10 Years Now: Repower America
Much of the commentary on Al Gore’s speech in Washington yesterday, given as part of his We Campaign and viewable on the We Campaign’s website, has focused on whether or not his vision of replacing all carbon sources of energy in the U.S. with renewable sources is feasible. Advocates of alternative energy applaud him and point out the progress that has been, and is being made, in alternative energy. They reiterate, as Gore did, the quantities of energy currently untouched. That 40 minutes worth of sunshine could power the globe. That wind farms in the midwest could power the country. Skeptics say it isn’t doable. Alternative energy they say is currently a very small portion of the energy produced in the U.S.: only about 2.5%. And they label Gore an alarmist that can be ignored. But does it matter if we succeed or not, given we make an earnest effort to replace as much of our carbon polluting sources as we can as quickly as we can? There would be no consequences other than perhaps lower energy cost, reduced dependence on foreign sources of energy, a reinvigorated economy focused on high demand emerging technologies, healthier living, and a less polluted environment. We must try. Al Gore’s vision is bold and seemingly unreachable, but his concerns are in proportion to the difficulties we face as a country and world, now and in the future.