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Al Gore lays out his energy and climate plan

Al Gore - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008

Creative Commons License Photo credit: World Economic Forum

In an article in the New York Times, titled "The Climate for Change," Al Gore lays out his climate and energy plan, which he says is needed "to begin an emergency rescue of human civilization from the imminent and rapidly growing threat posed by the climate crisis."

In the article Gore points out that IPCC has after years of detailed study and four unanimous reports now said that the evidence for man-made climate change is "unequivocal." Climate change deniers need to "wake up" and that "our children and grandchildren need you to hear and recognize the truth of our situation, before it is too late."

Gore says his five-part energy and climate plan, where USA commits to produce 100% of the electricity from carbon-free sources within 10 years, will help solve the climate and the economic crisis while creating "millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced".

Here is a summary of Gore's five-step plan:

1. Large-scale investments in incentives for solar thermal plants in the Southwest, wind farms stretching from Texas to the Dakotas and advanced geothermal plants in known hot spots.

2. $400 billion over 10 years for a unified national smart grid that would transport renewable energy from the rural areas where it's generated to the cities where it's needed. It should include smart features that would allow consumers to conserve electricity and reduce bills.

3. Help the automobile industry, both the large automakers and new start-ups, to convert to plug-in hybrids that utilize the smart grid.

4. A nationwide initiative to retrofit buildings with better insulation and energy-efficient windows and lighting. He asks that the initiative be coupled with the proposal in Congress to help Americans with mortgages that are more expensive than the value of their homes.

5. Put a price on carbon and lead world efforts to come up with a more effective replacement to the Kyoto treaty.

Gore also lashed out at the "clean coal" lie saying its "dirtier", "more expensive" and "too imaginary":

"If we could only increase oil and coal production at home, they argue, then we wouldn’t have to rely on imports from the Middle East. Some have come up with even dirtier and more expensive new ways to extract the same old fuels, like coal liquids, oil shale, tar sands and "clean coal" technology."

"But in every case, the resources in question are much too expensive or polluting, or, in the case of "clean coal," too imaginary to make a difference in protecting either our national security or the global climate. Indeed, those who spend hundreds of millions promoting "clean coal" technology consistently omit the fact that there is little investment and not a single large-scale demonstration project in the United States for capturing and safely burying all of this pollution. If the coal industry can make good on this promise, then I’m all for it. But until that day comes, we simply cannot any longer base the strategy for human survival on a cynical and self-interested illusion."

Hopefully Barack Obama will listen to Gore's energy and climate plan and put an end to this insane inaction that has plagued politics for too long.

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I would really, really like to see Gore as Energy Secretary to get a chance to make some of these things happen. Sadly, I think he's sworn off government - it's a shame, because Obama is ready to push forward on some of these issues.

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