Thank you for the question, Senator Bennett.
Well, Senator, I'm glad you asked.
My suggestion is that we first stop subsidizing fossil fuels and level the playing field for renewables. Then we start producing solar, wind and geothermal power as quickly as possible. All of these technologies are proven and ready to go. The baseload power will be provided by geothermal and concentrated solar power. We will also need to build a smart grid to get the power to the people and deal with fluctuations. This may be a challenge, but it is a challenge that America can certainly handle if we have good leadership.
The other challenge is to stop burning oil. The first step is to immediately start making plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and gradually transition to fully electric vehicles as we develop the infrastructure for charging stations. Mr. Senator, I'd be glad to give you a ride down I-15 in a fully electric, zero emissions car any time you'd like. Remember that in 1942, Detroit completely transitioned from making cars to making tanks and airplanes in 3 months. If we have the same kind of leadership committed to protecting our children that we had back then, we can have the same transformation.
In the process of doing all this, we will revive the American economy and create millions of jobs. But of course it will not be easy. It will take strong leadership and cooperation from all of us. But for you to say that you are not willing to defend the survival of my generation because it's hard is unacceptable. When faced with such a threat to our future, we need courageous leaders willing to do what's necessary even if it's hard.
I think that a full presentation of how this transition is possible would make for a great public forum. As I told your scheduler a few days ago, Jeff Robinson has agreed to host the forum, and we will work around any availabiltiy in your schedule. I'm still awaiting a response from your scheduler.
-- Sincerely, Tim DeChristopher
3 CommentsAdd Comment
Jacob Hanson wrote:
I would LOVE to see Senator Bennett participate in a public forum on the topic of energy. The public is very interested in this topic, and I'm sure the people have plenty to say to the congresspeople who work for us. You see, not only are fossil fuels filling our atmosphere with greenhouse gasses, but they are also becoming increasingly difficult to extract and process. I suggest that ALL policy makers educate themselves on ERoEI: Energy Return on Energy Invested. In short, ERoEI tells us how useful an energy source is, with higher ERoEI being more useful. Some ERoEIs (rough estimates): ~ Liquid Fuels ~ Mideast Oil = 10:1 Domestic Oil = 3:1 Coal to liquid = less than 3:1 Tar Sand = less than 3:1 Oil Shale = less than 2:1 Corn Ethanol = less than 1.3:1 ~ Electricity ~ Coal* = 2:1 - 40:1 Natural Gas = 10:1 - 20:1 Nuclear = 5:1 - 15:1 Solar PV: 5:1 - 40:1 Wind: 20:1 - 40:1 If we continue to base our economy on energy sources with diminishing ERoEIs, we will inevitable face a massive loss of social complexity. This is because more and more of our economy will be devoted to obtaining energy, leaving less room for other pursuits such as health care, technology, and leisure time. Here is a great video that summarizes ERoEI: http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-17b-energy-budgeting And here is another great video summarizing resource scarcity: http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-18-environmental-data * The above link describes the diminishing ERoEI of coal sourcesMay 12, 2009 | 11:57 am
Teresa Marino wrote:
Don't forget how much fossil fuel is used for industrial agriculture! There are so many things we can do to implement an independent system that is not relying on one source. Like our food we are feeling the effects of having one source for the majority, it doesn't work well. The way Senator Bennett spoke, he acted as if we can not blend technologies. It is not a black and white solution, it will take ingenuity and hard work to implement a diversified system. Oy, they spend our money so freely but when we ask for improvements suddenly they just can't seem to find any resources...November 20, 2009 | 4:24 pm