|Note: Good environmental policy makes good economic policy (see
below for examples, many taken from Salon article: A green revolt
against Bush By Glenn
Incentivize/require PZEVs (these cars are in mass production today!)
greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 5 percent below 1990 levels
by 2010, and 10 percent by 2020 (NY is committed to this already).
Germany, for example, is planning to cut carbon emissions 40 percent by
2020. The difference isn't that they have engineering know-how we don't.
It is that they have leadership."
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol calls for a 5.2 percent cut in planet-wide
greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels, achieved by 2012.
within 10 years, New York will get at least 25 percent of its electric
power from renewable resources such as wind and solar.
The governor has yet to officially commit to a specific cap on CO2
emissions from power plants at 25 percent below 1990 levels (a cut the
taskforce said can be made with no cost to consumers).
adopt the California Zero Emission Vehicle standard to cut carbon
dioxide exhaust from cars -- if the California standard holds up in court
While the president claims that adherence to Kyoto CO2 cuts and a
switch to alternative energy will bankrupt the nation, Pataki sees a
commitment to wind, solar, hydrogen and biomass as a boon. "We've
proven that reducing greenhouse gases can be done without harming the
economy," she said. "In fact, we see an economic advantage to
encouraging technological innovations here in New York."
New Jersey, now in Democratic hands, is out front in curbing greenhouse
gas pollution, putting stringent CO2 emission limits on the state's
biggest utility. In June, Gov. James McGreevey pledged that 20 percent of
the state's energy will come from clean power by 2020, a tall order in a
state with little hydropower.
Maine, under Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, has just committed to
reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, to 10 percent
below 1990 levels by 2020, and by 75 to 80 percent over the long term, in
line with a proposal by the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian
Premiers. "At a time when the federal government has deleted climate
change information from EPA reports, Maine is not risking our future --
we're taking action," said Sue Jones of the Natural Resources Council
Vermont has committed to reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions
by more than 25 percent over the next decade. And Massachusetts was the
first state to mandate CO2 cuts at power plants, targeting its six
dirtiest fossil fuel plants.
Wind power is now growing in Europe by 40 percent per year, with a
capacity of more than 20,000 megawatts installed -- that's three-quarters
of the world's total wind power output, enough to serve more than 10
million European homes.
In the U.S., wind energy is at about one-fifth of Europe's capacity,
according to the WorldWatch Institute. Germany currently generates 12,000
megawatts annually from wind, Spain has 4,800 megawatts, while the U.S.
falls behind at just 4,700 megawatts. Even Denmark installed more wind
turbines last year than the U.S.
Japan and Germany lead the world in solar power, producing 100 and 75
megawatts respectively, while the U.S. is a distant third at 32 megawatts.
(India may soon catch us, since it already produces 18 megawatts). Japan
leads the manufacture of solar cells, monopolizing 43 percent of the
market, with Germany controlling 25 percent. Again America is behind, in
third place at 24 percent.
Iceland has declared plans to be the first nation to convert fully to a
hydrogen economy, is retrofitting Reykjavik's bus fleet with fuel cell
engines, and has opened hydrogen fueling stations in the capital.
We've developed a 99-mile-per-gallon gas-electric hybrid Explorer-class
SUV." According to Lovins, just $200 million in investment capital
could see the hypercar roll off assembly lines, saving three or four times
America's annual Persian Gulf imports. Hypercars could eventually be
converted to hydrogen fuel cell engines as the technology arrived. Lovins
has not patented his design, and Ford, GM, Daimler/Chrysler and other car
companies are all racing to be the first to market such a car.
If you look at the speed of production conversion at the start of World
War II, it was just stunning. I think the same could be done now because a
lot of the technologies are already well-developed," said Lovins.
"If you put together a New Manhattan Project to develop the
wind-hydrogen economy, all bets are off. Under normal conditions hypercars
could control half the market in 10 years. With a crash program to get
things into production, you could probably cut that time in half. That is
ambitious, but Americans are very good at doing ambitious things when
their attention is concentrated."