Is there really a choice to be made?
100% renewables is not some pie in the sky fantasy world, it is a path that we are now on. The first commercial storage systems are being built. The first large scale US offshore HVDC supergrid project, the Atlantic Wind Connection, will start construction in 2012. The AWC is a 350 mile long HVDC undersea trunkline that can support 7 gigwatts of wind power. Situated 12 to 18 miles offshore the AWC wind power will not be seen from land. Long Island NY is proposing a 700Mw wind farm off Rockaway Long Island. There is a proposal for another HVDC line from Maine to Boston.
Collectively these efforts amount to offshore wind development from Maine to Virginia Beach, Virginia. The near term potential of developing east coast wind is in the 14 gigawatt range, the equivalent of 15 nuclear reactors or 28, 500Mw coal plants. 50 gigawatts of wind capacity can easily be realized from offshore east coast wind development.
With an initial goal of building 300 gigawatts of wind power, the Dept. of Energy proposal will produce 100 gigawatts of wind capacity.
Solar power is not far behind, 100 gigawatts from solar, or 20% of our current electrical use is the next step.
After these initial goals the next steps move planet Earth towards a goal of reducing atmospheric Co2 to 350 parts per million.
MovingPlanet.org puts it this way:
1. Science-based policies to get us back to 350ppm
We can’t negotiate with chemistry and physics--that’s why we know we have to make sure that climate politics is in line with climate science. We must push for a UN climate regime that lays out the path for a socially just pathway below 350ppm. We must reach peak global emissions as quickly as (humanly) possible.
2. A rapid, just transition to zero carbon emissions.
We know that the only way to avert climate catastrophe is an emergency mobilization to cut emissions to zero as soon as possible. That’s why we’re encouraging organizing efforts everywhere to support programs that aim for:
* 100% renewable energy
* Zero carbon emissions
* Leaving fossil fuels in the ground
3. A mobilization of funding for a fair transition to a 350ppm world.
Climate change is a moral crisis, and we know that one of the most important ways to address the issue is for the richest among us to help the poorest among us to deal with the burdens of climate change. We must support policies and programs that ensure financing for a fair transition, such as:
* Adaptation funding appropriate to the risks and damage already happening from climate impacts
* Funding for access to clean, renewable energy to lift people out of poverty
* The wealthy (people and countries) should do their fair share to fund a fair transition to 350ppm
4. Lifting the rights of people over the rights of polluters.
Lifting the rights of people and nature over the rights of polluters. The climate crisis is a human rights crisis. We must support policies and programs that lift up the rights of people over the rights of polluters, such as:
* Reducing corporate power’s unfair influence on our leaders
* Stopping dirty energy projects
* Getting dirty money out of elections
* Supporting the rights of indigenous peoples
* Protecting human health
Of course the path to a healthy planet also means healthy people. Locally grown organic food and healthy activities like bike riding will have a significant impact in the future, as they do today. Join us on Saturday Sept. 24th for a day of action:
Moving Planet is a global day of climate action taking place on September 24, 2011.
On that day, we will put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels. To search for an event look here. If there are no events nearby, think about starting a new event in your community.
Maybe I'll see you Saturday?