Convert our obsolete energy system from the fossil/nuke failure to green power! That's the brave renewable key to solving our global climate crisis...and the way to win a long-term economic prosperity that's stable and rich in good, steady, non-polluting jobs for millions of people who now can't get them.
It's long been clear that carbon dioxide emissions from coal, oil and gas-fired power plants---including the internal combustion automobile---are a root cause of the global warming crisis. Far from solving this devastating problem, nuclear power can only make it worse.
On the other hand, wind energy, solar, bio-fuels, water power, ocean thermal, geothermal and many more natural sources operate in harmony with the Earth. They do not emit greenhouses gases, they do not cause other forms of harmful pollution.
But they do offer the prospect of stable, steady sources of clean power whose capital costs are steadily dropping, and whose fuel is free.
Unlike nuke power, the whole history of renewable energy development runs constantly toward devices that are cheaper to run, quicker to build and easier to maintain. Except for very dirty coal, wind power today is the cheapest, cleanest and fastest-to-build form of new grid-based electrical generating capacity.
Other forms of green power, such as photovoltaic cells (PV) are expensive not because their production costs are high, but because the demand for them is so intense. Free the capital from the fossil-nuke failure, build the production capacity for green power, and watch the prices plummet!!
Unlike fossil fuels and uranium, there's no prospect that the fuel supply for solar and wind power will be anything but inexhaustible.
Because they're labor-intensive, and relatively simple and accessible, the conversion to green-powered technologies will create a whole new world of employment opportunity. Decades ago, researchers such as Amory Lovins, Richard Grossman and Gail Daneker established that a dollar invested in renewable resources will create as many as ten times the jobs as one invested in fossil or nuclear fuels.
Because they're by nature decentralized, green technologies can also open the door to community control and economic democracy. Giant nuke and coal burners are almost uniformly the property of big corporations or state agencies. But wind farms and solar collectors, bio-fuel generators and small hydro can be owned and operated by individuals and their communities. In short, decentralized energy supply can help make for enhanced democracy.
Green power will be critical for the further development of China, India, Indonesia and other rapidly industrializing nations. What we do here will impact decisions now being made there that will determine our ability to live, breathe and prosper.
The brave renewable world offered by the revolution in green-powered technologies can redefine---and save---our lives in the new millennium. With no more radioactive terror targets, no more wars for oil, no more global warming....but instead, a clean, stable energy supply, millions of new jobs and the promise of long-term prosperity with enhanced democratic control over our lives...the only real question is: what are we waiting for?
The Apollo Alliance
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Gujangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion
American Council on Renewable Energy