7/19/2008

Al Gore Speaks About Carbon-Free Renewable Energy

On July 17, 2008, former United States Vice-President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Al Gore gave a compelling speech at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. about the urgent need to develop renewable energy sources within the next 10 years. He challenged Americans (and their leaders) to be "running on 100 percent zero-carbon electricity" in the coming decade. Among other things, Mr. Gore championed the fact that solar, wind and geothermal power is more affordable, while we have to face the reality of the climbing costs of coal and oil. A new advertising campaign, developed by The Alliance for Climate Protection, will encourage supporters of clean energy sources to advocate for new laws and policies that will result in the reduction of global warming. Currently, the United States is generating an abysmal 3% of its electricity from renewable sources like solar energy.
Gore talked about updating the electricity grid in the United States. Connection with areas rich in wind and solar energy would help the rest of the nation. He also talked highly of plug-in electric vehicles (PEHVs), which, if combined with a carbon tax could "increase the flexibility of our electricity grid." Gore's speech has been compared to the 1961 address of JFK to put a man on the moon within 10 years (which was accomplished ahead of schedule, by the way).
Later in the day, Mr. Gore answered questions on National Public Radio (NPR) regarding his monumental speech. Among many things that he discussed, Gore noted the fact that Germany has a strong solar energy policy and, as a result, the relatively small country has more solar panels installed than the total square footage in the United States.
Watch Al Gore's Speech here:



When asked about whether Gore would accept an invitation to be Vice-President once again, he laughed and stated that he had imposed his own term limits on the Vice-Presidency, which he served for 8 years under Bill Clinton. At this point in his life, the 60-year old Gore is much more interested in serving the cause of preventing further global warming than sitting in political office. I cannot think of a better person to lead this charge.

Mr. Gore noted that 10 years is the maximum amount of time we have to act before we will not have the ability to recover from environmental crisis. Tellingly, Gore also noted that a decade is just about the amount of time our political attention span would permit: "A political promise to do something 40 years from now is universally ignored because everyone knows that it's meaningless. "Ten years is about the maximum amount of time that we as a nation can hold a steady aim and hit our target."
Let's all hope that our attention span for reducing greenhouse emissions and our reliance on foreign oil supplies does not run out first.

No comments:

Post a Comment

There was an error in this gadget

[get this widget]