In Monday night's foreign policy debate, President Obama can kill any talk about not presenting a vision for the future by addressing climate change in terms of foreign policy, and rightfully claim world leadership on this most pressing of issues.
No, I'm not delusional.
As part of his "all of the above" energy strategy, the President funded ARPA-E with Recovery Act money. Three years in, ARPA-E's work is a beacon of light at the end of the long, ugly tunnel of climate change. President Obama can claim personal, partisan, and US government credit for spurring the technological innovations that will allow our civilization to thrive without killing the planet, or at least cope a lot better if its later than we think.
Explanation is over the squiggle.
In its first three years ARPA-E has changed the world, but the world does not know it yet...
ARPA-E performer Makani Power http://arpa-e.energy.gov/... has developed technology that will likely displace the entire wind sector, and then expand it greatly.No, we are not leading the world community's response to climate change by proposing sweeping treaties.
ARPA-E's Electrofuels Program researchers http://arpa-e.energy.gov/... have demonstrated the ability to store renewable energy as a liquid fuel, decisively overcoming the problematic intermittent nature of most renewables.
ARPA-E's Electrofuels Program researchers have invented processes that turn CO2 into fuel or other valuable chemicals, which will turn worldwide smokestack emissions into profitable income streams and keep them from being released into the atmosphere.
ARPA-E's Electrofuels Program processes will use smokestack or air-capture CO2 to make competitively-priced alternatives to petrochemical industry staples, permanently sequestering the CO2 in a plastic or other solid product.
ARPA-E's Electrofuels Program processes will displace current animal-feed practices by providing cheaper alternatives with smaller carbon footprints.
ARPA-E's Electrofuels Program processes will provide a very cheap, reliable emergency food source.
But the US, represented by ARPA-E, really is kicking ass on innovative technological responses to the climate change problem, and Obama should claim them.