Gore’s 10-Year Plan to Save the Planet

by Myron Ebell on July 17, 2008 · 8 comments

11: 46 AM – Approaching Constitution Hall, where Gore will be speaking, the first brochure handed to me from a vegan group, then another from an anti-meat group, next LaRouchies, then the large contingent of Americans for Prosperity and Bureaucrash and CEI interns. Great signs, lots of energy. I left my colleague William Yeatman at the counter-rally. Huge crowd of people outside on 18th waiting to get in. Apparently, thousands are on the waiting list. Not well organized. I just got in and found a very good seat a few rows up on the back balcony. Lots of upper balcony seats still to be filled. Young, well-heeled, casually-dressed group. Overwhelmingly white.

Heard an older woman ahead of me in line saying, “Now I’m getting really concerned about all the windmills and what they’ll do to bird migration patterns.” The woman she was with then shared a related concern that I couldn’t hear. It is sadly the case that for do-gooders the worries never end. Now to wait for Our Prophetic Leader. Still lots of seats to fill.

12:12 PM — It’s noon and the hall is almost full. Just a few hundred more. The woman next to me struck up a conversation by saying, “I just realized I’m not sure what the purpose of this is. Do you know?” Reply: “I think Al Gore is going to give us a 10-year plan to save the planet.” Mumbled reply, then we chatted pleasantly about attending various concerts here many years ago. Some seats on the edges of the upper balcony are still available, but people seem to have stopped coming in. Someone just came to the podium, but only put a folder down.

Most in the VIP section in front are still standing and chatting. OK, two people have come to the podium. Cathy Zoi (head of the We Campaign) is welcoming us, introduces the vice chairman, Sherry Boehlert (former Green Republican Representative from New York). Nine members of board, four Ds, four Rs, and one I (Gore is of course chairman). Amusing quote from Woody Allen, then: “Woody gave us humor; what you are about to hear gives us hope.” First met Al on the Science Committee in ‘82. You’re about to hear a challenge. But you (at CEI) are probably all listening on TV, so I won’t send a running account of what Gore is saying.

1:05 PM - Well, I left as soon as Gore ended. I walked four blocks toward the Metro station before hailing a cab. Yes, I must confess that I took a cab from CEI to Constitution Hall and now am taking a cab to the Hill for a meeting (despite an e-mail from the We Campaign admonishing me to walk, bike, take bus or subway). The Dark Side of the Force proposed that we dare to act boldly and pass laws that will require that 100 percent of our electricity be produced from renewable sources within 10 years. This 10-year plan will move us from coal, natural gas, and nuclear (not sure if hydropower still qualifies as a renewable) to solar, wind, and geothermal power.

This will be achieved by the rapid price reductions for renewable power that have already been achieved, plus the enormous economies of scale that will cause even more rapid price decreases in the next few years, plus continuing increases in prices for hydrocarbon fuels, plus additional increases through a carbon tax (which will replace the payroll tax).

Some people may see this ambitious goal as impossible to achieve. Those are the people who are defending Big Oil, King Coal, etc., and the people who have given us our current dysfunctional politics, and people who don’t rise to big challenges, dream great thoughts, dare to achieve great goals — that is, people who aren’t really Americans. The 10-year plan is commensurate with the threat, which threatens the survival of our country and of human civilization as we know it.

Whew! Well, I don’t normally drink carbonated beverages (at least not non-alcoholic ones) out of respect for the planet, but I think I’ll have a Coca-Cola with my sandwich. The fact is that utilities are having a hard time keeping up with population and demand growth building every kind of power plant they can — coal, natural gas, wind. Meeting all new demand in the next few decades just with renewables would be extremely difficult and expensive. Doing that and replacing all current coal and gas power plants in ten years is preposterous.

jwh July 17, 2008 at 12:52 pm

If this is what he's been thinking about since he lost the election in 2000, all I can say is Thank God, he lost……

George July 18, 2008 at 2:33 am

I just was listening to Bill Bennett's program and they had an energy expert, Mark Lewis, I seem to remember that was very critical of using wind power.

I tried to get on so as to ask him to discuss T. Boone Pickens plan for wind power, which seems pretty ambitious.

Boone Pickens is a pretty smart guy and I was wondering what is his axe to grind in this and additionally, either Boone or Mark is right, so one of them is full of pumpkin seeds.

Which one, aka who do I believe ?

Regards

George July 18, 2008 at 2:33 am

I just was listening to Bill Bennett's program and they had an energy expert, Marlo Lewis, I seem to remember that was very critical of using wind power.

I tried to get on so as to ask him to discuss T. Boone Pickens plan for wind power, which seems pretty ambitious.

Boone Pickens is a pretty smart guy and I was wondering what is his axe to grind in this and additionally, either Boone or Mark is right, so one of them is full of pumpkin seeds.

Which one, aka who do I believe ?

Regards

Frank DiFalco July 18, 2008 at 2:47 am

I used to work as a lowly equipment operator in an oil-fired steam generating plant in Maine. We were able to cover sudden shortages of power for the grid in as little as 20 minutes if we had units that were down but still "hot." This would be impossible with wind, solar, or even hydro if there was no additional wind, sun, or water. People don't realize that nearly all of their electricity comes from high-pressure steam. It is an amazing product. People need to educate themselves before they go off on tangents about serious matters.

Truly concerned,

Frank

Mikjel G. July 19, 2008 at 6:43 am

I also heard that same program. I also noted that they did not speak of many issues THAT I PERSONALLY FACE on a daily basis.

1) Toledo, Ohio…. the 2nd most costly in electrical prices. We are told that it is a LAW that we need to be hooked up to a grid, to pay a monthly fee to 'TOLEDO EDISON' (part of the 'FIRST ENERGY' group), or we are a nuisance and a health hazard. Needless to say I'm paying $109.00 a month just to surf the internet with a 300 watt PC and use a microwave and fridge. I have battery operated sensor lights and oil lamps. My 60 watt flat screen TV provides some light too.

2) if these yahoo's are so serious, why have they made no attempt to make it easy for the apartment consumer? I have some things to bring down my cost, but clearly its not enough. I was formerly paying 160 a month for heating… not by 3100 watt baseboard, but oil filled radiator heater, that plugs in. I was told that that 9000 watt unit was more expensive to run. however, it only heated my main room that I was in, not the whole apartment.

3)Where's the PROPER education???? DTV and the transition is bad… this is probably a sister issue. Both are not educating the consumer on how to lower cost. I made note of that same topic on a "going Green" website. I noted the ways that I was trying to keep the price down. I want others to know what can be done, especially in apartments, where you are hook up no matter what. I heard nothing back, per my request.

If I didn't work for WTOD-AM (SuperTalk 1560), I would have tried to call Bill Bennett. There were some things that people were not educated on, so… how can we effectively discuss the issue at light? (pun intended)

Mikel G.

WTOD-AM Toledo

WKKO-FM Toledo

gary h July 22, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Mr. Ebell. Thanks for bringing a little humor into this most exceptionally scary moment. And, thanks for bringing up the population issue. CA alone is expecting some 25-30 million more poor immigrants in the next several decades – I suspect this is where the new social welfare checks for illegal's will come in handy; they will be able to dump their old rusted out Datsun pickup truck and pick, for pocket change, up a shiny new federally subsidized electric car sometime in the next decade, if some lucky new inventor meets the McCain challenge.

But I challenge you on one item; you noted Doing that and replacing all current coal and gas power plants in ten years is preposterous." well, it is also impossible.

Best, gary

Franrose O December 14, 2008 at 11:23 pm

The American political climate, which had been so optimistic of late, has started to get ugly again. Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has likely seen his last payday for awhile, along with his chief of staff, John Harris. The FBI on federal corruption charges arrested both on Tuesday morning. Normally, a person in such a high position getting busted for something that big is shocking enough, but it gets worse in that he is the second governor if Illinois in a row to get arrested on federal criminal charges. His predecessor, George Ryan, was arrested a few years ago, on corruption charges as well. Blagojevich evidently assumed that he was King of Illinois and did Barack Obama recently vacate trying to literally sell the Senate seat. According to Illinois law, the governor determines who fills the seat, and Blagojevich figured that it was a quick way to make a buck or two. Well, it would be an understatement to say he got a little greedy. The FBI compiled a 76 page indictment against Harris and Blagojevich. He was caught on wiretap last month, and the FBI waited to get even more evidence against him, which they did. He claims that everything he did and said was legal. Residents of the state of Illinois will just have to wait and see. The climate in DC appears to be hopeful for now, but darker clouds are on the horizon for Blagojevich and his buddy, Harris. It's likely they’ve seen their last paydays in office. Click to read more on Blagojevich courtesy of Personal Money Store's <a title="Read more about Rod Blagojevich Payday Office" rev="vote-for" href="http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2008/12/09/rod-blagojevich-payday-office/&quot; rel="nofollow">Payday Loan News.

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