In his Democratic presidential nomination acceptance speech last night President Barack Obama touted the results of his energy policy, including cutting oil imports in half and promoting more renewable energies like solar and wind power.
It was refreshing to hear clean energy touted in a campaign speech. Obama also actually spoke about the effects of global warming, such as the drought that has affected much of the country.
That’s even more refreshing.
And considering that recent studies show more than 50 percent of Republicans now believe in global warming and think that something should be done about it, perhaps it is time we actually had a national discussion about climate change and how we can fight it.
Obama once again called to end the approximate $4 billion a year in subsidies and tax breaks given to oil and gas companies. (Though good luck overcoming those powerful and rich special interests.)
I was also impressed he discussed these issues before talking about Afghanistan and the killing of Osama bin Laden. It actually felt as if clean energy was important!
But Obama and his administration must go farther. We need not only to talk about the catastrophic effects of global warming, but what must be done about it.
Solar, wind, geothermal energy are all great ideas that we should encourage to grow, but they’re not enough. Study after study finds that the best way to reduce our global warming-causing carbon emissions is with energy efficiency so we can burn fewer fossil fuels to produce electricity.
These “negawatts” can be considered a fuel of its own. And we have technologies, in the form of home control systems, business automation systems, lighting control systems, occupancy sensors, highly efficient LED lamps, energy monitoring and management system, electric vehicles, smart grid technologies, energy harvesting devices, better battery technologies and much more—to save energy and harvest energy while still living to our standards. We just have to put these technologies together and incentivize homeowners and business owners to invest in these technologies.
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