Al Gore Urges U.S. Energy Revolution to
Save the U.S. -and- Human Civilization

(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 071808)


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In short, Al Gore states that the survival
of the U.S. -and-, ultimately, the entire
world is at risk due to the consequences
of the U.S. and world's reliance on ever-
increasing usage of carbon-emitting fuels
which are contributing to economic, eco-
logical, and national security crises which
will only worsen -if- drastic measures aren't
taken in the very near future.

Specifically, Al Gore urges the U.S. to aban-
don all carbon-emitting forms of electricity
production within 10 years.

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July 17, 2008

Gore Urges Change to Dodge an Energy Crisis

by Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times
  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/washington/18gore.html?hp
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Excerpts:

WASHINGTON -- Former Vice President Al
Gore on Thursday urged the United States to
wean the nation from its entire electricity grid
to carbon-free energy within 10 years, warning
that drastic steps were needed to avoid a global
economic and ecological cataclysm.

Like a modern Jeremiah, Mr. Gore called down
thunder to justify the spending of trillions of
dollars to remake the American power system,
a plan fraught with technological and political
challenges that goes far beyond the changes
recently debated in Congress and by world
leaders.

"The survival of the United States of America
as we know it is at risk," he said in a midday
speech to a friendly crowd of mostly young sup-
porters in Washington. "And even more -- if
more should be required -- the future of human
civilization is at stake."

Mr. Gore, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in
2007 for his environmental advocacy, said in an
interview that he hoped to raise the alarm so that
the next president, whether Senator Barack Obama
or Senator John McCain, could rally Congress and
the nation to action. He disavowed any interest in
returning to elective office.

His approach, which would require abandoning
old-fashioned, coal-fired power plants, goes be-
yond what even the most audacious scientists and
entrepreneurs have proposed, as a means, he said,
of jolting the world out of old ways of thinking.

Without great dreams, he said, great deeds are
never achieved, citing the quest for the Moon in
the 1960s.

"I see my role as enlarging the political space in
which Senator Obama or Senator McCain can con-
front this issue as president next year," Mr. Gore
said.

He said the United States and the rest of the world
were facing unprecedented problems, including
growing demand for electricity, dangerous changes
in the climate driven largely by emissions of carbon
dioxide and political instability in regions that pro-
duce much of the world's oil.

"When we look at all three of these seemingly in-
tractable challenges at the same time, we can see
the common thread running through them, deeply
ironic in its simplicity: our dangerous over-reliance
on carbon-based fuels is at the core of all three of
these challenges -- the economic, environmental
and national security crises," Mr. Gore said. "We're
borrowing money from China to buy oil from the
Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the
planet. Every bit of that has to change."

His solution was to do away with all carbon-emit-
ting forms of electricity production in the United
States within 10 years, replacing them with alter-
natives like solar, wind and geothermal power,
conservation and so-called clean-coal technology
in which all carbon emissions from the burning
of coal are captured and stored.

...

He said he envisioned nuclear power retaining
its current share of domestic electricity genera-
tion, about 20 percent. Coal, which now produces
about half of American electricity, would dwindle,
while renewable sources, now producing less than
3 percent of the nation's electricity, would rapidly
grow. (Natural gas and hydroelectric dams provide
most of the remainder of the nation's electricity,
relatively little of which comes from burning oil.)

Mr. Gore, who was awarded the Nobel Prize last
October, is the most vocal in a growing chorus
calling for a green energy revolution. The Texas
oilman Boone Pickens has proposed converting
a large portion of the American transportation
fleet to run on compressed natural gas while
spending billions on new wind farms to produce
electricity.

...

"To those who say 10 years is not enough time,
I respectfully ask them to consider seriously what
the world's scientists are telling us about the risks
we face if we don't act in less than 10 years," he
said.

He noted that the United States uses only a tiny
fraction of the wind, solar and geothermal power
available. He said entrepreneurs were investing
billions of dollars in new technology and rapidly
bringing down the cost of all alternative energy
sources.

...

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July 18, 2008

Money talks on climate change
  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/18/algore.energyefficiency
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Excerpts:

...

Whereas environmentalists have sometimes
seemed long on righteousness and short on
numbers, Gore backed his case for renewable
electricity with logical case studies.

Electricity production is responsible for one-
third of US global warming emissions. He
explained the math of clean alternatives like
solar and wind energy in easy terms:

 o 40 minutes of sun on the surface of the
    planet could power one year of electricity
    in the US;

 o one day of plains-state wind could do the
    same.

 o And - quite the inverse of coal or oil-based
    power - as the demand for these technologies
    increases, their price drops.

...

An appeal for investment in clean technology
appeals to both market-savvy conservatives
and save-the-whales liberals. Ultimately, the
kind of investments called for by Gore and
other groups, like the interdisciplinary Apollo
Alliance - named for the historic mission set
by president John Kennedy in 1960 - will

 o stop the haemorrhaging of manufacturing
    jobs;

 o repair America's leaking, creaky infrastruc-
    ture;

 o and place the US on a more independent
    course while taking new energy technolo-
    gies to scale.

... as the price of oil soars ever higher and the
likelihood of a price on carbon sinks in, mar-
kets are responding, and billions of dollars are
flowing into research and development for
renewables - even at the largest oil companies.

...

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