetoric.

                    •  no, it was about nuclear fission (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sharoney

                      "Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter," he declared.   ...    "It is not too much to expect that our children will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history, will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age."

                       Lewis L. Strauss
                       Speech to the National Association of Science Writers, New York City, September 16th, 1954
                       [New York Times, September 17, 1954]

                      I've been fighting nuclear power plants since the 70's.  And the crap I hear today is the very same crap, word for word, that I heard thirty years ago.  The nuclear lobby couldn't deliver on any of its promises then.  It can't deliver on any of their promises now.  That's why nuclear power has been dead for decades. Deservedly so.  And I am very happy to once again fight to keep it that way.

                      And if nuclear power isn't dead now, why do you need to argue so loudly for it.

                      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                      by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 04:28:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The word "fission" appears nowhere in the quote. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Plan9

                        However, it clearly states in Strauss' biography, No Sacrifice Too Great: The Life of Lewis Strauss, page 187:

                        "And if continuing research into the fusion reaction could unlock the secret of the controlled thermonuclear chain reaction, which would make the plentiful and cheap element hydrogen into a reactor fuel, the, as Strauss predicted in a hopeful speech ten days after the ground-breaking at Shippingport, "it is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter."

                        Emphasis mine.

                        If you want further proof, you need only read the authorized history of fusion by Joan Bromberg and about Strauss' obsession with Project Sherwood, as the early fusion program was called.

                        •  Thanks for posting this info (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Blubba

                          Not that those who are paid by Greenpeace to blog its standard anti-nuclear talking points or who like to blog them for free will take note that Strauss wasn't referring to light-water reactor commercial power plants.

                          In fact nuclear power is enjoying a worldwide renaissance, with Italy and other European countries considering new plants or planning to upgrade and maintain the old ones and with China and India ordering reactors for new plants.  

                          France, which gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power, has one of the lowest per capita carbon footprints in the industrialized world.

                          It remains a mystery to me why people prefer hating nuclear power because of very old and usually wrong ideas to seeing how much it alleviates the greenhouse gas problem.  And it interests me to see just how much coal people are willing to burn by using electricity to go online to denounce nuclear power.

                          The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

                          by Plan9 on Sun Jul 27, 2008 at 10:11:59 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  correct me if I'm wrong . . . (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sharoney

                      but when a pharmaceutical product proves to be "unsafe", it doesn't make half the state uninhabitable for decades, does it . . . . ?

                      If they're so safe and reliable, why then do the owners of nuclear power plants fight with every fiber of their being to avoid being responsible for the costs if there is an accident?

                      What are they so afraid of?  Why can't they just say, "Yes, by golly, if my nuclear power plant malfunctions and contaminates half the state, I'll be happy to foot the bill for the cleanup."

                      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                      by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 04:31:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You are wrong (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Plan9

                        Three Mile Island taught us a lot about how radionuclides behave following an accident at a light water reactor (which is totally different than at highly flammable Soviet reactors). Much of the Iodine-131, for example would remain in solution and other isotopes simply plate out on metal surfaces. Unlike Chernobyl, which had no containment and several tons of graphite as an energy source to loft fission products into the atmosphere, releases from a light water reactor would be localized.

                        Nuclear plants currently have  ten-mile emergency planning zones. If you think you have a technical basis for why "half the state" would need to be evacuated instead, you should propose such a requirement to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and if they failed to act on it you could sue the NRC for not fulfilling its mandate under the Atomic Energy Reorganization Act to protect the public health and safety. You'd be a friggin' anti-nuclear hero. Actually, many plants have recently performed Alternate Source Term evaluations that are more realistic than what has been used in the past that provide a basis for many plants to reduce their EPZ to 2 miles or less (although the NRC will not entertain such proposals, presumably to avoid the political firestorm from the ignorant anti-nukes that would ensue).

                        Far from avoiding responsibility for the costs of an accident, the nuclear industry is on the hook for close to $10 billion in the event of an accident per the Price Anderson Act and Congress has reserved the right to require nuclear utilities to cough up even more. Conversely, the airline industry was retroactively shielded from full liability in the wake of their poor passenger screening and other practices that led to 9/11 .  Lately Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and several large banks had their butts pulled out of the fire by the Feds rather than allow them to take full responsibility for their screw ups. To date, the nuclear industry has footed all their liability claims without help from the government. But you have a point. All liability is limited (the limits of your car and home policies are clearly spelled out) and arguments have been made that utilities should do what other business do and limit themselves to the max coverage they can purchase on the open market (about $300 million) and let the government bail them out if any losses exceeded that amount. I seems to be the American way.

                    •  by the way (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sharoney

                      thermonuclear weapons have never killed anybody either.  (shrug)

                      Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

                      by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 04:32:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  I knew I just should have said "Apple Pie!" (0+ / 0-)
        •  it's all in the eyes of the beholders, isn't it? (5+ / 0-)

          personally, I think windmills are beautiful, and the turn of their blades eerily graceful, especially when I consider the good that they are doing.

          The Morris branch of the University of Minnesota, which is near the South Dakota border, has a huge windmill. It provides a quarter of the campus's energy; they have plans to build 2 more, and to be entirely energy self-sufficient by the year 2010.

          When I last made a trip out there, the first after the windmill had been built, I drove through the sorrounding rolling farmland, and came around a hill to see that huge windmill, its blades making a haunting whoosh as they turned, cows grazing at its foot, and a stream lazing by-- well, I got goosebumps. It was that spectacular.

        •  Better idea, let's SEE the vista (6+ / 0-)

          In LA they can see the mountains surrounding the city less than half the time. Let's say they use electric cars running on wind power instead, and I'm pretty sure nobody would mind seeing the mountains most of the time, even if there were windmills on them.

      •  1 reactor can keep 3 million electric cars/day (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mojo workin, A Siegel

        running.

        Nuclear plants have less environmental impact and a far smaller footprint than wind or solar arrays.

        We need all three resources.  But keep in mind that a wind farm operates at 30% capacity and a nuclear plant at over 90% capacity.  A typical nuclear plant takes up about a third of a square mile.  You'd need 300,000 acres to plant wind turbines in huge plugs of concrete to make the equivalent amount of electricity.  The land between the concrete plugs could be farmed or whatever.  But as Jerome a Paris points out, wind power=heavy industry.

        The IPCC predicts average global temperatures to rise enough by 2050 to put 20-30% of all species at risk for extinction.

        by Plan9 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 10:00:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, let's ask the people who live near it what (0+ / 0-)

          they think of the nuclear footprint:

          http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080711/wl_afp/franceaccidentnuclear_080711162031

          French nuclear facility to shut down after uranium leak Fri Jul 11, 12:20 PM ET

          LYON, France (AFP) - French authorities ordered Friday the temporary closure of a nuclear treatment plant in a popular tourist region of southern France after a uranium leak polluted the local water supply.

          But site operator Socatri, a subsidiary of French nuclear giant Areva, said it would permanently shut down the facility at the Tricastin nuclear plant in Provence as part of a previously-planned upgrade.

          France's ASN nuclear safety authority cited a "series of faults and human negligence that is not acceptable" when it ordered the closure following an inspection at the plant on Thursday.

          Residents in the Vaucluse region have been told not to drink water or eat fish from nearby rivers since the leak on Monday night, in which 75 kilogrammes (165 pounds) of untreated liquid uranium spilled into the ground.

          Swimming and water sports were also forbidden as was irrigation of crops with the contaminated water.

          ASN said it would recommend to local councils that the precautionary measures remain in place for at least a week.

          Part of France's popular Provence summer tourist destination, the Vaucluse draws legions of holidaymakers to its picturesque towns.

          One of France's 58 nuclear plants, Tricastin is located in Bollene, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the city of Avignon, which is currently hosting a major theatre festival.

          Socatri said it would shut down the facility -- one of two at the nuclear treatment plant -- in the coming weeks.

          "We take note of the ASN's decision," said Socatri spokesman Hugues Blacher. "We will take steps to ensure that this type of incident does not happen again."

          The ASN severely criticised Socatri's handling of the crisis, saying it had been too slow to inform authorities following the incident, local ASN head Charles-Antoine Louet told reporters.

          A safety inspection carried out on Thursday found that "security steps aimed at preventing any further pollution were not completely satisfactory," according to an ASN statement.

          The ASN also detected a series of "irregularities" at the site's operations at the time of the incident, and has ordered Socatri to implement "a reinforced surveillance plan including analysis of the surrounding rivers and ground water."

          The ASN said its report would be handed to the state prosecutor for possible legal action against Socatri, which was singled out by the safety body in May over "repeated leaks" last year in the site's waste water evacuation system.

          The leakage this week occurred when liquid was transferred from one container to another at the Tricastin site, which has a nuclear reactor as well as a radioactive treatment plant.

          Socatri said Wednesday that tests carried out on the groundwater, three local wells and the rivers had shown "no abnormal elements" and French Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo insisted Thursday there was "no imminent danger" to the local population.

          But the ASN this week found abnormal levels of radiation in several rivers and lakes in the region although these were found to be decreasing.

          The incident at Tricastin ranked as a level-one incident on the seven-point scale to rank nuclear accidents.

          French anti-nuclear group Sortir du nucleaire (End nuclear power) had accused Areva of withholding information about the spill and "deliberately putting the population at risk."

          On Thursday, it said it would lodge a complaint against the ASN for failing to quickly notify the population of the incident.

          The 75 kilogrammes of untreated uranium amounts to 6.26 cubic metres of liquid containing 12 grammes of uranium per litre, according to Socatri.

          http://www.ieer.org/comments/waste/chen-prl.html

          PRESS RELEASE
          Vice-President Cheney Wrong About French Nuclear Repository Program, Independent Institute Asserts

          French Public's Opposition to Nuclear Waste Repositories as Deep as that in the United States

          Washington, D.C.: Vice-President Cheney's claim that France has a safe and environmentally sound repository for burying radioactive waste generated by nuclear power plants is wrong, according to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), an independent non-profit group that has published numerous technical reports, books, and papers on nuclear waste management and related issues.

          In a May 8 interview with CNN on the Bush administration's proposed energy policy, the Vice-President said: "Right now we've got waste piling up at reactors all over the country. Eventually, there ought to be a permanent repository. The French do this very successfully and very safely in an environmentally sound, sane manner. We need to be able to do the same thing."

          "The facts regarding the French repository program contradict Vice-President Cheney," said Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president of IEER, who has written widely on nuclear waste issues. "France has no repository, and their siting program faces huge domestic opposition. The controversy that surrounds waste management is a thorn in the side of the French nuclear industry."

          The French government's schedule for a repository, like the U.S. schedule, is far too rapid for a careful scientific investigation required for estimating repository performance over hundreds of thousands of years, according to IEER. Later this year, the U.S. government hopes to declare the proposed Yucca Mountain repository site in Nevada suitable for disposing of radioactive waste, despite serious unresolved questions. The earliest U.S. government projection for opening the proposed repository is 2010. The earliest government-projected French repository opening date is 2015. Both programs have faced intense opposition.

          The first opposition in France surfaced in 1987 when the French government opened the search for a repository site without a significant public process. The opposition from the local populations was so intense that government investigators were not allowed near some of the named sites. Many protests centered around concern for the safety and image of France's food supply. France created a new waste law in 1991.

          Like the 1982 U.S. Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the 1991 French law mandates that there should be two sites (called laboratories in France) for study. In 1998, a clay site, Bure, located in the east of France was chosen for study, over local objections. The site is in an economically depressed area, and was chosen in disregard of both local opposition (which continues) and a large body of emerging evidence that, contrary to decades-old assumptions, plutonium and several other radionuclides migrate rapidly towards the groundwater under a variety of geologic circumstances.

          "When I spoke with the officials at the Bure site," noted Dr. Makhijani, who toured the site in July 2000 at the instance of community leaders and local government officials, "they seemed quite unaware of recent U.S. research on the migration of plutonium, for instance in colloidal form. Ignoring important scientific issues in France is quite parallel to what the U.S. Department of Energy has done with the U.S. repository program."

          The areas where a second site may be selected for research were listed early last year. The opposition was intense and widespread - in one case, large numbers of people escorted the officials' car to the border of the Mayenne Département. (A Département is a French administrative unit in between a county and a state.) The people wanted to see an end to the production of waste and pointed out that it was not very democratic to discuss dumping waste in areas that had had no say in the decision to produce it.

          "France made a historic mistake when it decided to rely so heavily on nuclear power, rather than develop more advanced renewable technologies and efficient utilization methods," said Didier Anger, a local elected official, and a founder of France's Green Party, which is part of the ruling coalition government. Mr. Anger represents one of France's most heavily nuclearized regions, Normandy, where the world's largest commercial plutonium separation plant is located.

          France's nuclear waste management differs from the U.S. in one major respect. France has a major plant, called a reprocessing plant, to dissolve used reactor fuel in a chemical plant to separate plutonium, uranium and fission products.

          "But reprocessing does not get rid of the radioactivity," said Dr. Makhijani. "Rather it creates more pollution. Moreover the separated plutonium is a proliferation problem and a very costly, uneconomical fuel."

          Liquid waste discharges from reprocessing are polluting the English Channel and spreading radioactivity in the seas of Western Europe. The pollution from the reprocessing plant has so rankled other European countries, that 12 members of the OSPAR (Oslo-Paris) convention (a European body whose mission is to protect the marine environment) voted last year for the elimination of the radioactive releases from the plant with a view to shutting down the reprocessing activity. France abstained. Denmark, Norway and Ireland have called on France and Britain, which runs a similar plant, to shut down their reprocessing operations.

          The French public is also growing more and more skeptical of government claims about the safety of nuclear power. Government spokespersons misled the French public into believing that there was no fallout on France after the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986, even as the rest of Europe was dumping contaminated food. Those reassurances have since been proven to be false. France, like much of the rest of Europe has hot spots from Chernobyl. The government has recently commissioned an epidemiological study to investigate the role of the Chernobyl accident in the increase of thyroid cancers.

          "There is no good solution to the problem of long-lived nuclear waste," said Dr. Makhijani. "Before we launch into an energy policy that will lock us into another generation of waste creation, we ought at least to look carefully at the terrible burdens we will pass on to future generations from the last round of reactors."

          "France is no showcase for nuclear power," said Didier Anger. "Before pointing to France as a success story, the American public should ask the French people what they think of the problems of waste, disease, and government cover-ups."

          Mar 27/00 -- Ireland and Denmark seek to halt British nuclear reprocessing.
          Agence France Presse

          by Andrew Bushe

          DUBLIN -- Ireland and Denmark have agreed to a joint strategy to press for a halt to nuclear reprocessing at Britain's Sellafield complex, ministers said here Monday.

          Denmark's Environment and Energy Minister Sven Auken said he had tabled a motion for a June meeting in Copenhagen of the OSPAR (Oslo/Paris) Commission.

          The meeting will discuss the OSPAR convention, an international agreement on the marine environment signed in July 1998, which concerns discharges from nuclear installations.

          Auken said the motion sought to suspend operations at Sellafield's reprocessing plant until it could be ensured there were no radioactive discharges into the sea.

          Ireland, just across the Irish Sea from Sellafield on Britain's northwest coast, has long been pressing for the plant's closure, while Scandinavian countries say radioactivity from the plant has been detected off their shores.

          Irish Energy Minister Joe Jacob said while Ireland fully supported Denmark's motion, it would also be tabling a more hardline proposal that seeks to shut Sellafield for good.

          Jacob said he believed it marked "the beginning of the end for Sellafield".

          Auken said he believed Iceland and Norway would support the suspension proposal and Sweden and Finland would give it serious consideration.

          "The Nordic Ministers have consistently warned against reprocessing and we have felt a lot of solidarity with Ireland as the immediate neighbour of the installation," he said.

          For the proposal to be accepted it must receive a majority of two-thirds of the 15 OSPAR members. But it will only be legally binding if Britain, as the country affected, also votes in favour.

          Auken said even if Britain did not vote in favour, the motion would have a strong political impact.

          "I think the British government is listening. I am very optimistic. They have taken a positive interest in finding a resolution to this," he said.

          He said suspension of the reprocessing plant would affect about 1,400 jobs, but said: "We cannot have the principal of the protection of the environment of the high seas being subordinate to short-term job considerations.

          "This is a real threat to the arctic environment, not only in terms of real dangers to the health, but also to the reputation of the catches of Greenland and the Faeroe Islands which are totally dependent on fisheries," he said.

          The campaign will up the pressure on Sellafield, already reeling from a damning report last month which found that quality control data had been falsified at its MOX plant, which produces mixed uranium and plutonium oxide fuel rods.

          British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), which runs Sellafield, has said it will resist attempts to suspend work at the re-processing plant, saying it was on course to meet international obligations to reduce discharges to "near zero" by 2020.

          Since a daming report on the plant was released, Japan and Germany have banned imports of MOX fuel from Britain, while Switzerland has stopped sending waste for reprocessing -- moves which have put Sellafield's commercial future in doubt.

          Police, meanwhile, are investigating sabotage at Sellafield, after cables were cut last month on robotic arms which handle nuclear waste.

          Sellafield's woes appear to have stymied the British government's plans to privatise the state-run BNFL.

          Hmmmmmm . . . . . . not so rosy after all, is it . . . .

          Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

          by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 04:55:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The bird-killing windmill is a rightwing frame (5+ / 0-)

      There are right wing websites all over the place that have pictures of an owl or a hawk supposedly killed by a wind farm. But does anybody really think that shotgun-toting wingnuts care at all about birds? Is there a wingnut out there with a membership to Audubon?

      If they are concerned about birdstrikes, it is because they would rather shoot them out of the sky themselves. Or go hunting at the zoo like Cheney.

      No. These guys have a visceral negative reaction to the idea of windfarms, not because they care about wilderness or wildlife.

      In truth, the oil companies drive this debate because wind farms are competition. Birds are one of their misdirections.

      •  I'd be willing to bet that far more birds die by (0+ / 0-)

        flying into military aircraft each year, than have been killed by all the windmills in the US during th past two decades.

        "THEY KILL BIRDS!!!" is about the most idiotic anti-windpower argument I have ever seen.

        That, and "THEY RUIN THE VIEW !!!!"

        But I suppose that's the best arguments they HAVE.  (shrug)

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers http://www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 02:10:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As a Pro-Nuke, I Have to Say Give it up already. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, A Siegel

      And I say that as one who spent 18 pleasant years working at Argonne-West, when the most advanced nuclear power system, the Integral Fast Reactor, was developed. It was a system designed to make big improvements in many areas of the nuclear power arena, including fuel use efficiency (factor of 100), waste lifetime reduction (factor of 300 or so), reactor safety (zero coolant pressure, safety courtesy of basic physics rather than engineered systems), proliferation (kept all but a few percent of the fissile material in the reactor at all times, and the remainder in a heavily-shielded on-site fuel cycle facility). Systems of that type could have totally powered the nation for centuries, if not millenia, using only current spent fuel and depleted uranium. For those skittish about the liquid sodium coolant, Russian work showed that liquid lead would work fine instead. There is not likely to ever be a better nuclear power system developed.

      But without political support, it is a non-starter.

      Time is growing short and we need to go with alternatives that people won't tie up in court battles for half of forever. I don't know if that describes a massive system of wind turbines and their requisite power transmission lines or not.

      Here's hoping.

  •  It's also important to illustrate the dangers of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, A Siegel

    continued complacency and reliance on fossil fuels simply as a result of the process of refining and processing that fuel -- case in point is the diary I pointed out in your front-page piece Americans Want More Drilling... Right? yesterday by TXSharon.

    Her piece is posted both here on DailyKos and here on ePluribus Media, and includes not only graphic pictures but also some great research about the health and environmental dangers that accompany domestic drilling.

    Yesterday, too, her blog entry got an implied thread from a user calling him/herself "BigOil" -- so she's striking a nerve.

    Never, never brave me, nor my fury tempt:
      Downy wings, but wroth they beat;
    Tempest even in reason's seat.

    by GreyHawk on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:10:52 AM PDT

  •  When you say "green collar jobs" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batensmack

    could you please specify what those jobs might be and what qualifications one would have to have to get one?

    I keep hearing these vague references to "green jobs" or "green collar jobs," and I'd like to know more about them.

    I'm serious.

    •  one would imagine they would hevily include (0+ / 0-)

      engineering of some kind or another. Technicians for manufacture of solar panels, wind turbines etc.  Math and science rather than legal or medical or English literature would probably be good backgrounds. I watched anews story last night about a nOregon based 'earthquake engineer' examining public schools for structural weaknesses in  the event of a massive earthquake. pretty scary.

      It is a long long time since i have been in school but I would have thought research on exactly what eareas 'green' covers would be pretty easy.

      It crrtianly is beginning to ctach on in the mass colelctive. My local Walmart has recently started to carry pretty much 'eco friendly' and 'green cleaning products. of course without a degree I can't tell how much of the toxic chemichals have been removed.

      •  You might think so (0+ / 0-)

        but I've looked, and all I can find are the vague references I mentioned.

        How do they know how many jobs will be created if they can't tell me what those jobs will be? What methods did they use to determine those numbers they throw around?

        How will the jobs be distributed? Will they be concentrated only in certain areas of the country where the new types of power plants will be built? Only rural jobs? Only urban jobs? How will hiring be handled? Will these be government jobs or outsourced to private industry and small business? Will we have to go through a contract bidding process to get them?

        Lots of questions, and no answers forthcoming.

        And English literature backgrounds shouldn't be dismissed so readily. Someone has to write and edit the training manuals for those jobs if we don't want all those new structures falling down in 10 years. Legal will be needed to negotiate settlements for all the property that must be taken for easements and eminent domain. And once established, those companies might have doctors or nurses on staff.

        In short, I want specifics. There should be opportunities for all sorts of jobs, but no one's talking about anything but "green" this and "green" that.

        PS--You shouldn't shop at WalMart. Even the Dollar Store carries green products if price is the issue.

        •  Check out... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, RunawayRose

          ...Stranded Wind... he's a Kossack and has some thoughts about what opportunities are available in the green sector.  One such opportunity is the e-commerce and netroots organizing.  You might be a good fit for that.

          As for me, I've got no idea where I fit in...I'm an freelance director/actor/teacher...um...green commercials anyone?

          •  Yes, I've read his work. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RunawayRose, Batensmack

            And it's very good.

            I'm 100% behind wind power, and yes, I would put a windmill or wind farm on my property -- if I had any property -- without a second thought.

            The thing about SW's diaries is that the ones I've read concentrate on the technical aspects of them, and I've asked these jobs questions before.

            The only opportunities I see for myself are perhaps as the employee of a company after the company gets started and begins hiring support staff. I'm too old and in the wrong job field to get any of the engineering or installation positions I see mentioned over and over.

            But as I said above, someone has to train these people, and you mentioned teacher, and actor/directors do training films.

            •  Hmm... (0+ / 0-)

              ...I guess it kind of depends on what field you're servicing.  A lot of the training that happens, say, at an oil refinery or coal plant, happens on the job in the field.  Not in a classroom.  I guess there are safety movies and stuff, though.  It's worth a thought...

        •  I'm not writing anything off (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Batensmack

          merely offering suggestions. However you probably know a lot more than I do since i am not the one looking.  Pickens siad today that Sweetwater, Texas was the poster town for green jobs, headquarters for his new wind farm project.

          I should think studying Chinese might be a good thing too, translating all those instruction manual into readable languages.  Instructions now usually come with English, French and spanish, but in the future probably Chinese, japanese etc, maybe even Russian would be useful, but then they don't qualify for green jobs i imagine.

          Was just trying to be helpful.  an please don't tell me where to shop!  you don't know what is available where i live, how important my income level is etc, and how saving money supersedes other considerations.  You clean up your house and I'll clean mine. Sorry not to have given you what you were looking for.

          •  No problemos here... (0+ / 0-)

            ...soccergrams.  I'm interested in the fact that Wal-mart is working with the chinese labor unions.  That's an interesting decision.  Plus, I think Wal-mart has done a lot of their own house cleaning in the last couple of years.

            Next time I'm in Texas I'll have to check out Sweetwater and see if it's really all T. Boone has it cracked up to be.  As I remember it, it was never all that bad but, really, nothing in the Panhandle is all that great either..other than my family.  They're pretty cool!  It's a nice place to visit...very briefly visit.

          •  out of curiosity I just googled (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, Batensmack

            'Green' Jobs. Just in case others out there are seeking ideas. There are a lot of index's, resources, lists, etc. advertising opportunities available in botht eh private and government sectors. So, i would imagine if one was looking for a position or to re-train first of all (in my order of personal preference anyway) I would decide what i wanted to do since happiness in work is my key requisite 2) list my skills, qualifications already accrued during my oprevious work experience 3) decide if i wanted to re-locate, to another town, another country etc.  4)  whether re-training assistance is available etc.

            But then I am a fairly methodical person and like making lists. For example i wouldn't be looking for a job making training films if my skills were in the medical field!  If i already had previous science training I would see how they could be re-tooled to fit.  In other words I would, to paraphrase JFK, ask not what green can do for me but what can i do for green!

            My oprimary motivation however would be to determine how far I could go to make a menaingful contribution.

            On a personal level I have already started, when money is available, to ,make my fifty year old flat roofed  cinder block home more energy efficient, first by replacing old natuiral gas heater with efficient electronically controlled japanese made wall heaters.  I am researching solar heated conection fans to  distribut the available heat during the very cold winters.  Little by little I am replacing old fixures with more efficient new ones.

            My main objective is to re-educate myself to think environmentally sound thoughts and take energy effiiiiicinet actions.

            •  Will you buy my job coach... (0+ / 0-)

              ...soccergrams???  I have to say that the training/green video thing is a good idea.  We've done a lot of video, but most of it has been in the real estate industry.  We do high quality HD stuff and it would be really nice to be working for people who are trying to make a difference rather than schmucks tearing up the mountain for a McMansion.

              •  Ooop...I meant "be my job coach" not (0+ / 0-)

                "buy my job coach."

                •  well, you could start by seeing if your local (0+ / 0-)

                  public television station might be interested in a series of live interviews with individuals already trying to do whatever they can.  Try and raise a little money from local sponsors of 'green products' in your locale.  Tap the resources of your state university.

                  In my over fifty years of both national and loal, I have found that getting the word out locally often pays off in ways you didn't originally think of.

                  Think innovatively and entrpreneurally (sp?), don't wait for opportunities to come to you, make your own. It is a brand new field and requires some brand new ways of thinking.

                  Good luck.

    •  Me too... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I guess that anything in environmental engineering, process engineering, bio-chemical engineering, petroleum (yes, petroleum) engineering, and genetics could be considered green if you're green focused.

      My issue is I took the wrong path through college to go into that sector now (what, with a family and all).  

      *Hit it Cher..."IF I COULD TURN BACK TI--IME.  IF I COULD FIND A WAY..."

      •  But that's just it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, Batensmack

        Most of the people in those fields already have good jobs, or the potential to get them.

        These jobs will need to be like the Manhattan Project jobs -- there can only be a certain number of preconceived notions about the employee job fields. We can't all be nuclear scientists, but they didn't only hire nuclear scientists.

        They hired support staff and clerical workers and food service people too.

        A huge number of people who are unemployed or underemployed in this economy are people who don't have the skills of a nuclear scientist or an engineer. So if the government hires all the good engineers away from the jobs they already have, and there is no one to replace them, it just creates another employment issue.

        Like Al Gore said, all the people working in the coal industry MUST be guaranteed a job in the new industry. That means they must be trained first, not just replaced by someone who already has the skills.

        We want an employment program that solves the problem we have right now, not one that adds to the existing problem or shifts the problem to another area of the workforce.

  •  you folks are so mainstream (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose

    what ever happened to the radical left?

    [/snark]

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:19:57 AM PDT

  •  interstates. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batensmack

    i've been driving I-5 over and over recently, since my mom is slipping into alzheimer's...i look at that median and think:  massive solar panels, wind turbines?
    but my fave idea is to harness the energy of all the cars and trucks:  what if you have some kind of turbine that you drove over and it spun, then spun some other gizmos and others and others...kinda like the old water mills?  at least you could power the valley...
    we have to recapture the energy that we are already making.
    like, at health clubs--why can't there be treadmills that power the elec. at the friggin' clubs?  OR treadmills in your own homes that power up your OWN home???
    makes me nutty to see the waste!

    •  Creative, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stagemom

      Wind turbines and solar panels (how massie do you wnat them to be) along the freeway would produce very little energy and it would be far too dispersed.

      Someone has developed a turbine you drive over and create energy, it is very efficient and produces small amounts.  Keep in mind that energy isn't free, if you put a ton of these kind of things on the road, that it would take, you would reduce the efficiency of automobiles.  

  •  O/T? ...... LIHEAP cloture vote 50 Y - 35 N ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    Rethugs tell poor people (like me); Check is not in the mail, build a camp fire in your front room this winter, it'll be cozy and you can roast marshmallows.

    Reed D-NV voted against at last minute so can maybe reintroduce later.

    I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

    by geez53 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 08:52:41 AM PDT

  •  I'm sorry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batensmack

    It is "possible" but far from reasonable and it is unnecessary (we don't need to be 100% green energy).  I have been in the energy industry for 12 years (and no I don't benefit from the status quo, if anything I beneift from upheaval and change in the industry. Nor am I troll as you can tell by ) and I cantell you right now that Gore's goal is an impractical pipe dream that makes little sense.  It require a command and control approach, bypassing and/or fast tracking environmental laws, technological short-sighted and very very expensive.  Do not discount how much cost this would hadd to people's electric bills.

    I appreciate Gore's plan as a catalyst toward action, but not as an actual plan.  In truth there is no plan, just vague cherry-picked disconnected studies

    •  wow... (0+ / 0-)

      you think so?  why would the electricity bills become so high?  what am i not seeing here?

      •  Additional Generation and Transmission (0+ / 0-)

        THis stuff is expensive. Expensive to build expensive to plan for.  Look at your electric bill, there is probably a charge for the energy portion, but also the infrastructure portion.  The infrastructure portion would grow tremendously.

        •  Yeah, but I think you could argue... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose

          ...that a Gore-ian incentives package could help defray the cost.  The real problem is congress can't pick a new direction and stick to it.  Hell, they can't make any decisions at all these days.  

          I'd rather see us err on the side of progress than hold it back in fear.

          •  California (0+ / 0-)

            has legislated 1990 levels of greenhouse gasses by 2020, they wil soon make 33% renewables by 2020 into law, that is doable.  From there you can go to 50% and so on.

            THe problem with Gore's plan isn't necessarily 100% (although I think that is unnecesssarily too high), but the 10 years part.  I don't think people appreciate how difficult it is to build one new transmission line, much less dozens.

    •  Don't be a kill joy.... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm old enough to remember the '70's oil crisis as a current event (and gas-line-waiting consumer). The alternative energy started then, and was quashed less than a decade later.

      If we had stayed on track, worked on the kinks, developed the technologies, we would now be 30 years ahead of this crisis not 30 years behind it.

      For my great grandchild's sake, i would respectfully ask all nay-sayers to SHUT THE FUCK UP and also SET THE FUCK DOWN. I love my unborn great grand children!

      I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

      by geez53 on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09:25:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't disagree (0+ / 0-)

        I support alternative energy.  I have diaried on the need to renew the PTC to keep wind and solar projects from being delayed and/or cancelled.

        But what Gore is asking is like asking an extremely overweight, unhealthy slob to run a amarathon in two months.  What will he do, he will ignore you.  But tell himto run a 5k and he might say, "Hey I can do that!" Then challenge him to run a 10k a month later, and then a half marathon and then six months later he can do the marathon.

        •  Well, if he's really fat... (0+ / 0-)

          ...he'll end up breaking his foot while training for the 5k.  The 30 years of backwardsness (lawdy, lawdy, I'm inventing the words today) mean we are SUPER-SIZED.  Yet, what gets different people juiced is different...juice...

          People like you need the baby steps.  Some of us need the big picture.  I'm more likely to go do the 5k if I think I've got a marathon in my future.

  •  WAY O/T go over to (0+ / 0-)

    ..my recent diary and vote for a campaign song.  Just for fun!!!

  •  Mitch McConnell Attacks: Gore's in a "Dreamworld" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, A Siegel

    Speaking with right-wing pundit Dean Barnett on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) scoffed:

    Yeah, Gore is the only, uh, engineer or scientist I’ve heard, heh, who thinks that’s possible. I mean, that would be wonderful, but that’s a dreamworld. That’s not reality and I think the American people are interested in straight talk, not dreamworld talk. We’re going to be using fossil fuels to some extent or another for multiple decades.

    We've got the audio clip over at the Wonk Room. It's a doozy.

    The dream McConnell is attacking has a name.

    It's called the American Dream.

    Find out the latest in the global warming fight at Wonk Room!

    by The Cunctator on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 12:06:00 PM PDT

  •  Sure it's possible. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plan9

    Unless those who don't like some part of it or other head for the courts.

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