Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barbara Fitzpatrick's thoughts on the economy and climate change

Efficiency is the solution

What's not to like about energy efficiency ? Efficiency is conservative and liberal. It benefits the whole population while saving money and resources. Insisting on inefficiency is insisting on paying more than something's worth.

The two major problems staring us in the face are unemployment and climate change. Efficiency alone can solve about half of both. We need about 10 wedges to avoid the worst of extreme climate change, each wedge representing reduction of 1 billion metric tons of carbon by 2055. They include doubling world-fleet average miles per gallon and building efficiency and halving world average miles driven. Each one means jobs, good jobs, retrofitting and weatherizing buildings, manufacturing lines for cars that get 45, 55 or more mpg, rebuilding and running rail and mass transit for people and freight.

Other wedge "green"jobs replace existing coal plants-no new ones, pleaseby increasing gas-fired power plants fourfold, wind-powered plants 50-fold and photovoltaics 700-fold. More efficiency, letting nature do the sequestering, creates jobs protecting and restoring rainforests and wetlands, and replacing high-petroleum, high-water input, carbon-releasing corporate agriculture with family farms (producing 50 percent more for less petroleum and water while sequestering carbon ) will increase our national food security. American efficiency can create good jobs and rebuild the economy, giving America domestic and international security. The next president and Congress need to hear this. I'm going to tell them. How about you ?

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