Climate Change

Fifteen countries already get 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. (1) Our National Research Council says "…renewable resources available in the United States, taken collectively, can supply significantly greater amounts of electricity than the total current or projected domestic demand." (2) Germany at times meets 100% of its electricity demand from solar and wind, and Canada is already at 65% renewable energy! So let's do it!

  1. Congress should recommend the president declare a national emergency to address climate change. We need an emergency economic transformation similar to the 18‐month effort in World War II that pivoted our economy to wartime production. But now, we're switching to renewable energy production.
  2. Set a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2020, with interim goals of 10% transformation for each 6 month interval until the end of 2020.
  3. Promote the creation of major new wind energy resources. Most of this renewable transformation will come from wind energy, which is plentiful and for which we have adequate technology right now. We need to ramp up production in the wind turbine factories to rapidly install enough power to meet each interval's goal of 10% transformation. Installation will create tens of thousands of new jobs. 1 (2) National Research Council (2010). "Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments". National Academies of Science. p. 4.
  4. Work with each state to develop a transition plan within one month. Detailed proposals have already been drawn up for switching to 100% renewable energy for New York, California and Washington states. In 2014, a plan was published to convert all 50 states to 100% renewable
    energy.(3) These plans need to be finalized and implemented. So much of this is already done!
  5. Create a "Reverse Climate Change Corps", modeled on the Civilian Conservation Corps that helped stop the Dustbowl soil erosion of the 1930s. Provide employment at living wages to help ramp up production in factories that manufacture renewable energy products, and plant trees nationwide to absorb carbon. Planting trees in cities has a triple benefit of carbon absorption, lower temperatures in summer, and enhances livability of communities.
  6. Provide major federal incentives for individuals to complete all energy efficiency improvements in our homes within three years, by 2020. This will provide increased employment in green jobs, and immediately start to reduce demand for the current coal and nuclear‐based grid, allowing us to start turning off coal plants as soon as possible. This will also reduce natural gas and petroleum emissions.
  7. The federal government should only purchase electric or hybrid cars and busses when replacing existing vehicles, which turn over quickly. This is an easy way for the federal government to help the electric vehicle industry rapidly expand its manufacturing base.
  8. Provide incentives for installing electric vehicle charging stations in all gas stations. Some major interstates already have charging stations at each rest stop. There are already 31,168 public charging outlets in the US (4). Can we put a solar car on Mars? Yes, we've done that! So, we can put charging stations out where we need them here on Earth.
  9. Require all new electricity production be renewable. In the first half of 2014, 92% of new US electric production was renewable. We're nearly there, let's finish the job!
  10. Improve public transportation to reduce private car dependence. The quickest method is Bus Rapid Transit, using existing roads and improving quality and speed of service.
  11. Work with industry to shift large scale transportation of goods to trains wherever possible. Trains use 1/6th the fossil fuels as trucks, so this transformation will reduce CO2 output by 82% in this sector. Trucks should be used for "the last mile" from warehouse to retail stores.
  12. Phase out the massive federal tax subsidies for the petroleum and nuclear industries. Put solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and tidal power on an equal footing, or switch the subsidies to these safe fuels.
  13. Reverse the Price Anderson Act, so the nuclear industry pays for its own insurance. Currently, you and I are required to pay for nuclear accidents, while the industry pays itself when times are good. The cost of the Fukushima nuclear power disaster to the Japanese people is estimated to be at least $40 billion. We should make available that range of funding in the US for renewable energy in advance of any disasters, and gradually decommission US nuclear power plants. After Fukushima, Japan turned off all of its 50 nuclear reactors, and their country and economy survived. There have been electricity shortages, but not the extensive blackouts that had been predicted5. Their relative dependence on nuclear power was about the same as the US. (5)

Other major benefits to America from a rapid switch to renewable energy:

  • Switching to renewable energy would virtually eliminate air pollution thus saving billions in health care costs and tens of thousands of lives.
  • Stopping urban car pollution would also allow increased urban food production, since urban air would no longer be polluted and cities will be cooler in summer. This local "urban farming" also greatly reduces CO2 production, by reducing energy for food transportation which is one of the largest global warming impacts of our agricultural system.

You see?? We can do this!!!

Resources for You on Climate Change:

Special Maryland program to help you install energy efficiency and solar – a free helping hand all along
the way:

Make Your Home Energy Efficient‐Your‐Home‐Energy‐Efficient

Get started buying an electric car‐a‐car/buying‐a‐car/electric‐car‐guide/

Montgomery County Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)‐supported‐agriculture/

Carroll County Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Harford County Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Find a CSA in your area‐supported‐agriculture‐3

DC model for urban farming and environmental sustainability


2 National Research Council (2010). "Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments". National Academies of Science. p. 4.

3 Mark Schwarz (February 26, 2014). "Stanford scientist unveils 50‐state plan to transform U.S. to renewable energy"‐states‐renewables‐022414.html The World Can Transition to 100 Percent Renewable Power, 70%, 80%, 99.9%, 100% Renewables — Study Central,‐80‐99‐9‐100‐ renewables‐study‐central/


5 Stephanie Cooke (October 10, 2011). "After Fukushima, Does Nuclear Power Have a Future?". New York Times.
Antoni Slodkowski (June 15, 2011). "Japan anti‐nuclear protesters rally after quake" . Reuters.
Hiroko Tabuchi (July 13, 2011). "Japan Premier Wants Shift Away From Nuclear Power". New York Times.