Former Vice President and presidential hopeful Al Gore seized upon the “change” theme that Barack Obama so successfully rode to victory in this year’s election to remind readers of Sunday’s New York Times that there’s one kind of change we don’t need: climate change.
Fortunately, Gore was not just sounding the alarm; he also provided a five-point plan to give the new president-elect and his future constituents some ideas to work with in coming months, noting that what’s good for the environment may also be good for our suffering economy and our future “energy security.”
Al Gore in The New York Times:
First, the new president and the new Congress should offer large-scale investment in incentives for the construction of concentrated solar thermal plants in the Southwestern deserts, wind farms in the corridor stretching from Texas to the Dakotas and advanced plants in geothermal hot spots that could produce large amounts of electricity.
Second, we should begin the planning and construction of a unified national smart grid for the transport of renewable electricity from the rural places where it is mostly generated to the cities where it is mostly used. New high-voltage, low-loss underground lines can be designed with “smart” features that provide consumers with sophisticated information and easy-to-use tools for conserving electricity, eliminating inefficiency and reducing their energy bills. The cost of this modern grid — $400 billion over 10 years — pales in comparison with the annual loss to American business of $120 billion due to the cascading failures that are endemic to our current balkanized and antiquated electricity lines.