Gore’s alarm should be taken seriously
Al Gore has called on the nation to replace all carbon used for electricity with renewable sources within the next 10 years.
AL Gore's call for eliminating carbon from the nation's electricity grid within 10 years would seem panicky, if only he were wrong. The seriousness of global warming and the nation's dependency on oil needs to be addressed quickly and severely. Fortunately, unlike President Bush, the next president knows that.
"The survival of the United States of America" and "the future of human civilization is at stake," the former vice president warned in a speech Thursday. He said the world faces growing demand for electricity, dangerous climate changes because of carbon emissions and political instability in the oil-rich Middle East.
Gore wants to replace carbon-emitting forms of electricity within a decade, replacing them with solar, wind, geothermal or clean-coal technology, while shifting to electric cars. Hawaii is the only state that relies on oil for electricity, while half the mainland uses coal, in abundance domestically, with the rest getting by on hydroelectric and nuclear. Renewable sources produce less than 3 percent of the nation's electricity. Gore would retain nuclear power for the current 20 percent of the electricity.
Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, the major parties' presumed nominees, agree with Gore that the nation needs to move toward energy self-sufficiency. But to reach Gore's goal in 10 years? Neither has said, "Yes we can," to that question.
Nor has Congress recognized the seriousness of the problem. Several months ago, the House rejected legislation that would have required utilities to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. In June, the Senate was unable to muster a vote on a proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 70 percent by 2050. The next president must spur Congress into action.
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