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Neo

Race to be green

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Much like the race to the Moon in the late 50's and early 60's, I believe the US is heading into a new race...the race to be green. This time we aren't racing against Russia, we're racing against China and the global warming clock is ticking regardless of who wins. Hard decisions will need to be made in the next decade in how this nation and the rest of the world are going to step up their game in curbing emissions from transportation, energy production, etc.

IMO, neither the US or China will step up to the plate by itself, but as soon as one country starts pouring money into clean energy production (i.e. solar/wind vs. coal) the other will soon follow suit. Neither country can afford to not be in this race and whichever country takes the initiative and really begins to do something about it will produce an unstoppable economy.

Who do you think will start this race to be green? China is having an extremely hard time coping with the sheer volume of demand of energy and is getting very sloppy in handling the issue. Instead of new power plants being zero-emission or as near zero-emission as possible, China is building cheap coal fired plants without much in the way of emission reduction. The Chinese government is beginning to see the major problem it has on its hands, but it is spiraling out of control more every day without proper action on the issue.

Yes, the green movement (particularly in the US IMO) is nothing but a fad for many people but the government needs to change this 'fad' into a new directive for the country and for the world. For every day of inaction we risk a greater consequence of not dealing with the issue.

Let's create a race to be green and show some balls to the rest of the world for once.

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In our economy, the greenback will drive the race to be green. When the US adopts the policy of paying the full costs of dirty energy, and the full costs begin showing up in our products, then there will be an incentive to find and use cleaner energies - energies that don't have such legacies as deteriorating air and water resources. The Georgia legislature introduced a bill to tackle coal. (article here).

And not just energies, there's discussion surrounding a surcharge on tv's and the like that leave heavy metals, etc in landfills. Of course, tv manufacturers don't like it. Maybe if they charged the customer the surcharge and then rebated it when tv's were brought in to be properly disposed of...(?)

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California seems to have taken the initiative as they have some laws on the books that require a fee for disposal of certain items when you purchase new. That's the only way to do it IMO since consumers will always try to evade taxes when disposing of items in the trash.

Our government must stop subsidizing energy costs though, it is destroying our country. Let the entire nation pay the true cost of driving to and from work and I assure you this country will see innovation that has never been seen before. There has to be a true need for going green before the regular tax payer is going to budge. Paying $1.50/gallon for gasoline is not going to do it. We should be leading the world in being 'green' but instead we are too consumed with cheap energy to give it any thought.

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California seems to have taken the initiative as they have some laws on the books that require a fee for disposal of certain items when you purchase new. That's the only way to do it IMO since consumers will always try to evade taxes when disposing of items in the trash.

Our government must stop subsidizing energy costs though, it is destroying our country. Let the entire nation pay the true cost of driving to and from work and I assure you this country will see innovation that has never been seen before. There has to be a true need for going green before the regular tax payer is going to budge. Paying $1.50/gallon for gasoline is not going to do it. We should be leading the world in being 'green' but instead we are too consumed with cheap energy to give it any thought.

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The biggest road block is easing folks into the roadblock that would ensue by stopping energy subsidizing. I wouldn't mind seeing a gradual increase in gasoline tax for example over many years. That would allow companies and consumers alike to prepare, give enough time for companies to roll out alternative energy such as solar and bio-fuels, and would give a definitive price minimum to companies developing these new technologies (takes out the risk since they know there would be a bottom line to work from instead of not knowing what their bottom line is which is what we have now).

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Speaking of racing to be green. Power plant building in Lagrange, GA will burn wood waste use partially treated water from a nearby wastewater treatment plant for cooling... Article here.

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Looks like Hillary Clinton is going to be visiting China very soon to discuss the state of the climate with the government there. I'm glad that the two largest producers of CO2 are in agreement that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. I just hope that they realize the urgency of introducing a solid plan on significantly reducing the amount of CO2 produced.

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There's a race to be green? Ha, only the liberal media and Hollywood paint the picture as such. Green means red. Red as the bottom line and my wrists when i see my energy bill. Yes, ethically we need to take care of our planet but to the extent your talking about, is beyond reasonable. Your not being ethical to the poor who can't afford green energy, Let alone your tax on cheap non green energy which they use. Tax breaks don't last forever, why not just let the market decide when to turn green? There's a market for green energy, so why does our big old fat ugly slow bureaucratic government have to get involved?

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I believe the reason green energy is more expensive is the result of the lack of investment in the Bush years.

Should the government put forward the incentives in green energy technology development and streamlining production, wind energy probably could meet most of our energy needs in conjunction with nuclear, solar, geothermal, etc. at a reasonable rate.

As of now, no.

I read somewhere that if we would need a wind farm roughly the size of Texas as wind energy stands now to meet the energy needs of the United States but wind energy is light years ahead of where it was even 5 or 10 years ago. It's advancing at a phenomenal rate.

To get back to the point, the reason alternative energy is more expensive right now is because it costs more to produce. As it advances though, it gets cheaper, easier, and more efficient to produce. The result = less money owed on your electric bill. We can speed along the development of alternative energy with more commitment from the federal government. That's doubtful to happen on full scale until the country gets back on its feet economically.

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The only way to drive the price of 'green' energy down is to fund research and development for alternative sources (wind, solar, geothermal, etc). If this country doesn't invest now, we will be in a very sticky situation if/when oil prices go back up. Consider the situation we have now economically, but add to it the prices of oil we saw several months ago and the answer should be clear to anyone with doubt.

We're pushing increasing poverty on the poor if we do not act on this now because oil WILL go back up, its just a matter of time. If this country (and the world) still has a death grip when the price of oil does go back up and we have no alternative, then we will be in a much worse situation than we are currently in. The alternatives out there just happen to be 'green' so there is more than one benefit to doing this now.

Believe what you will, but human caused global warming is happening and unless we act very soon (with great force) we will miss our opportunity for change. I encourage anyone who has questions on why America (and the world) should invest in alternative energy to give Thomas Friedman's "Hot, Flat and Crowded" a read.

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Stop making Bush your escape goat for all your gripes, it's the congresses fault. If there is a market for green energy, demand and profitability, there need no be any wasteful government spending to get this off the ground. If the market can't get it off the ground yet, than it's simply not economical and ethical. And when hundreds of billions are out there for the taking, people take in every possible fiscal scenario in consideration, including higher non-green energy prices. The market will provide the cheapest and largest supply of green energy if you let it, if what you say is true. If the market isn't willing, than the government shouldn't invest hundreds of billions of dollars on an energy infrastructure just for a special interest group who demand green. And if you want green energy, than why not nuclear. France is 87.5% nuclear. I think I'll call those freedom fries, french fries from now on.

Oh, and by the way, fuel prices are low now because of the declining economy. So you can't tack on possible high fuel prices at the same time because they coincide with each other.

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Basically what I'm saying is, if you think green energy is the next best thing since sliced bread, then invest your money into companies producing green technologies. Don't use my tax money to feed your special interests.

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Stop making Bush your escape goat for all your gripes, it's the congresses fault. If there is a market for green energy, demand and profitability, there need no be any wasteful government spending to get this off the ground. If the market can't get it off the ground yet, than it's simply not economical and ethical. And when hundreds of billions are out there for the taking, people take in every possible fiscal scenario in consideration, including higher non-green energy prices. The market will provide the cheapest and largest supply of green energy if you let it, if what you say is true. If the market isn't willing, than the government shouldn't invest hundreds of billions of dollars on an energy infrastructure just for a special interest group who demand green. And if you want green energy, than why not nuclear. France is 87.5% nuclear. I think I'll call those freedom fries, french fries from now on.

Can you please inform me where I made Bush the scapegoat for my gripe that America is addicted to CO2 (or anything else for the matter). We have the ability to clone humans and I'm certain that the market is there, does that make it ethical by your standards? Federal funds are needed for research in many diseases, so by your logic, because federal funds are required to support that research it should not be done?

We have an unlimited supply (unlike oil and natural gas) of geothermal heat, solar and wind, so why in the world would we choose to continue pumping funds into oil companies when there are obvious alternatives? Not to mention we're supporting foreign economies (many of which fund terrorist groups and the like) by not investing in clean energy. We also have a chance to start manufacturing something that will be in high demand (we can't continue as a consumer only society) by the rest of the world so why pass up the opportunity?

I'm glad you brought up nuclear. Yes, France is 87.5% nuclear powered, and produces roughly 430TWh from 59 nuclear power plants. The US has 104 nuclear power plants that produce roughly 876TWh. So while France gets most of its electricity from nuclear power, the US still produces more than twice what France does, yet it only accounts for 20% of the needs here in the US.

I believe a nuclear power plant takes around 10 years to build out and the costs are simply astronomical, and we still haven't figured out how to store the nuclear waste effectively and cheaply which add on additional costs. Are you still calling freedom fries, french fries?

The last time I looked, Obama's planned stimulus has allocated $54B towards green energy production, that's a far cry from the hundreds of billions of dollars that you're quoting above. The Huffington Post had a great article last year on the cost of oil subsidies that stated the true cost of these subsidies amounted to $78B to $158B PER YEAR. Can you honestly be against government pumping money into green energy now (especially such a low number like $54B) when it is subsidizing the cost you pay to fill up your big SUV? Our way of life is not sustainable, regardless of how much you want it to be.

Basically what I'm saying is, if you think green energy is the next best thing since sliced bread, then invest your money into companies producing green technologies. Don't use my tax money to feed your special interests.

And how do you know that I'm not investing in green energy companies? I'm also paying taxes to the federal government, as are many others wanting the United States to invest in green energy. You're welcome to use your tax dollars for whatever purpose you want, I assure you that Bush used as many tax dollars as possible to tighten the grip we have on foreign oil.

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Basically what I'm saying is, if you think green energy is the next best thing since sliced bread, then invest your money into companies producing green technologies. Don't use my tax money to feed your special interests.

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That's a common misconception. There is a limit to power you can generate per windmill and per square meter of solar cells. There is also a limit to when these systems can generate power.

And this is why we need research in these areas, to increase output and efficiency. Yes, there is a limit, but that limit is always being increased with new developments. Obviously we can't rely on one single energy source, but by generating power from solar, wind, geothermal, etc., we can enable 24x7 power that is clean and renewable.

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Where to start. I'll remark to each of your points.

1) Nashville_maestro was using Bush as his scapegoat*

2) The Government creates laws, hence the word govern-ment, that are ethical. They set the standard where pollution is unethical.

3) The question isn't why shouldn't, its why should a government fund green energy? If green energy has true value, then why wouldn't it be profitable for the private sector to invest in?

4) Where did I say "so by your logic, because federal funds are required to support that research..." My father worked on a breathable insulin product that failed in the market place. This was an advancement in treatment of diabetes. It failed because it was not economical to switch over too. If you put this in the government's hands, they won't see a bottom line to things and as a result, would pedal failed ideas. Just look at our national debt for proof.

5) There is only so much energy in wind, geothermal, light rays that have traveled millions of miles and have gone through an atmosphere to reach the ground. The very nature of these energies can't even come close to the amount of energy found in fossil fuels.

6) We keep on funding oil producing companies because investors know that this is the best source of energy for the American economy. There is clean coal and Nuclear if you want alternatives. You have to keep in mind that China does not hold to the ethical standards we as Americans do. They only see a bottom line to things and they completely forget about the environment. There are extremes to both sides. A county not bound by expensive restrictive pollution control is a country that can rise to power quicker.

7) We would not be sending as much money to terrorists if we could drill along our coasts and in international water. And in international water, if we don't drill, countries with much lower ethics will drill there. Also drilling along our coastal regions would create jobs for our slagging economy. And do you know that there are eco green terrorists on the flip side? But I do agree with you that it is not good that we are relying so much on foreign energies that fund many terrorists.

8) Green energy is in moderate demand. It's presence is more in the main stream but people aren't demanding it at a high enough level to where we are switching over to green energies. I couldn't agree more that we are a society that consumes to much and produces to little. Real production is created when a society saves, not borrows and consumes. That is fundamentally what is wrong with this stimulus bill. Listen to my main man Peter Schiff, talk about the real solution to this economic ressession/soon to be depression. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-It-eC6mISo...re=channel_page

9) Just because we have more nuclear plants does not mean we are above France in nuclear energy. They are a much smaller country than we are and with their much smaller budget, they've invested more in nuclear in relative comparison.

10) Nuclear still costs much less than green energy. Nuclear is competitive with fossil fuel. With green energy, it first is not a fuel, you must extract the little proverbial droplets of energy very slowly, and is not mass produced at this time which accounts for part of the reason why green energy is expensive today.

11) Solution: store nuclear waste in remote mountains.

12) As far as their energy needs go, French people are smart.

13) I'm against almost all government spending because as a country, we are a drunk homeless person living under a bridge who is in debt by trillions of dollars. We can't afford a nice new infrastructure.

Politically speaking now, dems are creating a society that is addicted to government aid and a society that only votes them back into office. I'm an independent and I voted for Bob Barr. I dislike the GOP almost as much.

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Your remark that green energy (i.e. solar) is more expensive than Nuclear is a myth. Treehugger.com had a great article on debunking this a couple months back: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/12/10-energy-myths.php

There is no such thing as clean coal, period. Here is a great article on that as well: http://solveclimate.com/blog/20081017/ther...hing-clean-coal

I'm not going to bother with the argument over which has more resources...the sun and wind or fossil fuels. The answer is obvious to most that fossil fuels are a finite resource and as those resources become smaller and harder to obtain that wars over access to those fossil fuels will be catastrophic.

Costs of solar, wind and other green energy sources will come down on their own through private investments, but by having the government help to subsidize this market the costs will come down much faster. Whether or not you believe in human caused global warming decides if you support this or not. If you don't believe in it then obviously you want the crudest and cheapest way out so drill baby drill. If you do believe that we are the cause of global warming then it is an absolute necessity for America to help bring down the cost of green energy as fast as possible as to not only help our economy by creating manufacturing jobs for these items (wind turbines, solar panels, etc.) but to set an example for the rest of the world, most notably China.

China has a habit of mimicking what America does, albeit with a delay. We had a certain standard of living and now they want the same. They've even gone to the extent of creating the same type of subdivisions that we have here with the homes looking exactly like what you would find in Anytown, USA. If we set an example that clean green energy is the wave of the future (and I believe it is) then it is pretty clear to me that China would want to follow this path once they see the benefits of doing so.

We can't fuel America's need for energy simply by drilling on our own land or in our own waters. I believe it is ok to do so but only if it is the first step in the plan of creating our own energy. Ultimately we need a *sustainable* source of energy for this nation and regardless of your love affair with oil, it is clear to see the only choice is solar, wind and geothermal sources.

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What i'm saying is that, don't put the "baby" on solid foods too early. It is unatural and unhealthy to subsidize any market. Depending on your view of global warming, your ethical viewpoint should drive you to invest into the green market, at diffent times, before it fully matures. Indiviuals who feel ethically obligated, should subsidize the green market because of their convictions. When people are sticker shocked at the cost of what it takes to subsidize this market, they won't invest their money. It's easy to use other people's money visa ve the government, it's hard to use your own. In the end, you will have a smaller, more expensive energy solution if you let the government subsidize the green market. And also, you'd have a government more in debt.

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I would argue differently. Many scientific reports show that we may have as little as 10 years to change our habits drastically to thwart irreversible consequences tied to global warming. Unless we do this now it simply will not get done and we cannot wait for the private industry to pick up the tab for research and rollout of the technologies. If we had 100 years I would be on the side you're on, but I don't believe we have that much time thus action is required as soon as we can get it and at a cost that I believe we can't afford to *not* commit to.

Why wouldn't we want the federal government to green their buildings to offset carbon produced? It not only drives the market to bring costs down so that homeowners like myself can tap into the technology at a much lower cost, but saves the government on their utility bills which we're ultimately paying for as taxpayers. It sure beats the billions we've spent in Iraq and ketchup research. I'm 100% for taking the pork out of government spending but investing in a cleaner and greener energy alternative is far from pork spending.

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I'd like to see a little of that research money go towards tidal and OTEC power. Offshore OTEC looks promising, but I'm betting the envirnmentalists won't let it happen.

I'd also like to see some research towards other type of fuel cells rather than hydrogen fueled systems.

Also, I feel we could reap more benefits from passive solar, rather than PV arrays.

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I'd like to see a little of that research money go towards tidal and OTEC power. Offshore OTEC looks promising, but I'm betting the envirnmentalists won't let it happen.

I'd also like to see some research towards other type of fuel cells rather than hydrogen fueled systems.

Also, I feel we could reap more benefits from passive solar, rather than PV arrays.

Though I didn't mention the other types of alternative 'green' energy, I did mentally include them in my etc.

Solar and wind seem to have the biggest momentum at the moment so I would assume most funding to go in that direction. Like you, I would like to see funding for OTEC, power from ocean currents, and fuel cells. It's going to take several different types of alternative green energy to fulfill the demand and I'm for it so long as it drastically reduces (or completely reduces) the amount of CO2 we pump into the atmosphere.

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Scientists use the shock and awe doctrine to further their research, careers, and funding. I'd like to see them lead by example by ditching their planes, trains, and automobiles. I'd of rather greened my house instead of being taxed forced to green government buildings. What I'm seeing is environmentalists using the threat of global warming to further their socialist doctrine.

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Scientists use the shock and awe doctrine to further their research, careers, and funding. I'd like to see them lead by example by ditching their planes, trains, and automobiles. I'd of rather greened my house instead of being taxed forced to green government buildings. What I'm seeing is environmentalists using the threat of global warming to further their socialist doctrine.

You obviously see a lot of hypocrisy from those leading the way to 'change' in this country and that's your own right. I honestly do not see it this way. Yes, there are many who use planes, trains and automobiles to spread the word of climate change, but more times than not they are offsetting their usage with carbon credits or similar credits. It is absolutely impossible to get out there and let folks know about global warming if you can't fly or take the train.

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You obviously see a lot of hypocrisy from those leading the way to 'change' in this country and that's your own right. I honestly do not see it this way. Yes, there are many who use planes, trains and automobiles to spread the word of climate change, but more times than not they are offsetting their usage with carbon credits or similar credits. It is absolutely impossible to get out there and let folks know about global warming if you can't fly or take the train.

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Tis, true that you should teach what you preach. Especially in the internet age, with teleconferencing, there is little need to jet around the country.

And I'm not sure how many people believe in carbon offsetting. I believe its a bunch of hooey myself, and am trying to come up with a way to profit off the silliness.

I don't have a problem at all with funding new technology; I think it is great and the benefits are many. however, lets be honest about it. 'Green energy' is going to be a very small percentage for at least another decade and a half barring some out of the blue breakthrough.

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