Monday, July 21, 2008

Support Al Gore

Al Gore has called on us to get 100% of our electricity from cheap, clean sources within 10 years. It's an achievable goal, but it's already under attack from the oil and coal companies. They're calling his plan unrealistic, impossible, and crazy.

We're in a crisis. If this is the fate of any new idea to get us out of this crisis alive, we're toast. Gore's challenge will live or die on the reaction of people like us. We can turn back Big Oil's attack if hundreds of thousands of us personally endorse Gore's challenge to power our country with 100% cheap, clean energy within 10 years — — and then we urge Obama, McCain, and Congress to get on board.

Clicking here will add your support to Gore's challenge.

The petition simply reads: "America must commit to producing 100% of our electricity from cheap, clean renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, within 10 years."



As I was going to my little ranch, which is mainly powered by solar energy and has been for years, I was listening to Science Friday on NPR. They had a trio of solar power bigwigs on who were imploring Congress to reup the tax credits for solar energy. They basically were saying that solar would lay fallow if not for these tax credits, including the big solar project here in Arizona. Now doesn't this story sound strange considering we have a Democratically led Congress? Do Republicans still have enough power to keep these tax credits from being renewed? Or is there something else I am missing?

csm said...

The Dems have a very narrow majority. The Reps can still filibuster. W can still veto. And if the Reps back W the Dems cannot override the veto. And don't foget that Lieberman is still counted among the Dems, but is he really a Dem?

So, yes, the Dems have a majority, but not to the level where they can force their policies. That may be bad, that may be good, I guess, depending on how you look at it Mr. Gridlock.

coreydbarbarian said...

i really admire al gore. who else has the foresight to call for clean electric before all our gas-burning devices switch over? in the current political environment, the oil and coal lobbies have already purchased the debate, so all we hear is "more drilling, more drilling".

coal is some of the dirtiest energy out there - even the new, "cleaner" coal methods.
solar, wind and nuclear power are the future of america's electrical grid, but oil & coal companies will fight it tooth & nail.

Anony Mouse said...

Once again we need balance not partisan hacks who are afraid of special interest groups. Drill in Alaska and in the Gulf where we know oil is located and work our way into affordable energy alternatives. The answer shouldn't be just another political line nor should the answer put more Americans on welfare. Nuclear will have a difficult time getting by the congress since the environmental groups are so opposed.

coreydbarbarian said...

look at the big picture instead of the timely concern of rising fuel costs.
oil and coal are dirty sources of energy and need to be replaced asap. nuclear will take time (and education), but solar and wind power are attainable now. more drilling is similar to having a beer for breakfast to "cure" the hangover.
we need stop raping the planet and wise up. more drilling only means more profit in the pockets of folks who don't give a damn about the planet, just their bank accounts.


Oil is not only used for fuel. Many other substances we use every day come out of refineries also, so this must be considered when we talk about moving away from oil.

That letter from the University of Arizona I posted awhile back mentioned that to make wind turbines and solar panels it takes oil. Add to this the lack of manufacturing capability right now for solar panels and you still have a high cost to most people if you can even get them. Solar energy, and wind energy to an extent, uses batteries to store the energy produced. There is lots of toxicity when producing and the reclamation of these batteries. That will have to be addressed. Very few energy solutions will satisfy staunch environmentalists. Just as very few solutions will satisfy energy producers. Factions will have their own pet projects and they will all have the ears of the federal government. Lobbys will grease the skids for their constituencies. It seems to me this energy conundrum is a perfect problem for our 50 laboratories and the consumer to sort out themselves. Fifty one attempts to solve a problem should have a better chance of a good solution than only one. The states have already started(especially in the West)and I feel the feds should just get out of the way. I wonder if Mr. Gore would agree.

Ceroill said...

I saw something many years back that rather intrigued me. At the '83 (I think) Expo in Montreal there were of course the various international pavilions. On display at the Chinese pavilion was a tiny hydroelectric station about 2'x2'x3' (if memory serves). The idea was to be able to provide power for one farm, it claimed.

Related to that thought, there is a British produced show that you can occasionally catch episodes of on Sundance channel. It involves a family that bought an old Cornish (I think) farmstead and chronicles their efforts to 'go green'- that is self sufficient and eco friendly. One measure they took was building a water wheel to use to generate electricity. It doesn't supply all their power, but it does help. They also have storage batteries.

csm said...

Yes, mouse, a reduction in partisan hacks would be nice... wait... what's that you say... drill, drill, drill... hack... hack... hack...

coreydbarbarian said...

here's one for ya, mousey.
mccain really likes drilling.
it'd be great for the oil executives...

Anony Mouse said...

Bawdyscot that is a great point. Our nation will be reliant on oil is some capacity for many years to come. The less fortunate in our nation will be driving 1972 Buick Electra 225s for many more years to come because they don't have the ability to purchase alternative energy vehicles.
We need to become less dependent of foreign oil and become much more self-reliant much like Brazil. Getting the Feds out of the way and allowing the free market to solve the problem would do wonders.

We can't all be barbys with enough hot air to power a town the size of Boston. Sorry, just couldn't resist.

coreydbarbarian said...

boy, mouse, your resistance must be down today. ;)

g.e.'s electric car comes out next year, for around $20k brand new. the first of many electric motorcycles hit the market this year. the chevy volt is scheduled to debut year after next.

can't afford new? the electric scooter market has been booming for a couple years now. i'm sure there's a used one in your price range.

honestly, the upkeep alone on a '72 buick (not to mention the poor fuel economy) would pay for your down payment on a newer vehicle.

if that don't suit ya, i've got a used mountain back i'll give you. or you can pick one up cheap at a yard sale or sumthin.

Anony Mouse said...

You racism is quite apparent. You believe all black folks drive Buick Electra 225s? I'm a retired black man so I must drive a Cadillac.

IF you get married and IF you ever have a child (heaven forbid) let me know how getting those yougi'ns on that scooter goes for you. And would you please post the video?


Electric cars are great, but the fuel to power the power plants which run our electric grid is mainly coal and natural gas. Ethanol is a substitute, but we have talked of the problems with that(food crops for fuel, the high cost and the fact it still hurts the environment).

Also, does Mr. Gore have any answers(and maybe he does, I haven't heard)how poor people are going to get their hands on these electric cars? Mouse has a point, families have a hard time riding scooters.

There was a story on NPR just yesterday about the Chevy Volt. They said it would go 40 miles on one charge. Great, I live 48.5 miles from my job. That obviously won't do unless I stop somewhere for a quick charge on the way.

I just don't see how this will happen without alot of government intervention and y'all know how I feel about that, right?

coreydbarbarian said...

mouse, your ignorance is showing.

bawdy, i coulda sworn i heard somewhere that after the first 40 miles, the combustion gizmo kicks in. let me do a lil digging (2morrow), and i'll get back to ya on it.

also, you mention the fuel to power the power plants being coal & gas... i suggest you re-read csm's original post on that one. al gore wants clean electric in 10 yrs, remember?

as for how poor people get electric cars, i'd say the same way they get gas-run cars. and if they can't do that, they can opt for public transport, or bicycles, or...the possibilities are endless.

honestly, i think people are just spoiled anymore. we've gotten so used to limitless mobility, nobody thinks they can survive on a smaller scale, even if only for a bit.

coreydbarbarian said...

bawdy, i looked into the volt a bit.
here is the wikipedia link. it was a bit more informative than the chevy or gm sites. go figure.

bottom line: you have a 360 mile range in the volt. the first 40 miles use no gas, ethanol, diesel, biodiesel, etc. after that, you average between 50 and 150mpg, depending on how often you charge up the system.

me personally, i'm waiting for honda to release an electric motorcycle stateside. then i'll rig up a solar panel on the roof of the shed, and voila! no more fuel costs. after a couple years of stashing my fuel savings in the bank, then i can invest in a small electric car.


Thanks for the information, corey, but this Volt still would not conform to Gore's idea of no more carbon based fuel burning as the Wiki article states that after the first 40 ya start burning....gasoline(or some other carbon combustible). So I would be burning that foul stuff everyday twice a day(there and back)even if the company I work for were to install electric outlets in the parking lot. Which leads me to my next point...

Ten years may seem like a long time, but there is a myriad of things which would have to change if this goal were to be met(and maybe Gore picked ten years knowing full well it could not be met, but would light a fire under our collective asses)and if you just let your mind waft over this great land the changes would start piling up. There would be mountains of changes. And with those changes would be politicians who would just love the chance to make a name for themselves by controlling the situation, by controlling us, the people, because I feel this is what they want, power. This, I believe, is the reason why we have the people in power that we do.

I want you to think about something. Everywhere you look these days all you here about is high gas prices, environmental degradation, oil addiction, et al. Was this conversation started by our selfless government(both parties), environmental groups or any other civic organization? My answer would be no. This movement started to snowball once this started to hit the average Joe's pocketbook. This is the market. The market has moved people who wouldn't ordinarily have cared about these issues to speak out and join the enlightened. The government didn't do it, the market did. This is why I continue to ask the question, how does Mr. Gore plan to see his plan come to fruition in his timeframe. My guess, and it is based on the general Democratic theme, is a tremendously large federal government program which will control one more portion of citizen life with the whims of the people in power, picking the winners and losers.


A clarification in my last post...I wanted to say the conversation may have been started long ago by environmentalists, but it didn't reach critical mass until it hit the Average Joe's pocketbook. My bad, sorry for the inconvenience.

Anony Mouse said...

"me personally, i'm waiting for honda to release an electric motorcycle stateside"

Well aside from the manufacturer who will burn fossil fuels in the process. Ever been around plastic injection molding processes? Nasty Nasty.

Public transportation in the small rural counties Barb? Something to think a about but not for long. Once again fossil fuels. Imagine the cost of buses running into our rural towns to pick up a couple families of eight.

coreydbarbarian said...

i can't find any video, but does anyone remember the 1986 saturday night live parody commercial for the adobe?
sounds like that's the only kind of vehicle that's gonna please some people.


If it comes with cerveza, I am all over it.