If there's any upside to a recession (and it's hardly much consolation), it's that the accompanying decline in energy use gives us some breathing room to meet long-term emissions targets. (The rough consensus among climate scientists is that the world should aim to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, a goal that sounded increasingly preposterous in recent years as countries were belching up carbon dioxide at a pace exceeding even the direst forecasts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.) The downside, however, is that the fall of oil and gas prices is forcing investors to shelve alternative-energy projects: The WilderHill index of clean-tech stocks has tumbled more than 50 percent since September, and even T. Boone Pickens is putting aside his beloved wind farms for now. The main reason the solar and wind industries aren't facing total collapse is government policy: Some 30 states have laws requiring utilities to get a fixed percentage of their electricity from renewable sources by a certain date.Just do it, already. It's my generation - our generation if you're reading this and you're my age - that's gonna have to pay the price for our irresponsibility when it comes to energy.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Is Now The Time To Go Green?
Well, yeah, if you ask me. But I would have said that years ago. Bradford Plumer argues that, because of the recession looming on the horizon, now might actually be the perfect time to implement a "new energy economy." A highlight: