Neste blog são divulgados tópicos relacionados às questões de clima e ambiente, de interesse científico, tecnológico, educacional ou social.
(In this blog we deal with some topics concerning climate and environment, with focus on scientific, technological, educational or social issues).
quinta-feira, 24 de abril de 2014
A renewable energy economy is possible and needed for our future
Trillions of dollars have
gone to bailout Wall Street fraudsters, provide tax-breaks for the
wealthy, maintain our military and the pointless wars and operations
since Sept. 11. If we have this kind of money to undermine our democracy
and promote inequality and destruction on a massive scale, we could
easily come up with with the money to build a clean energy economy that
is overflowing with well-paying jobs and is truly sustainable for our
For starters, we could start
by clawing back some of our lost money with a large wealth tax on
individuals with over $100 million in assets. We could reestablish the
tax rates used during the 1950s when the highest marginal tax rate for
the wealthy was at 91 percent of their earnings (say, above $1 million a
year now). We can also treat capital gains as regular income, invoke a
Wall Street speculation tax, close corporate loopholes, tax avoidance
schemes and end corporate welfare for polluters.
Additionally, states could establish state-owned public banks, as North Dakota
has done successfully since 1919. The federal government and states
need to stop paying private financial interests to finance their
borrowing and deficits. The billions in savings could help finance clean
Taxing carbon-based fuels, feed-in-tariff
programs, increasing tax incentive programs and renewable energy
requirements for utilities and direct subsidies could propel the US
towards a truly clean energy economy.
This would save, not cost, about $5 trillion over the next 50 years, according to energy expert Amory Lovins
of the Rocky Mountain Institute. His expertise has landed him contracts
with both the Pentagon and Walmart, among other mega-institutions that
are intent on saving money and energy by way of efficiency and renewable
The world’s economy needs to
move towards a hyper-efficient and renewable energy economy faster than
the present path that it is on. Why? Because we need to address the
disastrous climate change that is already wreaking havoc on our planet.
While discussing climate
change, the more immediate additional effects of pollution are rarely
addressed such as pollution-induced heart attacks, cancer, asthma
attacks, mercury contaminated fish from coal burning, oil spills and environmental justice and racism issues.
Many world-renown scientists
and engineers have determined that close to 100 percent of clean energy
economy is within reach starting with present off-the-shelf
He and other engineering
colleagues at UC Davis and Cornell University show that a renewable
energy economy would be less expensive, more reliable, create more jobs
and save billions of dollars.
“Converting to wind, water
and sunlight is feasible, will stabilize costs of energy and will
produce jobs while reducing health and climate damage,” said Jacobson, a
professor of civil and environmental engineering, in the Stanford News.
Jacobson’s 2009 Stanford
University study determined that the best options in terms of individual
and collective impacts on global warming is pollution, wildlife, water
use, land and wind use, solar, geothermal, tidal and hydro-electric were
Nuclear power, coal, ethanol,
oil and natural gas were ranked lowest. Battery-powered electric and
hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles could largely eliminate pollution from the
transportation sectors, as reported in the Scientific American magazine back in October 2009.
Jacobson recently unveiled a
50 state clean energy plan at the annual meeting of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago, detailing the
many benefits including job creation and positive health outcomes.
A recent report
commissioned by the UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance indicates that
renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are increasingly showing
positive market signals. They are developing at a rapid pace worldwide.
Energy experts associated with the Renewables 100 Policy Institute
gathered on April 16 last year in San Francisco for their first ever
international conference, Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy. Dozens of
scientists, policy makers and others showed how a 100 percent renewable
energy economy could be achieved.
Republican mayor of the City of Lancaster, R. Rex Parris,
spoke at the conference about the “asteroid” heading towards the earth
in the form of climate change and has been actively working on making
Lancaster the “solar capital of the world.”
Germany is planning to receive 80 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2050 according to germany.info.
Mark Jacobson states that the
barriers to achieving a 100 percent renewable energy economy are
largely political and social barriers, and not technological or
recently published an article about how renewable energy could fully
power a large electric grid 99.9 percent of the time by 2030 at costs
comparable to today’s electricity expenses, according to new research by
the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College.
“These results break the
conventional wisdom that renewable energy is too unreliable and
expensive,” said co-author Willett Kempton, professor in the School of
Marine Science and Policy in University of Delaware’s College of Earth,
Ocean, and Environment. “The key is to get the right combination of
electricity sources and storage — which we did by an exhaustive search —
and to calculate costs correctly.”
of Rutgers University and other scientists have theorized that the
warming of the Artic region has drastically altered weather patterns
worldwide. They think that this might be causing the jet stream to stall
out, bringing unwelcome weather such as serious flooding downpours or
extended heat waves and cold snaps. These events show the predicted
result of weather induced disasters. Additionally, methane
continues to be released at an ever-increasing rate in the northern
latitudes, where most of global warming has occurred, causing grave
concern among many scientists.
Independent scientific institutions, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, continue to counter propaganda
and misinformation coming from fossil fuel-supported institutions.
These institutions deny the facts surrounding climate change and
undermine alternative energy solutions by literally using techniques
developed by the tobacco industry, which successfully denied the health
effects of their product for years.
Climate science continues to
be distorted and underreported by many in the media, with the dire
effects underestimated by scientists themselves according to climate
expert Michael Mann, in a recent interview with Scientific American.
Former University of Arizona professor and scientist Guy McPherson’s website Nature Bats Last
details the perils facing humanity and much of the world’s living
creatures and habitats as a result of chaotic climate change. Although
he predicts imminent human extinction, he still encourages people to
stand up and fight for a more just and truly sustainable world.
The technology is there for us to make
the needed changes to create what longtime writer/activist Harvey
Wasserman has advocated for, a Solartopia,
but not the political will. Maybe it will take thousands or millions to
take to the streets, or show up at their legislators’ offices, or
campaign events. This might be just around the corner. By Steven Maiken Source:Daily Sundial online