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It's great to be back here at DailyKos -- now in the majority! As we told the country last November, elections have consequences -- and one of those consequences was the change in leadership of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee.

I just finished up our first hearing on global warming as the new Democratic Chair of the EPW Committee.  Instead of a Chair who says global warming is a hoax, I said today that global warming is the challenge of our generation, and we must step up and meet it.

To that end, I hope you will help me move forward a bill that will be a meaningful start. We have lost so much time, so we must act quickly.

Many people have already offered suggestions to meet the challenge of global warming, and many other proposals are about to be put on the table. But I'd like to hear your ideas on the best way to move forward as well. What ideas do you think we should pursue? Let me know so that I can share your comments with my colleagues in the Senate at our next hearing.

Please click here to rank your preferred approaches to stop global warming now:  http://ga4.org/...

Eventually, I hope we will be able to put forward legislation that moves to mandatory caps on greenhouse gases and one which moves economy wide, so we can avert the predicted disasters of temperature rise.

I am optimistic because there really seems to be a consensus building -- we heard much of that bipartisan consensus from more than 1/3 of the Senate at today's hearing -- and I'm proud that my home state of California has set the pace. Other jurisdictions across our country have done so as well, including the mayors of many of America's leading cities.

So today, the battle in the Senate to reduce global warming across America has really begun, and I want you to be a part of it. But there's still a lot of work to do. There will be a series of hearings, week after week, where my committee will hear from every part of America on this issue. This is the time I want to hear from you before we sit down and write the legislation we believe will become law this year.

After listening to my colleagues in today's committee hearing, and now gathering your feedback online, I've scheduled another hearing for next Tuesday -- to start putting these ideas into action. I want to share your ideas with the committee next week, to begin acting on them, so please rank your priorities for solving global warming today:

http://ga4.org/...

I sincerely ask that you continue to be a part of the solution -- until we get the job done!

Thanks so much for your input, your vigilance, and your continued support.

-- Barbara

P.S.  I'll be back in about 30 minutes to respond to some of your questions and comments below. But please take a moment to make your views known at http://ga4.org/... as well so I can collect your feedback before next week's hearing. You can read my opening statement from today's hearing here. Thanks!

UPDATE (5:45pm ET):  Thanks for all of your wonderful comments and questions.  I'm impressed and inspired by your ideas and your enthusiasm for this important subject.  I'll be checking back often in these coming weeks.  If you haven't already, please take our quick online survey to let me know what your priorities are -- and share other ideas with me.  Thank you so much!

Originally posted to Barbara Boxer on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 12:53 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Back around 4:20pm ET (112+ / 0-)

    I'm just leaving the hearing room now, and will be back online in about 30 minutes to answer some of your questions and comments.  Looking forward to our dialogue!

    -- BB

      •  And find a way to popularize safe (16+ / 0-)

        nuclear energy (an oxymoron I know) and close down coal power plants.

        www.actblue.com/page/edwards-obama

        Edwards/Obama Dream Ticket

        by 50StateStrategy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:05:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hear, hear! (7+ / 0-)
          Especially in Texas - Rick Perry is trying to build 11 more coal plants, in a state that can't afford more carbon emissions.   I think Perry just hates Texas, and wants to destroy it.

          "I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they kill, there would be no more wars." - Abbie Hoffman

          by Jensequitur on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:13:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know nuclear power is very controversial (8+ / 0-)

            but when it comes to green house gases, after conservation it is probably the most likely impact...

            furthermore, emissions from coal plants in Tenessee drift into NC and pollute our air .. so coal plants affect people outside the state.

            www.actblue.com/page/edwards-obama

            Edwards/Obama Dream Ticket

            by 50StateStrategy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:19:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you volunteering... (24+ / 0-)

              ...to store the high-level radioactive waste in your state until it's safe?

              If you're not, who do you think should?

              •  exactly (13+ / 0-)

                Until this is solved it is a foolish thing to build more Nuclear plants.  Attractive, but foolish.  The long-term consequences are too devastating to outweigh the potential good.

                "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                by NearlyNormal on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:30:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  As for radioactive waste... (8+ / 0-)

                  Since we seem to be failing to stop nuclear proliferation, we’re going to learning how to clean this stuff up soon anyway.

                •  I think the future is nuclear too; (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MarkInSanFran, Plan9

                  And despite the current existing waste, the new technology ready for our next generation of reacotrs  will severely increase safety and reduce waste.

                  Jeebus, I sound like a lobbist (swears I'm not) and some 43,000 tons of existing nuclear waste is nothing laugh about, but some articles about the subject in Wired really peaked my interest:

                  Reactors Trim Radioactive Waste

                  Nuclear Now!

                  Let a Thousand Reactors Bloom which is really about China's energy issues, but it does talk about a emerging new reactor: the Pebble Bed Reactor

                  Also, we need to kill the tax breaks for SUV's.

                  •  I'm 37 and I have thyroid cancer (14+ / 0-)

                    The doctors say I've had it for five years.  The biggest risk factor by far is exposure to radiation.  After exploring my history with my doctors to determine the origin of the cancer we figured out it probably came from the nuclear power plant in my home town.  

                    I swam in the ocean down current from the plant waste heat outlet.  I had cross country races and practice in the park near the plant.  And, of course, I breathed air everyday that blew by the plant on its way in from the ocean.

                    My roommate in college worked at the plant for a couple of years.  He said it was terrifying, so he quit.  Places that weren't supposed to be hot would peg the Geiger counter just a few feet from the main maintenance paths.  Procedures were lax.  Close calls were supposed to be reported, but weren't.  Inspectors were given the run around.

                    Just like oil, nuclear fuel is a finite resource.  It has to be mined.  Sources are in countries that we're not on friendly terms with, like North Korea.  I would really hope that we can harness the non polluting sources of power that already exist in abundance in our environment: sun, wind, geothermal.

                    I had all the tumors removed last month.  I have to have a radiation treatment next month and I'll find out if I'm cancer free.  I hope that I am.

                    War is not the continuation of politics by other means. On the contrary, it represents a catastrophic failure of political skill and imagination. - Kofi Annan

                    by Arclite on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:48:31 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I had a friend who worked on construction of (4+ / 0-)

                      nuclear power plants. I am certain it affected him. He was macho and used to laugh about going out after work to eat and knowing he was hot from a high geiger reading.

                      And The Lovely Ladies from Luminous Inc  a poem I published about the women who painted the radium dials on watches in the 40's and 50's with little paintbrushes that they would point in their mouths. Their bones are still radio active in their graves. One woman went downstairs in the dark one night and when she passed the mirror her hair was glowing!  They all died cancer related deaths. And young. And had trouble conceiving or had birth defects in their children.

                      The company was Luminous in Illinois. Joliet?

                •  Short term consequences of GW are much**10 worse (4+ / 0-)

                  (As in 100-500 years) are much much much much much much much worse than radioactive waste from nuclear power.

                  It is essential to stop coal burning NOW.  Not when the CO2 sequestration problem will be solved (which is never). NOW.  Yesterday, or the day before would be better.

                  We can extremely safely store nuclear fission wastes for 500 years.

                  With work, we could have large scale transmutation plants and accelerator based reactors which would greatly reduce the half-lives of the remaining radioactive waste to the range where our storage will be exceedingly secure.  This is compatible with laws of physics and has been demonstrated experimentally, (unlike CO2 sequestration which is an imaginary technology.)  So, there will be no need for long-term storage over aeons.  Fusion is unlikely to work very well or be deployed in large amounts.

                  We hence need stable retreivable storage.

                  The long term consequences of radioactive waste leakage?  Insignificant next to saving human civilization through the next two or three centuries.   The Chernobyl accident was essentially nearly the worst possible (enormously worse than any leak of engineered storage) and yet as global civilization we survived.  

                  GW is bad enough that even "accepting" a Chernobyl per generation (which will by no means happen!) I think would be an acceptable, cruel and necessary trade off to reduce greenhouse emissions.

                  Nuclear power is "green with sposts".  But it is the only thing of sufficient scalability and magnitude which could make a major quantitative difference.

                  Abandoning nuclear power is surrender.  

                  Planting trees does nothing for reducing global warming unless you bury them for geological time.

                  Nukes are a pain in the ass and must be managed well, but the laws of physics cannot be repealed.  The high energy density is critical and is why wind and especially solar will not be remotely enough.  Numbers matter.  One nuclear plant's output equals the sum of wind and solar installation combined (number was from fairly recent), but wind is getting better and will grow until it hits 10% or so.  Engineered geothermal (i.e. drilling for steam) has some long term promise and by its continuity would be even better than wind, though its deployment is limited by geology, like hydroelectric.

                  In truth the problem of GW when you do quantitative computations of greenhouse emissions is so great that the planet must pursue nuclear, wind and solar and geothermal to their maximum deployment as their critical logistical paths do not interfere.

                  Yes, I am a scientist (not in climate) and I've studied issues and looked at the numbers.  It is very worrisome.

                  We cannot afford to be emotional on this deadly problem, it is choosing the least bad of undesirable options and sometimes authentically good environmental issues will be in conflict.   It is necessary to prioritize the potentially disasterous huge ones over local ones.

                  Fascism is indistinguishable from any parody thereof.

                  by mbkennel on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 06:32:17 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm a scientist too (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jpiterak

                    Physics. I agree completely with your comment. I do hope that facts will outweigh the nonsensical fear that seems to drive people to reject nuclear power.

                    It might have been somewhat rational to oppose nuclear power 30 years ago, give that three mile island made people worry that there might be many more accidents and that some of those accidents might actually hurt people. But after 30 years, these fears have been shown to be baseless - the much-feared accidents have not happened.

                    Some people are scared to death of flying. In that case they can just choose not to fly. In the case of nuclear power, fearful people must also keep the rest of us from employing nuclear power. Global warming makes this an indulgence that we can no longer afford.

                    Come see TV from the reality-based community at RealityBasedTV.com

                    by MarkInSanFran on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:10:20 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  we have several nuclear plants in NC (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sacrelicious, polecat, Plan9

                and the triangle area is only 30 minutes from a nuclear plant..

                so if it's safe I don't mind.  

                www.actblue.com/page/edwards-obama

                Edwards/Obama Dream Ticket

                by 50StateStrategy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:34:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Nuclear is too controversial in the US (9+ / 0-)

                at this point, IMHO. I know that nuclear PR folks like to recast themselves as the "new green" and carbon friendly, but there are many other options than would be more cost effective.

                Nuclear waste storage is still a completely unsolved problem. Yucca Mountain is about 17 years behind schedule, and mega-bucks in the hole without even being approved. It has been mired in scientific scandal as well.

                Until this problem is solved, really solved, to quote the CEO of Exelon, which runs nuclear plants,

                "Nuclear is not a cause; it is a business," he told shareholders recently. It is precisely for that reason that Rowe says he does not want to build another nuclear plant until the nation's spent-fuel disposal problem is solved. Opponents have stalled the Energy Department's plan to entomb nuclear waste more than 1,000 feet below Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Solving the waste problem is "essential" for good business, says Rowe. "We have to be able to look the public in the eye and say, 'If we build a plant, here's where the waste will go.' If we can't answer that question honestly to our neighbors, then we're playing politics too high for us to be playing."

                Quote is from Meet Mr. Nuke in that notorious hippy rag, Fortune.

                •  Unless you have a solution for CO2 and SuO2 waste (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Plan9, danz

                  which is a much bigger problem, then I think it is time to directly address that issue.

                  Generation III/IV Pebble beds are much different than the systems installed in the US.  The time has come for us to revisit the debate.

                  Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

                  by polecat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:39:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Besides, it's bogus... (12+ / 0-)

                  ...if you don't honestly figure in the costs of waste storage (& protection).  Its longevity while remaining dangerous is up in the 10s of thousands of years.  And there's no human language that's decipherable over even a few thousand years.  So, how the hell are the warnings and instructions supposed to last long enough?

                •  Why solve the waste problem? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sacrelicious, Plan9, mbkennel, buddabelly

                  You do not have to solve the waste problem to switch to nuclear.  You merely need to dispassionately analyze the situation.

                  We have several options.  One is to burn fossil fuels.  Fossil fuels have what you might call a "completely unsolved" waste problem: CO2. Burning fossil fuels generates hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 waste every year, in addition to large amounts of fly ash and soot which is partly radioactive.  CO2 is stable and will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

                  Another option is nuclear power.  Nuclear power generates a few thousands tons of radioactive spent fuel rods, as well as irradiated low-level waste generated in manufacturing and operating the facility.  At the end of the reactor's life, the entire reactor becomes waste.  And remember, there is no such thing as long-lived high-level radioactive waste.  It is either high-level and therefore short lived, or it is low-level and therefore long lived.

                  So you have a choice to make today.  You can start generating a small amount of nuclear waste in exchange for vastly lower output of CO2.  That's where you have to make your cost/benefit analysis.

                •  Nuclear Waste Is A Solved Problem (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Plan9
                  The technology of vitrification (sealing the stuff into ceramic/glass blocks that will last far longer than the half-lives of the high-level waste) is (literally) as simple as a hot torch.

                  The only obstacle is peasant superstitions about "nucular" stuff, which deserve as much respect in the public policy arena as the notion that the earth was created on October 23, 4004 BC.

                  •  Nonsense. If this were the magic bullet (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blueoasis, gabriella, lemming22

                    it would have been adopted worldwide  by the scientific community by now.

                    I see an article here announcing this as "new" technology back in 1998. It would have been universally hailed, but when I see discussions of waste storage, there are always numerous different approaches discussed.

                    From Scientific American, 1996:

                    The vitrification method involves the mixing of weapons-grade plutonium with radioactive waste from civilian reactors and placing this mixture in borosilicate glass logs.  The logs would then be buried in a deep borehole that is at least 4 kilometers deep (Bullen and McCormick 690).  The idea here is that the plutonium could be suitably encased and isolated to the extent that its decay process may occur without polluting the environment, or being utilized in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.  But unfortunately, the only way to know for sure if the encasement will not leak is to try it.  This means that it is possible for leakage to pollute the water table also the plutonium could still be mined in the future and used for the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

                    Again, I have seen various new technologies hailed as the new answer to everything nuclear for over 50 years. Somehow, it never is.

                    Perhaps this is a promising approach. However, I will believe that "Waste Storage is a Solved Problem" when there is a wide consensus.

                    I really don't think it's the peasants and hippies with torches and pitchforks that is impeding the technology.

                    •  Incorrect attribution of quote above. (0+ / 0-)

                      For which I apologize. It was not Scientific American.

                      •  Scientific discussion of drawbacks of (0+ / 0-)

                        vitrification of nuclear waste found:

                        High level waste can boil at extremely high temp's for many years after its fission activation, and needs to be "stirred" at regular intervals to prevent critical temperatures affecting the storage-containers, hence the need for waste-pools.

                        This basically means only low-level waste is viable for vitrification.

                        Even then, materials such as thorium will continue to undergo nucleic-decay, decomposing into materials such as lead.
                        Exothermic reactions such as these can easily crack and fracture glass, as glass has no finite ionic-bound, or crystalline lattice structure.

                        This is still leading to problems in storing radioactive materials in vitric suspension.

                        Found the discussion here and I am not qualified to discuss the validity of the points brought up. I would welcome the input of those with experience in using this method, should they choose to comment.

                        •  I really do fear (0+ / 0-)

                          that you will never be satisfied, because your fear level exceeds you rtionality level on this subject.

                          The post you referenced, and most of the other posts on the forum the post came from, is completely without foundtion. From a scientific perspective it is actually silly - High-level waste does not "boil", unless you put in water and then only under the right conditions.

                          Trust me, you will always be able to find posts like that one, no matter what the actual truth of the matter is. Just like you can still find many people who believe that cold fusion actually works, or that the WMD's in Iraq are now hidden in Syria. Fear and hope are powerful motivators.

                          Come see TV from the reality-based community at RealityBasedTV.com

                          by MarkInSanFran on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:24:20 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I appreciate the feedback, but could do without (0+ / 0-)

                            your condescension.

                            I put the info out, knowing that I could not make any judgement about what was said.  It didn't make sense to me; apparently not to you, either. I wasn't yelling "scarey, scarey", and in fact I find the idea of vitrification intriguing.

                            There are plenty of facts already out there about high-level toxic waste, and plenty of problems with storage--witness the Yucca Mountain debacle--that I trust that I am not the only rational person with reasonable concerns in this area.

                            And what's that you say about cold fusion? Damn, I thought all our problems were miraculously solved!?! Enough energy to run a city from a mayonnaise jar, right? Damn!

                          •  Very sorry for double post. First post (0+ / 0-)

                            showed as failed and then disappeared. Weird.

                          •  I appreciate the feedback, but not the (0+ / 0-)

                            condescension.

                            Frankly, vitrification sounds intriguing. And it sounds like the post makes no more sense to you than it did to me. Fair enough.

                            I wasn't yelling, "scarey, scarey", I just was curious for an informed opinion.

                            There are enough concerns about high-level toxic waste--witness the ongoing Yucca Mountain debacle--that I trust I am not the only reasonable person in this world with rational concerns about the matter.

                            And damn! I thought cold fusion was gonna power the world out of a mayonnaise jar! All my hopes are dashed......not.

              •  With a Pebble-bed reactor, (7+ / 0-)

                you actually store it on site until it is refined.

                So, the short answer is YES.

                Also, there is less waste, and we get to burn much more of the fuel at higher efficiency.

                The best part is that IT CANNOT GO CRITICAL, unlike the previous generation of nuclear plants.

                So, I'm very much in favor of nuclear power.

                Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

                by polecat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:37:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh please That's a false dichotomy. (7+ / 0-)

                  If I'm against CO2, It doesn't follow that I must jump on the New Happy Nukes  PR program.As the daughter of a nuclear physicist, I've been hearing about the new, wonderful nuclear technology that's just around the corner for over 50 years now. Let's get real.

                •  The problem is... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  polecat

                  ...it doesn't matter if nuclear power plants could be made perfectly safe, and without much waste, because the Republicans will grab at every chance they get to frighten the American public.  And just tell me the average American will be smart enough to see through all the TeeVee ads saying "Democrats want to put a terrorist target in your neighborhood!" with cute little blond kids playing in a field with daisies and puppies and then a huge mushroom cloud.

                  Until the American public gets a grip on their fears and start using logic instead of reacting like emotional sheep, there's no chance in hell of them even facing the reality of Global Warming, much less allowing a nuclear powerplant anywhere near them.

                  "George Bush identifies a problem, and then he creates it."

                  by zeta on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:53:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So the answer is education (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sacrelicious, zedaker

                    because there are not that many options and time is of the essence.

                    Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

                    by polecat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:58:52 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Spend that time and money (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      polecat

                      decentralizing power to renewable individual generation, and you even get rid of the *&^@# corporations that have held our energy production hostage since...god, time immemorial.

                      With nuclear, we have the same old energy monopolies, just a different source of energy. No thanks.

                      •  Decentralized power is great! (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        jpiterak, mbkennel

                        Of course, there is no decentralized technology which can actually do the job.  It's great to talk about solar and wind, but they simply do not generate the kilowatts that you need to maintain a modern lifestyle.  And with electric cars coming back with the pluggable hybrid, we need to get even more power.

                        By all means, improve and use solar to the fullest extent (there is a waste disposal issue).  Also use wind, geothermal, and every other mechanism we have to limit fossil fuel consumption.  But you will not get the job done that way.  You will still need additional power.  Nuclear is non-polluting.  It has worked for decades and, considering the health effects of coal and oil power plants, has killed fewer people even including Chernobyl.  And we can and have done so much better than that.

                        It is utter arrogance to assume that we have the wisdom to solve the waste disposal issue for the next 10,000 years.  We are only a hundred years from horses and buggies.  Captain Kirk is due in another 400 years, don't you think the technologies of 2107 will have new ideas, and 2207 and 2307.  We need a good 500 years solution.  But we shouldn't bury it too deep because by then they'll probably consider it a resource.

                        •  You know ... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Plan9

                          It is utter arrogance to assume that we have the wisdom to solve the waste disposal issue for the next 10,000 years.

                          A hundred years ago, I'm sure they would've said the same thing about CO2.

                          •  If CO2 wasn't going to cause problems (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Plan9, lemming22

                            For the next thousand years I doubt anyone would be having much concern.  The concern is that CO2 will affect the climate in the next few decades and is, in fact, already doing so.

                            The technological problem of sequestering radioactive waste for 500 years is far easier to solve than the 10,000 year one.  If we adopt a reversable mechanism so that we can use a better one when it comes up, then we can either use it as a resource or do something better later.

                          •  I hate it when people do that. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dotcommodity

                            Antibiotic resistance?  Oh, we'll solve that later.  Running out of oil?  No problem -- the future will work it out.  National debt?  Not our problem.  Leave it for our kids to work out.

                            We currently have a hundred ticking time bombs we're going to have to deal with, and I really dislike the idea of creating another one.

                            We don't know what'll happen in 500 years.  Maybe we'll have flying cars and spaceships.  And maybe we'll have run out of oil, and have been resigned to a perminant existance as subsistence farmers.

                          •  Bet on progress (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lemming22

                            The difference is that the issues you are talking about are present.  We do have antibiotic resistance, we do have oil becoming short (hence the conversation) the National Debt is a serious problem.

                            But when it comes to storing waste we know how to do it for at least 500 years, probably longer.  The discussion has gotten sidetracked into what do we do if no one knows english and can read the signs anymore or, how do we know this is stable for 10,000 years?

                            The reality is that projecting a future world with this high a population in 1907 would have generated serious concern.  They would have wondered how we could manage all the horse shit.  With a horse drawn card economy, imagining how to handle this volume of people and transportation would have resulted in calculations involving vast amounts of horse shit.  But, of course, that's not how it worked out.

                            The thing is, we are killing people today.  Pollution in the air, geopolitical adventures, etc. because we are using a fossil fuel economy.  Nuclear power represents a solution and holding back on some very theoretical concerns is perpetuating the very real problems.  I grew up 9 miles from the first U.S. commercial nuclear power plant.  I will happily live near one, or even near waste storage -- although that really should be off in the desert.  What I don't want to live near is a properly functioning coal or oil fired plant.

                          •  The issues that I'm talking about (0+ / 0-)

                            are present today.

                            Fifteen years ago, global warming was in the distant future.  Ten years ago, it was worth a few discussions, but was still mostly the focus of science fiction.  It's not until Katrina and An Inconvenient Truth that people seem to have accepted that global warming is today.

                            According to your logic, we shouldn't have worried about it then, because we could deal with global warming today.

                          •  Not the same thing (0+ / 0-)

                            I am suggesting that a nuclear waste storage solution good for at least 500 years should be our current target.  We really will know more in a couple hundred years.  I'm not suggesting we leave the stuff spread all over -- which is what we are doing in our indecisiveness -- just put it in a safe place.

                            Now that doesn't mean that it still won't be a good place 500 years from now, just that we know it's not a problem within time frames that we can reasonably plan for.

                            Talking about global warming when the science was unclear was -- unclear.  Of course, we could have approached the problem from another perspective and eliminated fossil fuels not because of the Co2 issue but from a simple pollution and resource management issue.  We know it was a problem.  But instead of moving into nuclear/electric power as was planned in the 50's and 60's we became paralyzed and accepted the burning of oil and coal to produce our power not because it was safest or cleanest, but because we were used to it and had accepted the death rate from the pollutants.

                  •  What? Repubs *love* nuclear energy! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Little Red Hen

                    They are salivating at all the potential government subsidy money they are looking to wring from our taxpayer pot of gold. They are railing against those silly government regulations, and the dirty Greenpeace hippies that are standing in the way of their profitable new boondoggle.

                    It's big corporations that are behind the PR push right now. Repubs never saw a nuclear plant they didn't love. Why, they're very casual about them, and the NRC  just said that nuclear plant's current defenses against terrorist airliner crashes are just fine as they are; no new post-9/11 rethinking required.

                    Nuclear plant security is not their job in that department, but is up to the military and the feds.

                    As I said, Repubs are quite, shall we say, comfortable with the nuclear industry and its money.

                •  Yes, pebble-bed seems the way to go... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  polecat, Plan9, zedaker

                  ...and I think that it will have to be in the mix, until fusion matures into a usable technology.

                  I wish biodiesel could solve all our problems, but the amount we'd need to sustain current world population levels would severely cut into our agricultural food-production capacity.

              •  yes; and are YOU volunteering...? (6+ / 0-)

                I'll volunteer to take a lifetime's worth of nuclear waste (the amount that would be created from the amount of energy it would take to run my entire household plus transportation requirements) and store it in my basement.  

                Now how'bout you volunteer to take even a couple of years' worth of your CO2 emissions and store them, either in gaseous form (hah) or as sequestered carbon, in your basement?  

                By the way did you know that the release of radionuclides from the burning of coal far exceeds the release from the entire nuclear fuel cycle for the comparable amount of energy generated via nuclear fission?  

                Sure, go ahead and oppose those new reactors, and build coal plants insteaad.  Even with the latest scrubbers you'll be inhaling plenty more radioactivity than if you lived downwind from a uranium mine, a nuclear reactor, and a nuclear waste disposal site all rolled into one.  

                •  What I won't take (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  saraswati, Winnie, Arclite, dotcommodity

                  is the suggestion that the only choices are coal or nuclear - that proposition is called a 'false choice'. It seems to be about the only way people can sell nuclear - by refusing to admit there are other alternatives to both coal and nuclear.

                  There is no more New Frontier - we have got to make it here - Henley/Frey

                  by badger on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:50:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Amen! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Winnie
                  •  There are many choices... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sacrelicious, Winnie, G2geek

                    But the resolution of the problem will likely require using many of them.  As unfortunate as it may be, we can't afford to take nuclear off the table, IMHO....

                  •  dude, I worked on designing (7+ / 0-)

                    utility-scale wind farms.  Total of about 300 MW.   That's about 150 large wind turbines or about 1/3 of the capacity of an average nuclear reactor.  

                    I've also designed telecommuter functions for PBX (office telephone system) products whose manufacturer is a household name.  And I've installed same for a number of companies throughout my region, some of whom are also household names or close.  If I wanted to do the exercise, I could literally count the number of cars I've taken off the road that way.  

                    Also, at present, in addition to my job as a PBX engineer, I'm running an R&D project in my spare time designing high-efficiency appliances.  It would appear we've got power consumption for refrigeration down by 30% from current best-practice standard commercial units.  As of last year, laundry is solved, dishes are solved, graywater recycling is solved, and after the fridges (approx. this spring) the next project is the vacuum cleaner.  

                    I know this stuff in detail and I've spent much of my professional life and "spare time" developing and/or implementing sustainable technologies.  

                    Bottom line is, there are upper limits on wind on the grid, there are upper limits to what can be achieved with conservation, and although we are far from reaching either set of limits, there is still a need for some kind of baseload capacity.  Of the options for the latter, nuclear is the cleanest.  

                    •  Nuclear generation (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Arclite

                      may be the cleanest - that doesn't change the fact that there are other choices beyond nuclear and coal, and while your opinion may favor nuclear, other people may have other opinions.

                      Even granting that nuclear generation is clean (ignoring all of the waste generated) and safe (not quite the established fact advocates believe it to be), there are still significant problems with mining and processing nuclear fuels, which are neither clean nor safe, plus the investment in energy and CO2 production necessary to construct nuclear plants.

                      None of which is to rule out nuclear, or rule it in. It suggessts instead that (and as an engineer, you should know this) all alternatives should be evaluated on a total system basis, mine to facility to dump, and the optimum mix implemented.

                      Wind farms aren't the only wind alternative, photo-voltaics aren't the only solar alternative, there are a number of carbon neutral alternatives involving biomass, as well as a variety of nuclear options, and other less likely candidates. To suggest only one of those categories is a viable alternative to coal, or that only one technology can be the solution simply isn't reasonable.

                      There is no more New Frontier - we have got to make it here - Henley/Frey

                      by badger on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:29:46 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  comparing nuclear and coal... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Plan9, Winnie

                        The entire nuclear fuel cycle dumps less radioactive stuff into the air than the burning of coal at coal plants (not to mention the entire coal fuel cycle).  

                        Yes, I know about a wide range of energy options.  I know about wind and tidal designs that haven't even been publicly released yet and some that are still pending commercialization.  I've written reports on biofuels, specifically butyl alcohol (great fuel, nasty side-effects of the production process).  I've even designed solid waste recycling technologies (@ 25 years ago; oh but for lack of a patent lawyer..!:-).  

                        As for the safety track record, zero deaths in nuclear plant operations in over 20 years.  Zero.  Safest industrial technology on earth.  

                        As for the waste issue, Scientific American, 2005 December, new methods enable recycling nuclear waste into new fuel with 95% efficiency.  France also has 20 years of track record in this area using existing technologies, also with zero deaths.  

                        As for the CO2 issues in nuclear plant construction: no more or less than for other equivalent scale civil engineering works.  Most of it is related to the large volumes of concrete involved.  To which I would reply, cut back on building freeways for commuter automobiles.  And if you compare the cradle-to-grave CO2 releases, the CO2 released during reactor construction is a drop in the bucket considering zero releases during plant operation and compared to anything in the fossil fuel universe.  

                        Last but not least, if you're that concerned about people dying, please do something about the automobile.  50,000 direct fatalities per year in the US alone, not even counting the respiratory effects of localized pollution, plus GHG emissions that make nuclear waste look like cotton candy by comparison.  

                        •  Hi G2G. Let me ask you a question (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Winnie

                          to take advantage of your expertise.

                          How much would it cost to build enough of an oversupply of wind farms (and solar, and geothermal drilling for both heating/cooling and power production, if you know those figures) so that we would realistically not have to worry about brownouts (or at least so that peak capacity could be addressed with some reliance of fossil fuels, hydrogen storage, etc.)  Would it be $1 trillion?  $10 trillion?  $100 trillion?  It would be good to have a baseline against which to compare nuclear power.

                          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

                          by Major Danby on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 06:06:17 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  $10 trillion to build a (0+ / 0-)

                            100 square mile solar collector in the Mojave Desert which would supply all the electrical needs of the US.

                          •  Great. Now how much to invade, occupy and control (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Winnie

                            the Middle East so as to guarantee another few decades of our present lifestyle and the enmity of the world that also wants that oil?

                            More than $10 trillion, I'll bet.

                            My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

                            by Major Danby on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:43:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  cost of wind... (0+ / 0-)

                            $1 million per megawatt, or $1 billion per gigawatt.  About the same as nuclear.  The major advantage of wind over nuclear is that the build time is very fast indeed (we used to say, "dig hole, plant pole, repeat!"), and there is no refueling cost or future decommissioning cost.  

                            However, the places where the wind is, are not often the places where the major transmission lines are.  So at that point we have to build transmission line, and the cost of that is variable depending on terrain.  

                            If someone wants to pay me reasonable dough I'd be glad to work out all the design considerations and write a paper spelling out the results in as much detail as they can afford.  

                          •  I was hoping that someone might have (0+ / 0-)

                            already written such a paper -- and I'm aghast if no one has!  Thanks.

                            My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

                            by Major Danby on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 10:29:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  If you got all your electricity from nuclear (0+ / 0-)

                  power for your entire lifetime, the waste would fit into a single coffee mug.

                  At present we only send uranium fuel through a power reactor once in this country.  If you reprocess it and burn the 98% of energy it contains instead of 2%, then you have about a half a teaspoon of residue.

                  A single 500-megawatt coal-fired plant puts about 17,000 tons of solid waste into the environment every year.  That does not include the gaseous waste which is   trapping solar radiation.  The spent fuel from all the nuclear plants in the US comes to 2,000 tons per year and it would fit into a suburban livingroom and dining room.

                  "Well, I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in." --General Jack Turgidson

                  by Plan9 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 06:30:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Bring it to Texas (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Floja Roja, Arclite

                Put it all right on Bush's ranch in Crawford. Bush won't care, he's already radioactive.

                Seriously, I think global warming might force us to consider new nukes, AFTER all the other options are explored and the true costs are calculated.

                Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

                by racerx on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:37:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  sure. I volunteer. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                badger

                happy?

                Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

                by Cheez Whiz on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:42:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Waste *Reprocessing* is key... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9

                Decomissioned fissile material is still 95% usable. It need to be reprocessed and recycled, not stuck in a can in a hole in the ground.

                "If you're looking for friends when you need them...it's too late." -- Mark Twain

                by Riddle on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 05:40:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I think there's a ranch in Crawford Texas where (0+ / 0-)

                all radioactive waste should be dumped.lol

            •  Nukes??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! (11+ / 0-)

              Seriously - where would you store the waste?

              That stuff has a half life of what - 90,000 years?  And it's lethal as hell.  Imagine trying to guard that against all the nutters out there not to mention the facilities themselves.

              No effin' way.  We can't possibly consider going back to the nuke plants.  Not after FERMI I and TMI.

              For my money, my top pick among the choices was to have the Feds sponsor and develop alternative sources of fuel.  Then grants to "green cities", developers who go green, that sort of thing.

              •  Europeans use nuclear power (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sacrelicious

                at least the western ones.

                www.actblue.com/page/edwards-obama

                Edwards/Obama Dream Ticket

                by 50StateStrategy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:34:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Nukes??? YES!!!!!!!! (5+ / 0-)

                Where do you plan to store the CO2 waste from the coal plants?

                And, the waste doesn't have to be that big of an issue:

                Scientific American Article [PDF]

                The alternative to not using it is much worse.  And, pebble bed reactors cannot go critical.  No TMI problems.  No CO2.  No SuO2.  No NOx.

                And, a lot of radiation comes out of that coal, buddy.

                Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

                by polecat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:43:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, Coal fly ash is not especially radioactive. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  badger, polecat, Alegre

                  I have debunked this over and over. Check the radical gov't USGS on coal fly ash.

                  See my response re the false dichotomy above.

                  Given the reactions above, I rest my case that nuclear power is currently too controversial to be viable in the US.

                  Also, I am a female, rather than a buddy.

                  •  re: Female. Good for you. Hard to tell online. (1+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    means are the ends
                    Hidden by:
                    Old Gardener

                    Have you even read the article?

                    Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

                    by polecat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:57:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Many times, as this comes up in discussion (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SarahLee, badger

                      with the pro-nuke folks. They try to scare people with it constantly, which is quite disingenuous. Link to my comment about this very fact, made last night is here

                      •  I stand corrected (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        means are the ends

                        I will do my research before making a comment like that again.

                        BTW, I thought we were having a (semi-) reasonable discussion and "Old Gardener" came along and twice TR'd me.  What's with that?

                        re: Ash -- it isn't the amount of radioactivity compared to rocks/soil, but rather the QUANTITY of it.  But, I live right next to a state-of-the-art clean coal plant with scrubbers and all that so I'm sure most of the ash and other material is being removed.  All except for the CO2 which is the real argument.  Sorry about popping that one in there.

                        Also, we really need to do a pros vs. cons on Nuclear power.  On the science, the implementation (e.g. the actual plants), and the public perception.

                        Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

                        by polecat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:42:20 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Appreciate your reply. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          polecat

                          You might find looking up some of the nuclear power diaries here on DK of interest, and a good place to start. The diaries on Energize America also often have such huge discussion of nuclear power. They are usually quite, um, lively.

                          I have spent days of my life having these pro and con discussions re nuclear power with posters here. It is a hugely important topic.

                          Also, I agree with you, of course, that CO2 is a real problem. And glad to hear that there are actually coal plants that use the best scrubbers and such; the fact that most plants don't is criminal, in my opinion.

                    •  WTF -- why is "Old gardener" TR'ing me? (0+ / 0-)

                      Way out of line.

                      Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

                      by polecat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:38:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Ditto That (3+ / 0-)

                    Female as well so don't ASSume we're all guys here.

                  •  Buddies are male or female. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    polecat, Bronxist

                    Unfortunately, I think both you and Polecat are both correct.

                    Nuclear energy technology has progressed into the realm of being safe and we have a LOT of political ideology to overcome.

                    also, I don't believe that nuke is the end-all to global warming but I do think it should be a part of the fix.

                    So, Means, how would you go about reversing the popular fears that make nuke technology politically non-viable right now?

                    "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear." Gladstone, Me -8.88/-7.08

                    by zedaker on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:21:51 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Be clear: I am *completely against nuclear power. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      badger, polecat

                      I am not scared by the mild radioactivily in coal fly ash, which anti nukes try to use to scare people into being pro-nuke.

                      People's fears are completely and utterly justifiable, IMHO. Nuclear power is a technology that is non-viable both environmentally and monetarily. California state just reaffirmed its 20 year ban on building nuclear plants, after a thorough scientific study. Basically, the radioactive waste storage (required for 100,000+ years) is the deal-breaker.

                      •  And so you'd make an excellent point/counterpoint (0+ / 0-)

                        debating partner.

                        We should really have that debate.

                        Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

                        by polecat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:43:24 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  But why a 100,000 year solution? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        polecat, Plan9

                        The printing press was invented 500 years ago.  Electricity came into usage in the last century.  It is the height of arrogance to assume that we've thought of everything that can be thought of.

                        Find a good 500 year solution that is reversable.  Technology improves almost exponentially.

                        •  It is the height of selfishness (0+ / 0-)

                          to leave environmental disasters for our descendants to have to solve.

                          The printing press is not, IMHO a valid comparison. We are not now left with problems from those early presses. I understand that technology has marched on, etc. It is hubris to think that it always will, although I hope that it does, and that science continues it's upward path. There have been fallen civilizations and dark ages before. What makes us think that we are immune.

                          In fact, those who try to strategize about how to safeguard buried nuclear waste assume that far future generations may very likely have no idea at all what's buried there, and no knowledge of the technology. See, for example, this article: Deep Time, Short Sight.

                          Money quote:

                          And then there is humanity: As Frederick Newmeyer, president of the Linguistic Society of America, points out, any language becomes "unintelligible to the descendants of the speakers after the passage of between 500 and 1000 years." (Read any Chaucer lately?) So how do we warn away people whose language, society, and beliefs we'll never know, who may have undergone revolutions, disasters, wars, or epidemics right out of The Stand?
                          snip
                          Right off, Brill's panel discussed leaving "great piles of this deadly shit above grade" so that anyone wandering near the site would become ill and die. The panel roundly rejected using corpses as "BEWARE" signs, however, due to inter-generational responsibilities: Our electric lights today shouldn't cause death or mutants tomorrow. So Brill's team concentrated on archetypal images of danger, things that are hardwired in all of us regardless of culture, and came up with massive, square-mile complexes such as Landscape of Thorns (50-foot-high concrete spires with sharp points jutting out at all angles), Forbidding Blocks (black, gargantuan, irregular cubes of stone, too narrowly spaced and hot to provide shelter), and other "menacing earthworks," all designed to convey "poisoned and parched and dead land, a place that's really no place." Anti-art, in other words. Buried granite chambers with warnings in the official languages of the UN were also planned, along with space to re-carve them in whatever languages evolve over deep time.

                          Interesting stuff, I thought.

                •  Gimme A Break (2+ / 0-)

                  Substituting one lethal pollutant for an even more dangerous one isn't the answer.

                •  breeder reactors seem a very long way off (0+ / 0-)

                  from commercial applications...

                  It actually IS time for a change!

                  by netguyct on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:33:41 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I agree.. polluting our planet (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alegre

                is not the solution to our problem. It only creates another problem.

              •  Which stuff? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                polecat, acb15

                If it has a half-life of 90k years then it's not particularly dangerous.  A dangerous nuclear waste is Cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years and is quite radioactive.  But, again, waste which is very radioactive decays quickly.  That's what radioactive means.

                Uranium-238, which is the main component of nuclear fuel, is hardly even radioactive.  It has a half-life of over 4 billion years.  It is naturally occurring all over the planet.

                Plutonium-239 is probably the compound most closely resembling your 90,000-year remark.  It has a half-life of over 24,000 years.  However, like U-238 and U-239, it can be used as nuclear fuel, and should not be classified as "waste".

                As for "lethal as Hell", there is a common belief that Plutonium is the most lethal substance known, but this is far from true.  Botulin toxin, which is a common food-borne pathogen, is far more acutely toxic.  Plutonium ingested or inhaled is very dangerous, but then again so it fly ash and diesel soot and brake dust.

              •  Sigh (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                polecat, jwb
                That stuff has a half life of what - 90,000 years?  And it's lethal as hell.

                An isotope emits intense radiation OR it has a long half-life. It cannot do both, because of this thing called "the law of conservation of energy" (i.e. there's only so much energy there, so the more intensely it's released the sooner it's used up).

            •  Don't be tricked (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Little Red Hen, Floja Roja

              Don't be tricked (0 / 0)

              I understand the attraction. CO2 free power, centuries of potential power, no sulfur, no air pollution. But there is a hidden catch.

              To justify nucs, the simple idea that you have to take on faith is that we can develop the technology to hide the radioactive waste. And if we are just talking about isolating it for say 100,000 years, that may well be true. We may be able to develop the technology.  (or not)

              But here are a couple of facts to think about that do not depend our our ability to hide the waste.

                1. Nuclear waste is the most dangerous material on the planet. If a typical power plant's waste was dispersed into the atmosphere, it could poison an area the size of the Pacific Northwest for thousands of years.

                2. No waste depositary  is safe from nuclear attack

                3. Even the smallest amounts of nuclear waste leads to an increase in cancer and cancer related death. Previous claims that low amounts of radioactivity being neutral or even leading to health benefits have been disproved. Basically, if you release a certain amount of radioactivity into the atmosphere, someone will die of cancer, even if it's fully diluted.

                4. a nuclear economy, or worse a plutonium economy will increase the supply of bomb material and the chance of it being used.

                5. nuclear power is no less expensive than large scale solar.

                6. nuclear fuel will eventually run out forcing a shift to plutonium. Good news for terrorists.

              •  Ratchet it down a little. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sacrelicious
                1. Botulism toxin kills you faster. Yes, tons of high level waste scattered evenly over a large area is bad.  People currently live in Nagasaki and Hiroshima though.
                1. I would be much more worried about the nuclear attack than the waste repository.
                1. So, 1 atom of plutonium will cause some one to have cancer given its half life of 24,000 year that is highly improbable.  The person to inhale said atom will likely die well before it decays.  And, you get more penetrating radiation flying in an airplane.  Plus plutonium is an alpha emitter alpha particles are blocked by the dead skin on your body.  It must be inhaled or ingested to be problem.  The particulate size required for lodging in the lung without either being exhaled or not making it in is very narrow.  Ingestion is even less of a problem because plutonium is not water soluble, so you must swallow before it can accumulate in the body.  Now, the true waste aka fission by products are really dangerous, but they also decay really fast.
                1. Plutonium is really hard to turn into a bomb. Highly enriched Uranium is much easier to detonate. And, both must be highly enriched, and enrichment is hard.
                1. Yes, but it works at night.  Also, a mass produced standard design would reduce costs significantly. And, make it easier to certify designs.  The downside is any flaws will be duplicated.  The upside is any flaws will be duplicated so when one is found you can fix it in all the others.
                1. Plutonium is nuclear fuel.  You mean Uranium, and the current US model wastes 99% of the fission energy available in the material.  Either use the plutonium or do not use it at all.

                I am fairly ambivalent about nuclear it is not as dangerous as some say, and not as safe as others say. But, could the risks be properly assessed and a determination made as to what point it is worth the risk.

                I would like to see fission R&D focused on a self contained breeder, reprocessing, and storage design.  Where non-enriched uranium enters the facility.  It is mixed with reprocessed fuel to create fresh fuel. The spent fuel is processed to extract the fission by-products. The short lived fission by products are stored on site.  No radioactive material leaves the facility.

                It is a pipe dream right now, but waste is handled by fissioning the long lived stuff. Security is simple if it is radioactive it does not leave.  By mixing the plutonium with U-238 the plutonium is never weapons grade either.

            •  Total Lifecycle Cost of Nuclear (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Floja Roja

              The total cost of nuke power includes building, operating and securing the plants. It includes producing, shipping, and securing the fuel. It includes shipping, storing and securing the waste. And it includes the costs of damage when failures release toxic substances. Those costs also include the cost of managing the panic when something goes wrong, and the fear while waiting for something to go wrong. And the "release of toxics" also includes the risks of "bad guys" getting the fuel, waste, or even just some of the still-secret strategic tech - an unacceptable cost at any price, if/when it materializes.

              The total cost of nuclear power is very high, even though most of its costs can be hidden until it's too late. And many of those costs cannot be compensated by merely using some plentiful produced energy to execute the required processes.

              Coal is also very costly, mostly in pollution during producing, transporting and burning the fuel. Buring coal also releases lots of radioactivity from "impurities", reportedly more per plant than in total leaked from all US nuke plants. However, the US has so much coal, with so much energy in it, that some of that energy can be diverted to keeping the coal process clean, while still being cheaper than nuclear, or oil/gas. Fuelcell or just high-temperature burning processes can make the energy extraction from coal fuel so efficient that some can be spared to collect the waste carbon at every step, from mining to burning to dumping the ash.

              That "clean coal" tech poses no security risks like nuke tech. And its enhancement can be applied to many other American industries, cleaning and making them more economical. Plus the US could export both the clean coal tech, and lots of coal, globally, to reverse our current security and trade balance threats. Returning our energy economy to its enviable position mid-20th Century.

              Coal, done right, is cheaper than nuclear. After several generations deferring the costs of nuclear, and dozens of generations ignoring dirty coal, it's time to switch to clean coal. Because we've run out of time for everything else to burn without burning us up with it.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:21:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No Matter How Clean You Make It (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plan9
                ...burning carbon produces carbon dioxide. Period.
                •  Even Cleaner (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, and CO2 can be turned into plastic and plants when energy is added. It doesn't have to go into the environment as pollution. It's a less overall energy efficient process than processing all the waste from making, say, gasoline, but there's so much coal energy that it's still overall more economical - when the environmental and health costs are accounted. And much more economical than "burning" nuke fuel.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:58:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Second Law Of Thermo Says: X (0+ / 0-)
                    CO2 can be turned into plastic and plants when energy is added.

                    Perhaps you'd like to invest in my cat-and-rat fur farm. It's self-sustaining: when the rats die, we skin them and feed the corpses to the cats; when the cats die, we skin them and feed the corpses to the rats.

                    •  Understanding Thermodynamics (0+ / 0-)

                      Using some of the extra energy to keep the system clean isn't perpetual motion. For example, using CO2 to make plants uses extra solar energy, making solar energy production more efficient to compensate for making the "CO2 production" less efficient. If you're still not getting it, think of the coal burning process being prevented from making the coal all the way into lower energy CO2, instead refining some of its byproducts into plastics, at a cost of some of the energy. Although the ease of piping CO2 rather than carting plastic feedstocks means generating CO2 plus energy is probably more efficient than working with the intermediate byproduct.

                      The point is that coal has so much energy that some can be spared on less efficient, but cleaner, byproduct paths. As I said. As you'd notice if you weren't trying to reduce these endo/exothermic processes to either "totally endothermic" or "totally exothermic".

                      BTW, the world's millenia-old cat & rat perpetual motion machine seems to be working just fine, even increasing their numbers of pelts over time, along just the principles I've described.

                      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                      by DocGonzo on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 07:08:26 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  We need nuclear energy! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Plan9

              There's no way to get us off fossil fuels quickly other than nuclear energy.  Perhaps a few decades from now the fusion plants will be working, but we can't wait that long.  We must support nuclear energy.  We must get off fossil fuels completely, and even that might not be enough.

            •  The power isn't controversial the waste IS (0+ / 0-)

              Now if you could perhaps build me a nice linear accelerator up the side of a mountain to launch the stuff into the sun relatively safely that to wouldn't be much of a problem...

          •  Texas Coal and Cap and Trade (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            A Siegel

            I believe Boxer's committee is already looking at the current burst of planned coal-fired power plants (Kansas and Georgia, among others), and planning on introducing legislation that would prevent these plants from getting "credit" under any future carbon cap and trade program.  This would both effectively place the cap on pre-2007 sources, and also reduce the incentive to rush projects to approval.  

            These projects, even if approved, would have to build into their financing the cost of purchasing credits for any future carbon emissions.  Many of these projects might not be as financially attractive once that consideration is in place, and thus, while approved, might not actually get built.

            Steps like these are why getting a solid cap and trade program in place is the very first step that needs to be taken.  This can help placed a broad based financial pressure that facilitates improvements in car fuel efficiency, power plant planning, and energy conservation methods.  Without the cap and trade in place, all the other tools are weakened.  

          •  Perry Sucks (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dotcommodity

            No way he would be elected in any one-on-one matchup.

            He's a douchebag, and took over $100,000 from the power/coal companies after fast tracking the power plants.

            Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

            by racerx on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:33:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  nuclear isnt the answer (0+ / 0-)

            from what I've read. Neither is coal for that matter.

            Recipe For America - A people-powered movement to take back our food system

            by OrangeClouds115 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:20:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  There can be no PRIVATELY HELD nuclear plants (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dotcommodity

          Given our legal system in which bankruptcy, use of cutout companies, and insulation from suit (from the Price-Anderson Act forward) have made it impossible to trust that private owners of nuclear plants would ever truly have to face the consequences of their bad decision, any discussion of future use of nuclear power has to begin from the premise that it must be government-owned, managed, and controlled.  Let people buy into it through bonds, if they believe in it.  But we are not going to allow another Bhopal, Exxon Valdez, or dioxin scandal where we have to wonder whether we are getting all of the factual information we need.

          I'd be more willing to trust a nuclear power plant if Greenpeace had a contract to investigate every last jot of operations, including permanent storage of waste and preservation from terrorist after a major social upheavel in the country.  Let the discussion start from that stance of grave mistrust.

          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

          by Major Danby on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 05:58:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  CAFE is job one (23+ / 0-)

        in my estimation: Americans understand it; it's not somebody else taking care of the problem; they have no idea how out date the most recent standards are; their daily contact with gas prices makes this a no-brainer.  Other items may well have more ecological impact; but it's about time we asked Americans to do more for themselves instead of passing on the problems to their children and grandchildren --  and they're ready (waiting, actually) to hear it.

        You go, Senator.

        "...We were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why." --Robert McNamara, In Retrospect (1995)

        by mspicata on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:12:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hear hear! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, Tuffy, Prison4Bushco, mspicata

          Can't the grown ups make a deal behind the scenes to hold hands and get this done while the good Senators from Michigan put up as much of a fight as they have to? Or maybe get Bill Ford to swear before a Senate committee that the only way to save the US auto industry is to stop building cars for last year's market. Or both.

        •  well stated. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mspicata

          "Poverty or wealth can make all the differences in securing the substance or only the shadow of constitutional protections." -Wiley Rutlidge

          by asimbagirl on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:19:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  agree completely (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mspicata

          this should have been done years ago.

        •  Hybrid SUV's and trucks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maura in VA

          If people want their vanity trucks and SUV's they should all be hybrid vehicles.

          •  Electric (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Maura in VA, Little Red Hen, leeroy

            Forget hybrids. If we mire ourselves to hybrids we'll still have gas hogs on teh road - sure, they'll get 20 or 30 MPG but that's still too much.

            Bring back the electric car that corporations killed.

            •  I have a question about that (0+ / 0-)

              How the heck do we power the electric cars?  Here in CA, we can't even supply enough electricity to power air conditioners during a heat wave, how the heck would we be able to do it for millions of electric cars?

              I drive a hybrid, and it seems to me to be a fantastic interim solution to our problem.  The gas engine automatically recharges the battery, so there's no strain on the current infrastructure.  

              Personally, I think congress should mandate that all cars be hybrids while we figure out and perfect an alternative, renewable energy source.

          •  problem with regulating trucks (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sacrelicious, emeraldmaiden, Magster

            Many drivers buy them as fashion items to use as passenger vehicles. However, light trucks are also used as work vehicles, for carrying cargo or multiple passengers. They can't be as efficient as cars because they're built heavier to carry heavier loads. It's actually very tricky to write regulations to discourage their use as passenger vehicles while not unfairly penalizing users who really need the cargo capacity.

            •  I've thought about that, too (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dwcal

              and I wonder if it's possible to use a financial incentive/disincentive to better manage the usage of such vehicles? A hefty tax for a light truck bought as a family vehicle, say, but no such tax on a business buying it.

              I know that some people use light trucks for towing their boats, rails, cycles, etc., but I figure they would actually save money by renting those vehicles as needed.

              -8.00, -7.08

              It isn't easy being green.

              by emeraldmaiden on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 06:09:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's hard (0+ / 0-)

                The best idea I could think of is require an expensive commercial vehicle registration with a business expense deduction or tax credit for documented business use that involves cargo or multi-passenger use, i.e. no company cars for commuting or realtors showing buyers around. Even then it doesn't help recreational users like boaters, and cargo use is open to interpretation.

                or just scrap CAFE and go with gas taxes like Europe does. I know. I know. non-starter

      •  Amen -- CAFE standards. (15+ / 0-)

        By far, the biggest single step we can take -- with the added benefit of reducing $$$ we send to undemocratic mideast regimes.

        Why can't Detroit (and Congressman Dingell) realize that foreign automakers are eating our lunch with better fuel-efficient vehicles -- and it's only going to get worse?

        (And Senator Boxer -- a big shout-out to Adrienne Bousian on your staff, who's been a huge pleasure to work with on a number of different issues.)

      •  This is it. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, illyia, Floja Roja, mspicata

        I do not think we can single-stroke stop it, but we can slow it tremendously by increasing the fuel efficiency of autos and trucks, using technology we already have.

        I think this is the simplest, fastest, cheapest way for us to get on the road toward stopping it.  And it has the added benefit of weaning us from middle-East oil, which is the cause of many of our problems.

        "I am awash in goddesses!"

        by Marc in KS on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:35:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Short Term Solution (11+ / 0-)

        While I agree that increased fuel standards will have some short term benefit, in the end all it allows us to do is consume more energy at the cost.  So I am going to respectively disagree with you.

        The single most effective way for us to curb emissions is to increase the gasoline tax.  To be fair, it should be announced ahead of time to allow people to adjust their behavior.  Let's say legislation is passed by January 1, 2008.  Give everyone one year's notice.  Then  on January 1, 2009 the gas tax should increase by $0.05 a gallon every month for the first six months.  Then it should increase by $0.8 a gallon every month for the next 18 months.  Then it should increase by $0.12 a month for the next two years.  I don't know if those are exactly the right incremental increases, but it needs to be agressive.  We need to fundamentally alter our collective behavior and the development patterns we pursue.  I understand it will be a bitter pill to swallow for many Americans, but it needs to be presented as a sacrifice we need to make for the future well-being of our nation.  This is the biggest challenge of our generation.  

        Obviously the gas tax is regressive and there will be huge transition costs so some of the revenue generated from the tax should be used to help those are least able to cope with the change.  But the most important thing is to change our pyscology.  Americans need to reasonably believe that the new gas tax regime is permanent and that the price of gasoline will increase inexorably until it is a fuel source that is only used for the most specialized applications.

        A Cap & Trade system for power plants also needs to be implemented and similarly have provisions to gradually ratchet down the cap amount.

        I believe if we take these two steps, the market will take care of the rest.  Look at it as a way of internalizing the negative externalities that up to this point have not been factored into the price of our two main sources of fuel.

        "It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races." - Pudd'nhead Wilson

        by NewJerz on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:37:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But people can't adjust their behaviour (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Old Gardener

          someone earning $5 an hour driving to her job at Walmart outside her little rural town, cannot shorten her commute.

          But if you raise gastax based on car gas-usage: so driving a big 15mpg SUV you would pay a high carbontax, a little 30mpg Civic pays low carbontax.

          By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with

          by dotcommodity on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:57:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Point Taken, but . . . (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Winnie, lemming22, dotcommodity

            can she carpool with three other people to her job?  Furthermore, the whole point of giving people advanced warning and gradually phasing it in is that people will not have to radically alter their lifestyle overnight.  Lastly, while I understand the appeal of basing a gas tax on the efficiency, the threshold would have to be something like 60 mpg.  While it is popular to bash SUVs and obviously they contribute more than their share of emmissions, there are still a ton of cars getting 27-35 mpg.  If everyone were driving a car with this type of mileage, would it be preferable?  Yes.  But when we add more drivers every year, we're not actually reducing the total amount of gas used.  

            Believe me, I feel bad for the person in your example.  There will be lots of displacement and that is one of the reasons that some of the revenues need to be used to help compensate the "losers" in this new system.  My proposal will undoubtably cause a recession as our economy adjusts to the new realities.  By the way, one of the side effects of my plan might be that the Walmart on the outskirts of a town becomes non-viable for bother shoppers and workers. But it will also present a huge opportunity for innovation and economic growth in the future.  Of course some people will try to continue to bear the cost of living the way we have become accustomed to over the past 50 years.  Other people will make changes.

            What everyone needs to realize is that if we are going to be serious about this problem, it will take more than tinkering around the edges.

            "It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races." - Pudd'nhead Wilson

            by NewJerz on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:14:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Short term, long term (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Winnie, NewJerz

          You're right about economy standards being the short term fix. Long term I'd say we need to build our cities and live our lives in a way that doesn't need so much driving.

          Sprawl is a positive feedback loop. Cars take up lots of space in parking lots and on the road. Efficient cars use just as much space as inefficient cars. Big parking lots and wide streets make it harder to walk places which means you have to drive to more places which means bigger parking lots and wider streets.

          •  My method (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sacrelicious, 4Freedom, dotcommodity
            1. No more hiding the scientific data!!! this is the most important part. There should be law against scientific fraud intended to deceive the public.
            1. How to stop mass media controled by utility corporations and oil company to stop lying/obfuscating  global warming facts.
            1. incentive to spread the discussion for global warming. (How to make it easy to talk about gloabl warming. Hey we are talking about corporate media here. Money talk)

            ---------
            those alone will raise public awareness a great deal.

            The main target: Combustion engines, Coal power plant, various other "smoke stack" industry.

            all the rest like

            1. CAFE standard
            1. wacking industrial poluting plants (this is the hardest, MONDO corporate lobby)
            1. Introduce competing technology at cut rate price.

            (California adds solar panel at tremendous rate. This will lessen the need for coal generating plant.  It may not supplant coal plant, but we buy into the idea of alternative power supply and all the technology investment in it!!! VERY important long term)

            1. Introduce various electricity saving measure. You'd be surprise how we don't need all those "coal" power plant.
          •  Want to eliminate sprawl? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Winnie, dwcal, 4Freedom

            Simple answer: improve inner-city (and older-suburban) public schools.  And make the neighborhoods safer.

            That's why people live in the suburbs.  That's why they'll keep living in the suburbs -- and keep moving further out into the suburbs -- until you do something about it.

      •  RAISE CAFE (11+ / 0-)

        (1) Raise CAFE.
        (2) Incentivize the purchase and production of extremely fuel efficient cars.  Perhaps a tax credit for the purchase of a car with greater than 50 MPG and a larger tax credit for a car with greather than 75 MPG.  Who cares if it doesn't exist right now, help create a market!  Also incentivize the production of these vehicles by reducing taxes slightly on manufacturers for profits on fuel efficient cars.
        (3) Help coal burners with the cost of implementing clean coal technology.  They bear the brunt of the costs, but not all of the costs because we all benefit if they clean up.
        (4) Incentivize the re-capture of energy by chemical facilities.  Instead of flaring gasses into the atmosphere, they should at least harness the energy produced from their flares.
        (5) Incentivize residential use of alternative energy sources (i.e. solar panels on roofs, windmill in back yard, etc.).  This is particularly important in rural areas where a lot of energy is lost along the wires transporting energy to farms, etc.
        (6) Start building the new kind of hydro-plants in some larger rivers.  Not dams, but the kind that are similar to windmills underwater and are large enough and spin slow enough that fish are not chopped up.
        (7) Increase fuel efficiency standards for large trucks (i.e. 18-wheelers that drive stuff from here to there and back again).

        •  Oh yeah (9+ / 0-)

          (8) Increase use of compact-flourescent light bulbs.  Hell, make the suckers free via subsidies.  If every home & office in America replaced their current light bulbs with compact fluorescents, it would make a tremendous difference.

        •  Great list. (11+ / 0-)

          I'll add to a couple of them:

          (2) Incentivize the purchase and production of extremely fuel efficient cars.  Perhaps a tax credit for the purchase of a car with greater than 50 MPG and a larger tax credit for a car with greather than 75 MPG.  Who cares if it doesn't exist right now, help create a market!  Also incentivize the production of these vehicles by reducing taxes slightly on manufacturers for profits on fuel efficient cars.

          Remove the incentives on hybrids that DON'T get good mileage. You know, the Ford Excursion hybrids they had a few years back that got a whopping 18 mpg instead of 12? Yeah, don't reward people for those.

          (5) Incentivize residential use of alternative energy sources (i.e. solar panels on roofs, windmill in back yard, etc.).  This is particularly important in rural areas where a lot of energy is lost along the wires transporting energy to farms, etc.

          Incentivize the technology, too. Right now photovoltaics aren't as efficient as they could be. Send them some of the money that will come from recapturing the oil companies' windfall profits.

          (6) Start building the new kind of hydro-plants in some larger rivers.  Not dams, but the kind that are similar to windmills underwater and are large enough and spin slow enough that fish are not chopped up.

          Two words: tidal energy. It's being tested in the East River in NYC right now.

          Good stuff, mymrbig.

          O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

          by RogueStage on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:55:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  there's no reason why all those 18-wheelers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maura in VA, Pam from Calif

          can't run on biodiesel right now.

      •  CAFE (11+ / 0-)

        The transportation sector is responsible for rougly 30% of our global warming emissions in America.  Therefore your proposal is right on the money.

        A combination of fuel economy standards and incentives for alternative vehicles is a winning combination.

        -- BB

        •  The airlines need to be brought into this (0+ / 0-)

          Airplanes are big polluters worldwide. Jet emmissions account for more than 10% of global warming.

          We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. --Albert Einstein

          by 4Freedom on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 06:15:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Check out Energize America (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plan9

          Energize America Act 1 is a FeeBate program, by class.  Get charged a fee for a vehicle below target mpg (or gallons per mile) and get rebate for purchase of a car above target. (With the fee/rebate increasing as farther from target.)  Increase that target level every six months. (This is a variation of a concept in Winning the Oil Endgame.)

          OTHER IDEAS:

          • WHITE ROOFS:  Make it federal law that all flat roofs in the country have to be (white) reflective roof, green roof, or solar panel roof.  These would lower energy requirements for air conditioning, reduce urban heat, and reduce global warming directly (by reflecting sun).
          • Vote Solar: Turn the VoteSolar program -- combining public infrastructure energy efficiency and renewable energy investment -- into a nationwide program, with support from the Federal Government. (Notice: discussed further in Energize America)
          •  Pursue demonstation programs, such as an alternative fuels program for US military using animal wastes (such as poultry waste on Eastern Shore).
          • Profit Decoupling:  Make profit decoupling the national law for electric utilities so that they will have financial incentives for investing in energy efficiency.
          • Home Energy Audits:  Require home energy audits for all home purchases.  Make available energy mortgages to execute recommendations from home energy audit.
          • Tax light bulbs (including Christmas lights) by watt ... with funds used to lower costs of LED and CFL lights.
          • Smart Metering:  Consistently, smart electricity meters, placed prominently in a home (e.g, such as in kitchen), demonstrate a 10-20% reduction in electricity use through greater awareness.

          As per many of the above: EFFICIENCY!!! EFFICIENCY!!!! EFFICIENCY!!!

          • EXTEND WIND PTC -- out at least a decade.

          The Energy Conversation: Learn - Connect - Share - Participate: For a new dialogue on Energy issues.

          by A Siegel on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:59:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Woopee (0+ / 0-)

          A senator complimented my list! (pats self on back)

          To begin my acceptance speech, I would like to thank every citizen of Blogistan for their moral support...

          •  or not (0+ / 0-)

            Hmm, now that I look at the way the thread is layed out, perhaps it wasn't in reference to me.  But who cares, I reserve the right to pat myself on the back whenever I feel like it.  Right now I am drinking a glass of tasty wine 2005 Finca El Portillo (Malbec from Argentina) so I will just pat myself on the back for that instead.

      •  Hell with hybrid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Floja Roja

        Yes, hybrid good. Electric much better!

        To some extent, I feel like the hybrid craze hasn't really addressed the core problem: getting 100% off of carbon based fuels.

        I am still not convinced ethinal has anything to offer. The energy that goes into growing the produce for it exceeds the output of the energy. I want to emphasize solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, and then you have the endless potential of fusion power as well.

      •  You are correct (0+ / 0-)

        Edwards/Obama is the dream ticket.
        Question: how do we keep Obama from
        trying force market fundamentalism
        on the excellent Edwards regarding health care
        and trade?

        "In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes." Chomsky

        by formernadervoter on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:25:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you need motivating to click through (12+ / 0-)

      to PacForChange:  Help Set Our Global Warming Agenda, here's the options:

      Please rank the following 9 possible global warming solutions in order of importance to you:

      (1 = highest priority, 9 = lowest priority; use each ranking only once)

      Increased Fuel Economy for Cars & Trucks  
       
      More Incentives for Alternative Fueled Vehicles  
       
      Government Investment in Development of Renewable Energy Sources
         
      Incentives for Deployment of Energy Efficiency
      Devices for Home & Business
         
      Green Grants to Cities and Counties for Energy Efficiency

      Projects in Buildings and Auto Fleets, as well as
      greatly increased Planting of Carbon Absorbing Trees
         
      Require All Federal Office Buildings (8,000 total) to Become Green Buildings
         
      Make Federal Government Auto Fleet (60,000 vehicle
      purchases per year) a Model of Energy Efficiency

      Implement a "Cap & Trade" Carbon Emission System
         
      Reduce Power Plant Emissions

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:05:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  is Nuclear power too controversial? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, lgmcp

        it's not on the list...

        www.actblue.com/page/edwards-obama

        Edwards/Obama Dream Ticket

        by 50StateStrategy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:20:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nuclear power in not (10+ / 0-)

          very carbon friendly, if you take into account the mining, processing, and transporting the Uranium, not to mention the production and maintenance of the plants, storage and transportation of the waste, etc. etc.  As somebody said a few days ago, it is basically just a very expensive way to boil water.

          •  disagree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, RogueStage

            whatever anyone "said," the net carbon footprint of nuclear power is hugely negative.

          •  Solar power in not (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NewJerz

            very carbon friendly, if you take into account mining, processing, and transporting the silicon, not to mention the production and maintenance of the PV panel factories...

            Not to mention: the copper and aluminum that go into PV assemblies. Don't even start with batteries: nickel, cadmium, lithium...nasty stuff.

            Granted, the waste from the manufacture of PVs is nothing compared to nuclear but an real apples to apples comparison would acknowledge that even renewable fuel technology relies on a base of industrial production. That's going to be true until we have a complete renewable energy loop, i.e.: enough renewable energy to run the industrial processes that allow us to propagate renewable energy.

          •  Nuclear power & wind: low carbon from lifecycle (0+ / 0-)

            Including mining, refining, and transport, nuclear power has about the same level of carbon emissions as the comprehensive life cycle of wind power (including the building of the towers and concrete bases--concrete requiring coal combustion).  

            Here's a good summary:

            Nuclear power emits virtually no greenhouse gases. The complete nuclear power chain, from uranium mining to waste disposal, and including reactor and facility construction, emits only 2–6 grams of carbon per kilowatt-hour. This is about the same as wind and solar power, and one to two orders of magnitude below coal, oil and even natural gas. Worldwide, if the existing nuclear power plants were shut down and replaced with a mix of non-nuclear sources proportionate to what now exists, the result would be an increase of 600 million tonnes of carbon per year. That is approximately twice the total amount that we estimate will be avoided by the Kyoto Protocol in 2010.

            Nuclear should not be viewed as being in competition with "renewable" sources of energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal plants. In fact, nuclear energy is not in competition, per se, with any technology. But with the reduction of carbon emissions becoming a top priority, both nuclear and these renewable sources could have much larger roles to play. The problem is that no "renewable" source has been demonstrated to have the capacity to provide the "baseload" amounts of power needed to replace large fossil fuel plants.

            "Well, I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in." --General Jack Turgidson

            by Plan9 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 08:26:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  In a word - YES! It's Not Only Controversial (6+ / 0-)

          it's short-sighted and dangerous.

          No effin' way.

          •  Nuclear power is a non-renewable resource (3+ / 0-)
            The Earth was born with all the uranium it will ever have. And you want to burn it for fuel???
            •  All the U235 we'll every have (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Plan9, Pyesetz the Dog

              The planet Earth is blessed with about 700 trillion kilograms of Uranium-235, which is approximately enough to sustain our current energy needs for about 500,000 years, or 100 times longer than all of recorded human history.  How do you think that compares with coal?

              Do you believe that if we switch to fission now we will be able to solve our energy problems within the next half-million years?  Or do you think we'll wake up in the year 502,006 and say "oh fuck!?"

              •  But mining it is a problem (0+ / 0-)
                Most of those "quintillion grams" of uranium are widely distributed, amounting to 4 parts per million in the soil under your feet.  Only three trillion grams of uranium are in known ore deposits.

                If 700 trillion kg is enough for 500,000 years, then the known deposits of 3 billion kg will run out in only 2.5 years.  I think there's something wrong with these numbers.

                Anyway, the citizenry hates nuclear power.  We don't know why; they just do.  In a democracy, you can't just ram a disliked power technology down peoples' throats, so it's not an effective solution to our petroleum-dependance problem.

                •  Ramming (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pyesetz the Dog, dotcommodity

                  On the contrary, you can certainly ram an unwanted technology down the public's throat.  That is, as long as it is the entrenched current technology.

                  The only practical solution is to reduce consumption, so I'm not even perfectly clear about my reasons for defending nuclear here.

        •  only as controversial as storing nuclear waste (7+ / 0-)

          I mean really.  this is a no-brainer.  Where to put it - are you going to volunteer your yard for the storage site.  Something that produces pollutants that have the potential to be used as weapons, that will never be safe in our lifetimes, that will destroy another person/culture/species living environment - we have no business producing that kind of waste and trying to call it green.

        •  i've warmed up to nu-cu-lar power (0+ / 0-)

          sorry for the pun. & the segway...

          Senator, you took a big step to slow down global warming when you took over the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee.

          Shutting up the hot air coming from Inohofe probably saved our polar ice caps, not to mention ANWR, for another generation or two at least.

          in all seriousness, the first step to solving global warming HAS to be involving Big Business - yes - and political governments around the world.

          why? b/c "healthy rainforests", pretty pandas, "saving the whales" are nice slogans, but the thing that forces people to really respond is when it effects their livelihoods and safety.

          This is why Katrina was so devastating to Bush's ratings - America realized it couldn't trust Bush to protect it.

          the military and business are now behind solving or managing global warming b/c it threatens their profits and security.

          but now that you've got their attention, you have to do something.

          that's something scientist, politicians & businessmen can figure out - but get them involved & DO SOMETHING.

          oh, & thank you coming by. um, you can post this at TexasKaos.com, if um you want to, you know, reach a bigger audience.

    •  My comment! (16+ / 0-)

      Here are the comments I sent along with my rankings.

      We need household solar power.

       Solar cell technologogy is on the edge of the ability to provide a solar cell power system that is affordable for household use. Inverter technology, which I work in, is able to provide power converters to make solar cell power usable as household current. guidelines need to be created where we stop building power plants for peak energy demand and build plants where household solar systems are created as an energy source.

      Rooftop solar is the most cost effective solution to the problem of poluting power generation. It will provide maximun power during peak power consumption periods. It can be designed to incorporate current infrastructure in the households without having to make any changes to the existing power grid. And it will be extremly cost effective since such a systen could pay for itself within a couple years of installation.

      The Government must set guidelines for incorporating this, fund research to design the systems, suppliment the creation of manufacturing infrastructure to create 200 million 500 KW units within ten years and keep costs down.

      The jobs created my this trpgram will range fron manufacturing jobs to small business jobs for installers and maintainers of such a system.

      As an electronics technician who specializes in inverter technology, I know this system is within reach.

      •  One oops! (4+ / 0-)

        Make that 5KW systems.

        @20 Amps per leg and 240Volts a simple unit would be pluged into a household 220V dryer or range plug, attached to a converter about the size of a microvave, with an optional battery system that would be about the size of a dryer.

        Current production of solar cells would make a 5KW system about 200sq. ft. which would fit on any rooftop.

        •  CURRENT COSTS for Solar PV System. (7+ / 0-)

          I'm an Engineer at a Massachusetts consulting firm.  Our client has requested we study the cost of Photovoltaics for his new building. The system is designed to provide 5.3kW worth of power during peak operation (think your average electric stove or 53 light bulbs).  A 6kW inverter is included to sinc with the local power grid. The system itself has a computer link for monitoring production and requires utility meter that tracks feeding back to the local electrical grid.  

          The total cost for the system we designed is $49,700.  We were able to find local incentives totaling $27,900 and federal tax credits of 30% for $6,500.  The Customer ends up paying $15,200 for the system total.

          The yearly production for the PV system is estimated 6600kW for our reigon. Given the cost of electricity in our area is .12/kW the system returns $790 per year.  This is a high cost to payback ratio.  

          the current payback for the system (not including maintenance and upkeep) far exceeds the life of the equipment. economy of scale would have to reduce it by 75% before it is economically feasable.

          On the enviromental side of things though approximately 1.5 lbs of CO2 is generated per kw. this equals a savings of 5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

          •  But if all electric utilities (0+ / 0-)

            would have to do time of day charges, the solar would be (generally) during peak charge periods.

            PV payback is greatly improved if one calculates continuity of operations if there is a battery back up system -- never without power.

            The Energy Conversation: Learn - Connect - Share - Participate: For a new dialogue on Energy issues.

            by A Siegel on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:43:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  and (7+ / 0-)

        for the large number of us who live in HOAs, this needs to be protected, like flying the American flag and mounting satellite dishes. That way no HOA board could legally refuse to allow a homeowner to install these.

        "Poverty or wealth can make all the differences in securing the substance or only the shadow of constitutional protections." -Wiley Rutlidge

        by asimbagirl on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:37:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  State Laws (0+ / 0-)

          I know Maryland already has a law that bans any HOA that incorporated after 1980 from banning a "reasonable" solar installation.  

          Maryland Code : REAL PROPERTY : TITLE 2. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION : § 2-119. Covenants restricting installation of solar collection panels:
          (a) In general.- A restrictive covenant regarding land use, which becomes effective after July 1, 1980, may not impose or act to impose unreasonable limitations on the installation of solar collection panels on the roof or exterior walls of improvements.
          (b) Application to historic property.- This section does not apply to a restrictive covenant on historic property that is listed by: (1) The Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties; or (2) The Maryland Register of Historic Properties.

          [1980, ch. 381; 1982, ch. 17, § 7; 1991, ch. 55, § 1.]

      •  Solar (10+ / 0-)

        Solar energy is clean, plentiful, renewable, and holds tremendous promise.

        We must invest in solar technology, and I propose that we make the federal government buildings a model of energy efficiency, including solar power wherever possible.

        -- BB

        •  seriously! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee

          In fact, Senator Boxer, do you think you can work with the CA legislature to get panels up in the mojave?

          All of that space and Sun could really come in handy.

          -C.

        •  Require that all federal buildings (0+ / 0-)

          over a certain sq ft in predominately sunny areas such as California, Nevada, Arizona etc have a target number of kilowatt hours of electricity derived from solar panel.  Executed well, this would create a known,  definable market that would encourage business investment in solar technology.

          Legislation must provide a means to encourage the purchase of systems that have a high efficiency for the dollars spent.  

          Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the begining of wisdom. ---Bertrand Russell

          by leeroy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:12:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not even in Arizona (0+ / 0-)

          Rarely do we see any solar collectors built into new construction here -- and we have plenty of sunshine!  We have thousands of homes being built by developers, some with the Power Company seal of efficiency, but solar doesn't seem to be an option.  Personally, I think it should be a rule.

          Retrofitting is also very expensive, without offsets that would make it attractive to a majority of people.

        •  tout stoplittering.com (0+ / 0-)

          as it says on the site, the GA DOT spends $20 million a year picking up trash. That's money that could have been spent on solar panels and planting trees.

          Miracles always happen when they have to happen. --Paul Westerberg

          by a fan of Wes Clark on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 09:09:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  And rooftop wind (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stagemom, Floja Roja

        Make it easier for households to generate more of their own power.

      •  Agreed to a certain extent ... (0+ / 0-)

        But, not sure that I take solar over wind (even though, actually, I want both to be pursued).

        Rooftop wind is advancing tremendously.

        The Energy Conversation: Learn - Connect - Share - Participate: For a new dialogue on Energy issues.

        by A Siegel on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:41:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You can't stop global warming, Senator. (26+ / 0-)

      Nor can we. The best anyone can do is start the process to slow it down. Though this in itself is a noble effort.

      In order even to do that, we're going to have to reverse literally generations of propaganda in favor of the idea that more is better. Taxing gasoline and changing building codes is a step in the right direction, but in order to persuade people that it's in their best interests, now, to tone down their wasteful lifestyles, you're going to have to move rhetorical mountains. You have to make Joe Bigscreen-Bigtruck see that what he's doing is the real problem. Because he firmly believes, having been exposed to corporate propaganda since birth, that he's happiest driving 3.5 hrs/day to and from his exurban estate to his job. Anything less would be "wussy".

      So what you have to do is create more effective propaganda. You have to help create a critical level of self-replication for the idea that less is more. You have to make people see that their lifestyle is wrong, but you have to do this in such a way as to make them see it as not being their fault. Because nobody, especially big babies like Baby Boomer Americans, wants to think that they're the bad guys. You have to make Joe Bigtruck see himself as the victim and not the oppressor. To make it seem manly to conserve. Because that way he'll be eager for change and see it as good. A lot of us progressives who don't live such an energy-dense lifestyle are prone to pointing fingers at Mr. Bigtruck and his ilk and telling them that they're killing the planet. Which is true, but it doesn't help things at all. You have to bring up the issue in such a way as to encourage Mr. B to think of us enviro-weenies as his allies, not his natural enemies as corporate propaganda has conditioned him to think. He's not stupid -- don't make that mistake.  He's just human, and doesn't want to be thought of as a bad person. And he rarely gets to hear anything other than the conventional wisdom.

      Of course, this means that you're going to have to declare war on the corporations, which you could've done back in 2001 when Enron ripped off your state to the tune of tens of billions. But that was a different time, when people were less likely to question the conventional wisdom. And the question I have for you, Senator, with all due respect, is are you brave enough to declare war on our corporate masters? A lot of people will have your back, but the corporatists will do stuff to you that will make what they did to the Clintons look like a game of putt-putt.

      It's your choice. Your seat is safe.

    •  Whether its Global Warming (10+ / 0-)

      or the end of oil, the age of cheap non-renewable resources is coming to an end.  We must plan NOW for an economy based on renewable resources or the pain of the transition will be catastrophic.  

      That means starting to change our living patterns NOW so we can get survive when the s*it hits the fan.  We must stop sprawl development and focus on transit oriented living patterns.  Reinvest in our cities.  Stop expanding our roads NOW and use ALL DOT money for transit.   Fund Regional transit oriented development plans. Cut federal funding to municipalities that don't adopt planning that reflects regional regional transit oriented development plans. Tax living space that exceeds 800 square feet per occupant.  Fully fund insulating houses built before 1970.  Outlaw the sale of non-energy-star appliances.  Tax products that travel more than 1000 miles to their point of sale.  

      Drastically increase emission/fuel consumption requirements on all cumbustion engines.  Fund a Manhattan Project to develop sustainable energy technologies.  

      ALSO allow and fund nuclear power. It's too damn late to be picky. We have to get as much non-greenhouse gas emitting power on line as possible.   Fund the retrofitting of power plants for the most effective emmission controls available.    

      •  You Had Me Until You Mentioned Nukes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, njgoldfinch, dotcommodity

        Picky?  So you're volunteering to store the waste in your backyard then?

        And guard it (along with the next 400 (give or take) generations of your decendents) until it's no longer radioactive?

        There are alternatives to the nukes - we just need to figure out how to make them work.

        •  Beats armagedon (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sacrelicious, RobertW

          Seriously.  We need to bring coal plants off line NOW.  That's the only way we have to do it. As we develop better technology and efficiency, we can phase out nukes. But if we don't start shutting down the coal and oil fired plants, we're looking at an extinction event.  

          Death of humanity or bury and guard nuclear waste.  I'll bury and guard nuclear waste.

          •  Sorry - Not Buyin' It (0+ / 0-)

            You'll never convince me that the waste produced by the nuke plants is as or even more acceptable than the co2 created by the coal plants.

            You're trading nocious gas for radioactive waste.

            Frankly, given the choise I'll take the smoke from the coal any day of the week and twice on sunday.  At least the nutters won't be able to use the smoke to make bombs, or expose thousands to the radiation.

            Nor will they be able to kill millions by taking out a coal plant.  Christ we can't even secure our ports or check cargo - what makes you think they'll be able to guard our nuke plants against the nutters?

            Nukes - no way in hell.

      •  Yes to what you said EXCEPT NOT NUKES (0+ / 0-)

        NO non-renewable energy anymore.

    •  Floor votes (16+ / 0-)

      Looks like we've got back-to-back floor votes scheduled, so I've got to step out again.  Will be back as soon as I can to respond to some more of your comments.

      -- BB

      •  Don't you mean minimize Co2 emmissions? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpiterak

        I only ask because it is essential for people to understand that even if we stopped all CO2 emmissions today, I mean brought the entire global engine of energy production and consumption to a grinding halt, global warming would still continue for the next two centuries.

        This is important.

        As for the number one plan to minimize CO2 emmissions, it must begin with public financing of campaigns. Currently, corruption by the influence of money on the political process prohibits taking the bold steps to address this problem.

        I say this because there is simply no way to to address this problem without harming certain interests, namely oil, gas, and coal.

        Is there a way to pass legislation that would result in a dramatic decrease in the consumption of, say, oil without severe resistence from the API?

        Of course not.

        We need extremely bold steps to even approach the problem of CO2 and other greenhouse emmissions. We need the kind of national, and global purpose similar to the build up of WW II.

        We need to recognize a sense of emergency, and take emergency procedures by, as rapidly as possible, switching our transportation system from gas to electricity. And switching our electricity production from carbon to solar, wind and, if need be, nuclear.

        This should include massive investments in carbon sequestration technology so that, during the transition, we can minimize the emmissions from coal  and gas powered plants.

        Gore's model of the Marshall plan is applicable, except for the scale. This is a thousand Marshall plans.

        So, you can call me pessimistic. I see very little likelyhood that governments, of any nations, can muster the political will, or combat the all powerful interests in the status quo. Exxon may be trying to polish their image, but Rex Tillerson's comments in Davos name the game - increase in consumption by 50% by 2030.

        Are you going to take on the energy lobby Senator? In any way that even approaches signicance?

        If you try, you will have the support of every one here. But the U.S. grassroots is just a fly in the ointment compared to the special interest of all special interests.  

    •  I posted a diary about this... (4+ / 0-)

      ...a couple of hours earlier.  Should have known there would be - at some point - one from the Senator herself.  Anyhow, mine included a poll and has few dozen more comments, so whatever staffer is looking at this might want to read that one, too.

    •  my reply (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, riverlover, Pyesetz the Dog

      I also sent this at ga4, though it may well be over 1000 characters. I didn't count, and dunno how to eyeball it.

      The approach we use needs to be pragmatic: transitional, simultaneous, multipronged, but at the same time, as fast as humanly possible. It's impossible to suddenly transition the entire economy over to clean power sources overnight (e.g. hydrogen economy), which is precisely why it's not a fast solution -- it doesn't work. The fastest solution is a pragmatic one.

      The notable prongs I see are:

      • Move over to electric-powered cars, beginning with a huge push for hybrid vehicles. Purely electric vehicles are a nonstarter for most people, due to limited range and such. Electric vehicles are rare, therefore there is no support for them (e.g. recharging stations), therefore people don't buy electric vehicles, therefore electric vehicles are rare. It's a vicious cycle, one that hybrid vehicles can break us out of. Hybrid vehicles may not see an immediate and drastic cut in fuel usage, but they set the stage. Once they become widespread, support for them will increase, the electric halves of the vehicles will see increased use, and the benefits will then be reaped. Similarly, electric vehicles by themselves aren't the solution -- the electricity comes from power plants, which also pollute. But if we were to begin by proposing a transition to clean power plants, the rebuttal would be that automobiles run on gas directly, and constitute the bulk of pollution. Another vicious cycle. We need to move over to electric vehicles so that we can move over to clean power plants.
      • Move over to clean power plants. (I am admittedly much less of an expert in this area than some people, but my bird's-eye assessments do have a tendency to be accurate). I don't know how pie-in-the-sky it is to move to purely clean power sources, like wind and solar. It hasn't really happened yet, so my instinct is that it's difficult. Use of hydroelectric should obviously be maximized, though. Beyond those, what's left is: Nuclear. It's a dirty word in some circles (Greenpeace e.g.), but I think that view is entirely unrealistic. You cannot just remove all pollution and waste overnight. It's impossible. You can't. Nuclear is much cleaner than the other alternatives (fossil fuels). The technology exists, is well-proven, reasonably widespread, and safe. It produces approximately zero pollution in the short term. In the long term, well, first of all we won't all be dead by then (the alternative), and in that much time, surely we can find a good way to deal with the nuclear waste. The choice isn't between nuclear power and "mythical easy power source which doesn't pollute at all" (and doesn't exist); it's between nuclear and fossil fuels. The decision is pretty clear. So a big push for nuclear power, and prudently invest into research for solutions to the eventual waste.
      • One of the biggest reasons for pollution today is that it's an externality of the market. So internalize it. Force every corporation to pay for the cleanup of the pollution it produces, or for an equivalent reduction in emissions somewhere else.

      All of these are practical solutions we can implement today, rather than sitting around, waiting, and hoping.

      Oh, and finally:

      • Invest into science and research regarding the best way to fight global warming and pollution, environmental issues in general, rather than just what will happen if we don't fight it. Scientists are good at figuring things out. It's their job.
    •  Give the right of way to Public transportation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maura in VA, peggy, javelina, CTLiberal

      HOV and and Flex-cars, including devoting a whole lane for these vehicles in downtown areas. We've tried for years to make more roads for more cars -- Now we need to teach the American Public that, like the Europeans, we don't NEED a whole vehicle everywhere we go.

    •  banning "sprawl", promoting telecommuting (7+ / 0-)

      Senator Boxer:

      The geography of the built environment of cities and towns, is the factor that has the greatest impact both short and long term.  

      Sprawl developments, consisting of hundreds of houses with no shopping or commercial/office/work areas, and no public transit, force people to commute by car: arguably the greatest unnecessary waste of energy and cause of preventable GHG emissions in our society.  

      Thus I urge you to create legislation that will ban any residential development of over a threshold size limit, perhaps 50 homes, that does not include a contiguous shopping and commercial/office/work area that is within safe walking distance (e.g. 1/2 mile) of the geographic center of the residential area.

      As a telephone systems engineer I have been active in the development of telecommuting infrastructure, as this directly counteracts the effects of automobile commuting.  I have two specific proposals in this area that I urge you to take up.  

      One:  Require all regional telephone operating companies (AT&T et. al.) to provide the "call transfer" feature on all residential and business telephone lines at no cost to subscribers.  This feature is critical to telecommuting: it enables telephone subscribers to transfer calls to other telephone numbers, for example from an office switchboard to an employee's home office, much as office telephone users can presently transfer calls from one extension to another within an office.  It is presently available at added cost (typically @ $10/month) but is hardly publicized and seldom used at present.   Thus the negative impact on telco revenues to require it be offered at no cost, is minimal, and could be made up elsewhere in their service portfolios.  By making this feature universal, a significant impediment to telecommuting will be removed.  

      Two:  Provide significant tax incentives to employers for moving their office workforces to telecommuting.  Any individual whose job does not require face-to-face meetings with customers/clients, or physical contact with physical objects in the workplace, is a candidate for being moved to telecommuter mode.  Supervision and control of employee activities is easily maintained via modern telecommuter infrastructure, so the issue of loss of control of employee time is minimal (frankly it's mostly a matter of the psychology of managers & supervisors who don't understand the technology).  

      I have developed counter-arguements to objections and concerns that might be raised about telecommuting, and I would be glad to discuss all of these issues with your staff.  Since I am in the Bay Area, I will follow up this posting by contacting your staff in the next week or so.

      Needless to say I am thrilled that you are taking the climate crisis so seriously.  It is truly the most important issue of this century.

      •  agree with telecommuting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State, G2geek

        I started telecommuting in 1992 and have been working out of the same home office (now self-employed) since.  While I started doing this with one company I made it a hiring issue with every employer I had after that.  The psychological hump was the hardest to get over but I eventually succeeded by being able to show higher productivity by not dealing with all the office politics, water cooler activities and the time consumed with getting ready to go to work, leave work, settle in once I got to work (y'all know the scenarios).  I am at a point now where I only face to face meet about half of my clients where as 20 years ago I was flying all over the country.

        The greatest part of all of this is...  I can go an entire month (sometimes longer) on a single tank of gas, not to mention wear and tear on the vehicle (fewer oil changes, tires, etc. that are petroleum based).

        Another great benefit was being home for my kids therefore alleviating the need for day care while at the same time being able to have a higher level of participation in their lives.  It doesn't take a village to raise your kids only parents that have the time.

        As for the call forwarding issue most of today's new IP based telephony systems offer that feature as part of their software and the telco's have no control over it.

        •  it's not call forwarding; VOIP isn't sufficient (0+ / 0-)

          Kudos for insisting on telecommuting.  And yes, all the benefits of parents at home to keep an eye on their kids, which will probably be reflected in better results at school and fewer problems such as alcohol/other drugs, delinquincy, pregnancy, etc.  

          Re. PBX feature-sets:  

          I've been in this field for @ 20 years, and...

          The call transfer feature to which I referred is not the same as call forwarding.  Call forwarding redirects an incoming call from a given line or station port to a pre-determined destination.  Call transfer is where you make or receive a call, press a Flash or Transfer button, get a new dial tone, dial the destination extension or line number, and then hang up to release the call to the dialed destination.  These are two entirely separate features.  

          PBXs typically have call forwarding features that can be used to forward an office extension to an external destination.  Usually the way this works is either dependent on a PRI (digital trunking, not economically feasible for small companies), or it ties up two outside lines for each call (one inbound leg, one outbound leg) and causes a drop in the sound volume in both directions.  The latter is highly sub-optimal because employers do not take kindly to doubling their trunk capacity in order to accommodate telecommuters.  

          VOIP is not the answer for all cases.  First of all it's expensive to deploy properly, and when it's done on the cheap it a) sounds like crap to the point of being unprofessional and b) runs a high maintenance cost including frequent issues with the home office users having various types of trouble caused by their ISPs (not by the PBX).   Also it is not universally available: it requires low-latency broadband at both ends (ideally via the same carrier), and is subject to all of the problems of the internet at-large; in many cases it is simply not feasible for subscribers who are geographically out of range of required services.  

          The stuff I designed is interoperable with the existing public switched network.  It does not require PRI or T1, does not require high-bandwidth internet, and does not gobble up analog trunks or require adding more in order to accommodate users.  Nor does it require dedicated PBX extension ports for call-forwarding to off-site destinations.  In other words, it fills in the gaps between digital trunking solutions and VOIP solutions.  

          I can deploy a telecommuter extension in minutes, from any of my clients' PBXs that are equipped for it, to any destination, landline or cellular, with no action needed by the employee to become operational.  Once it's programmed, it requires no further attention whatsoever, a significant savings in ongoing costs.  It does not tie up trunks, and the sound quality is as good as if the caller dialed the home office employee's phone number directly.  And of course, I can do it by dialing into any of my clients' PBX systems from my home office desktop.  

          Now once we're using the PSTN, adding the call transfer feature to all phones universally, wil enable every home office employee to transfer any call back to the office PBX, or directly to another employee, regardless of whether or not the recipient has been pre-programmed as a telecommuter destination.  The point of this is to make it so easy to implement telecommuting, that there are no technical barriers and anyone with half an ounce of sense will go for it.  

          One more thing:  VOIP has become the means by which companies relocate their workforces overseas in call-center sweat shops.  But using the PSTN deters this problem since switched traffic to overseas destinations is always expensive enough to be counted in the overall cost/benefit analysis.  In other words, the features I developed are not conducive to your job being shipped off to slaves on the other side of the globe.  

      •  Transit Transit Transit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leeroy

        Why is everyone forgetting transit and sprawl?  Sprawl is probably one of the biggest energy wasters from the transmission of power to the required driving of cars. I agree with G2Geek that we need to have walkable neighborhoods where you don't have to drive everywhere.  Figure out a way to legislate it and invest in more transit and we'll start reducing energy usage exponentially.

        •  Problem in the short term (0+ / 0-)

          Is that anything that raises the price of fuel is going to substantially increase costs for transit operators.  And the way many transit agencies are set up, it's much easier to deal with budget shortfalls by cutting service rather than raising fares.  For that matter, many current agencies wouldn't be able to afford a substantial increase in usage as things are presently going.

          Obviously some of this can be dealt with via subsidies.  But this will only work if we can view transportation, nationwide, as a system of interacting subsystems rather than as a bunch of independent parts.  With the latter (current) view, you're going to have one agency pushing for more people to use mass transit while another one is reducing people's transit options.

          I hope it's obvious that the systems approach needs to be extended a lot further.  For example, municipal planning, especially in regard to housing, interacts with transportation.  Most urban planning in the past 50 years, for example, is based on the notion that "mixed use" should be minimized; IOW, the places where people live, where they work, where they shop, and where they play should be kept as far apart as possible.  This is based on the concept of using cheap energy to glue together all the disparate aspects of life.  This might have appeared rational in periods of irrational exhuberance, but it no longer makes any sense.  Maximizing the distance between residences and workplaces sort of made sense when workplaces were heavily polluting "smokestack industries" ("sort of" because that just amounted to uncontrolled externalization of costs).  In a world where most workplaces are offices or stores, that no longer makes sense.

    •  Efficiency measures are the best investment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Floja Roja

      It's not sexy, but it WORKS.

      Two: put the cost of global warming onto the carbon fuels that cause it. It's simple, and fair, and it will make renewables MUCH cheaper.

      Three: Convince AL Gore to run for President!!!

      Thanks for listening!

      Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

      by racerx on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:26:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Trees instead of bushes (4+ / 0-)

    •  How would you stop global warming? (0+ / 0-)

      1./ Require Federally funded Health Care for employees of auto manufacturers who produce biopower type vehicles similar to  Biopower concept
      2./ Require Federally funded Health Care for employees of an alternative energy Industry ...
      3./ Require Federally funded Health Care for employees Of %InsertCarbonCReditCompanyHere%
      4./ Carbon Credits for me, if I buy and install one of these
      QR5's

      IOW Spread the Carbon Credit idea around like butter...  If carbon credits are worth more than Gold, things will turn around pretty darn quick, and our economy will prosper, for being the first industrialized nation to go green, and lead the way...

      The answer sure isn't put oil in the tank for burning in winter, gas year round for the vehicles, and AC in the summer for AC aire office comfort,,, uh,,, nope-

      ...we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings- John F. Kennedy

      by RF on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:37:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That QR5 is SO cool!!!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RF

        It pays for itself in energy cost savings in 18 years...more importantly, though, it's all CLEAN energy!!!

        I'm so jazzed up about this.  I picture one of these on top of the garage where I'm living now.  Every house on our street could have one - why not?  That is, if there were a way to finance them and have tax incentives for them, etc.

        Seriously.  This could be a HUGE new industry.  If everyone who lived in an area with a high enough average daily wind speed could have one of these installed at home, a huge percentage of our energy usage would be from a totally renewable source - wind.

        I guess my questions is - why are these not more popular right now?  If they were mass produced, would it not be less cost-prohibitive?  Couldn't this represent a whole new MAJOR industry in our country if someone were to invest in it?

        aka "Maura in CT", since I'm back now in the Nutmeg State, where I grew up...

        by Maura in VA on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:33:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

          Carbon must be traded as an inverse commodity, that is to say, what you save, you are credited for...

          Smarter folk here could explain it, or read Al Gore's book....

          I have enough wind where I live, and am very intersted in the QR5-

          If I were Barb Boxer I would create legislation to make it easier for homeowners like me to get a wind generator like that

          ...we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings- John F. Kennedy

          by RF on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 03:59:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Good to see you again... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maura in VA, Liberal Thinking

      Anyway...

      I hope we can all agree that we will be in deep you-know-what long before we've gotten our act together on emissions. We think we're making progress when we set some kind of goal for the year 2017 and we pat ourselves on the back and, honestly, it makes me want to puke. We could stop all carbon emissions tomorrow and it would be a decade before the human component of global warming went to zero. And that's after stopping all carbon emissions!

      Knowing this - and I hope we do know this - where is the team of scientists who are hard at work engineering the stop-gap measures we will need in the meantime? What is NASA cooking up to throw a giant shadow over the North Pole while we fight tooth-and-nail for a 5% increase in CAFE standards? Who is studying the British guy's idea of adding tetra ethyl silicate to jet fuel and having the world's airliners lace the tropopause with microscopic silica crystals that reflect the sun back into space? I know DARPA is working on synthetic kerosene for the Pentagon...are they working on non-carbon engines, too? I sure hope so.

      As I said, 2017 ain't gonna cut it. We need to take this planet's temperature backwards and we need to do it yesterday. We need short term, emergency feats of design and engineering in addition to the long term goals.

      Had that option been on your questionaire, it would have been my top priority.

      Democrats: For the health, prosperity and security of every single American.

      by alysheba on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:46:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Planetary Ring (0+ / 0-)

        There's no easy way to block light to the Arctic, but NASA could be pressed into service to put up a planetary ring. Make it a thin film, so that it doesn't weigh much. If we reflected 1% of the solar energy hitting earth back into space, we'd probably solve the problem.

    •  Global Warming first (0+ / 0-)

      but please take a look at this video.  It gives an interesting perspective.  It's a "Ted Talk" video about how to organize priorities.  I believe the idea is right, but Global Warming put always be the goal at the top, with all the others supporting it.

      http://www.youtube.com/...

      Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't. "We're all hicks, to these people."

      by d3n4l1 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:21:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nuclear power (0+ / 0-)

      Pebble Bed reactor technology was lost on the US.  We should regain the lead, and even sell them.  We will need lots of energy to build windmills and solar panels.

      Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't. "We're all hicks, to these people."

      by d3n4l1 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:23:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forgot the link (0+ / 0-)

        Any plans for Nuclear power MUST include pebble bed technology:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't. "We're all hicks, to these people."

        by d3n4l1 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:25:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ask Al Gore. He knows. (0+ / 0-)

        Take care of the "low laying fruit" first.  Energy Efficiency in Homes and Workplaces has a far greater impact than automobiles.  If people have incentives to save in their homes (insulation and weather sealing mostly) first that kind of thinking will creep into the workplace.  Solar, Hydro, and Wind power are the end point, but while we are waiting for this timely process of creating these "free energy devices", if we don't offer an immediate alternative to China, by leading the way in pebble bed reactor technology (immediately available at MIT) and selling these bus sized reactors to them (rather than Iran selling oil), they are going to burn up every positive change we make here.  We must change our economy, even to the extent that our economy becomes based on developing and producing other-than-carbon producing energy products.  Sure beats Ipods (things other countries produce for US now, taking away jobs).  Make sure our 12 year olds now will be the 22 year old scientists and engineers clearly leading the world in this.

        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't. "We're all hicks, to these people."

        by d3n4l1 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 08:28:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hello Sen. Boxer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brudaimonia

      I just moved to CA so this is my first time commenting to you as your constituent!

      Please, use the farm bill to combat global warming. A large percent of the energy used in our country is consumed by food production. If small and mid-sized farms were able to enter the market and compete fairly - AND sell locally, then we could really reduce the amount of fossil fuels required to make our food.

      Furthermore, the wasteful way we produce meat in factory farms is an energy hog. I would like to see this changed.

      Last, we need LOTS of govt investment in all kinds of renewables if we will ever want to make the affordable for all Americans and more economical than oil.

      Oh, and DEFUND the bloody war for oil.

      Thank you for FINALLY prioritizing this issue at the top!!!

      Recipe For America - A people-powered movement to take back our food system

      by OrangeClouds115 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:19:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I second supporting local agriculture (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, OrangeClouds115

        And I said this much in my comments on your website.

        I also think we need to promote smart growth and creation of walkable communities as much as possible.  This means, among other things, reforming the successor to SAFETEA-LU to include increased funding for transit and bicycle infrastructure.

        Finally, Sen. Boxer, it is so refreshing to have you chairing the Environment and Public Works Committee.  Thanks a lot for the work you have already done, and I look forward to the future work the committee will undertake to help make our world more sustainable.

        broo-'dye-mo-NEE-uh | I could wish my days to be / Bound each to each with natural piety - William Wordsworth

        by Brudaimonia on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:38:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  good point (0+ / 0-)

          Sen. Boxer, I bought my first home last year. I'm selling it now, at a loss, but I lost my job. People like me who are eco-conscious don't always have the $$ to buy an energy efficient home. My home was 2 mi to work so I could bike there, so that was one way I tried to help the environment, but I'd like to see the government do more. If people had incentives to get solar panels or better insulation or windows or plant living walls, use grey water to flush their toilets, etc, then more people could do it. Unfortunately, people like me who wish they could just can't afford it. It'd be nice to see the govt help in this area.

          Recipe For America - A people-powered movement to take back our food system

          by OrangeClouds115 on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 07:27:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for your efforts on the (13+ / 0-)

    global warming front, Senator. They're much appreciated!

    •  CAFE (11+ / 0-)

      CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE CAFE
      .

      • Join The ART INSURGENCY!
      • Artists Hold The Weapons That Slay Tyrants.

      by KingOneEye on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:07:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you (17+ / 0-)

      We don't have any time to waste!  But I think we're seeing a consensus emerge that it's time -- it's beyond time -- to do something, so I'm optimistic we'll get some good legislation written and passed.

      -- BB

      •  Apologies for the long comment, but important ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Athena, jpiterak, NewJerz

        Projections are that to stabilise the climate before catastrophic consequences arise, would require something in the order of 50%-80% reductions of CO2-equivalent emissions by 2060, globally. This is a phenomenal goal to reach, and it won't be reached without major structural changes in the way the global economy works.

        Targetted provisions may help to get action going in specified areas like building design, vehicles, etc but cannot deliver the overall reductions needed. Only an overarching economic incentive to clamp down on emissions can do that.

        Unfortunately, implementing such an incentive (via for example a global cap and trade system) involves confronting large vested interests, including - regrettably - the short term economic interests of the US itself. Due to its high level of reliance on fossil fuels, and large reserves of coal, when the costs of global warming are not taken into account (as at present, environmental destruction is an 'externality' shared randomly by any countries in which GW consequences arise), the US benefits the most from a scenario where emissions are unlimited. By contrast, Europe benifits from limited emissions scenarios. This explains the current political jousting between the two continents.

        The challenge will be for the US to internalise the long term costs of global warming. This will not be easy as the legacy of disproportionately high consumption and reliance on fossil fuels means that the US has contributed more % to global warming than its economy's size would suggest. Other countries will therefore expect the US to shoulder more of the costs of mitigating global warming, as a matter of equity.

        • Accepting this, the US faces both the universal costs of mitigating GW in terms of markedly higher energy prices and consequent flow-throughs, but also a deterioration in its competitiveness vs other economies.
        • Not accepting this, the US may not be imposing a high enough price on carbon to make a large enough impact on emissions. It would also give other countries an incentive to hold back on effective action, increasing the long term costs of GW.

        The way out of the dilemma is perhaps to rely on the US's large capital pool to invest enough in mitigation technologies to make a profit worldwide from them. It will however face strong competition from Europe, Japan and China.

        The other point i'd like to make is that there are costs at the retail end of the consumption chain which are likely to be large and unavoidable, and impacts on the 'way of life' at least as the western world has come to understand it are unavoidable too. Assuming that the cost of emissions finds its way into the price of energy, then the very energy-intensive lifestyles that westerners live will be impacted more than small mitigation steps (like energy efficient lightbulbs etc) can account for.

        Air conditioning, large house heating, car travel and air travel are the four prime areas. Purchase of products with high embedded energy (e.g. anything made of aluminium) will also be hit. There are limits to the extent to which efficiency improvements can mitigate the average family's energy consumption. A modern (read: 'large') house requires a certain large amount of energy to heat/cool the space inside, even when insulated. A vehicle (a large metal frame on wheels) requires a certain amount of energy to move, even when its engine is hybrid. The cumulative amount of energy to support everyone living in large houses with cars, more than likely exceeds the amount we can economically produce from renewable and nuclear power, and the only affordable alternative for many poorer families will be to get a smaller house and lose the car. The economic dislocation that higher energy costs will produce needs to be a key social equity issue for the Democrats to address. You may wish to talk to the UK Labour party about their deliberations on personal energy credits as a possible equitable way to address consumption.

        I have a delay pedal and I'm not afraid to use it.

        by droneboy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:39:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Welcome back! And glad to see the Senate EPW (0+ / 0-)

        (Environment and Public Works) committee site is getting some overdue counterbalance on the left majority side to offset the attacks on Science and scientists on the right.

  •  Pray for new leaders. n/t (6+ / 0-)
  •  Get CARB to reinstate zero emissions vehicles (20+ / 0-)

    and hold Detroit to higher standards.

    Encorage everyone to change 3 incandescent bulds to low wattage bulbs.

    And Thank YOU for being my senator.  I really admire your efforts in the face of adversity in the last few years.  If I get a chance to see you in person here in SF, I'd like to shake your hand.

    He who gives up liberty in exchange for security is deserving of neither

    by joby on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 12:55:07 PM PST

    •  Who killed the Electric Car is a great (9+ / 0-)

      documentary on this and how with pressure from big oil, the car companies and the Bush administration, CARB cut its mandate for zero emission car's.

    •  Bulbs (11+ / 0-)

      For those who keep saying we have to lower our quality of life to meet the challenges of global warming, I say that using energy efficient lightbulbs is absolutely no sacrifice.

      They last longer and you can cut your lighting bills in half with energy efficient lighting.

      Let me also just say, I commend many retailers for pushing energy efficient lightbulbs, and we've started an energy-efficient lighting project in the Senate offices.  Eight of my colleagues are already participating in this model project which will have the electric lights adjust to the outside light coming in to the room.  I'm pushing to greatly expand this program next year.

      -- BB

      •  Many people cant afford them (0+ / 0-)

        The cost has to come dowm somehow. Advanced LED bulbs can run $30-$50.  You end up saving $100s of dollars over time but they are out of reach for most people.

        When at the supermarket your choice is 4 old fashioned bulbs for $1 or 1 CF for $10, the average american is going for the 100 year old technology.  Lower income people will never make the switch.  

        "She has the name recognition, the money, the glitz, she's got it all." Terry McAuliffe

        by naufragus on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:57:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  CF costs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sacrelicious

          I recently paid 8 or 9 bucks for a pack of 4 CF bulbs at Costco. The price has come down considerably from the first time I bought them a few years ago.

          "For war, billions more, but no more for the poor" Reverend Joseph Lowery 02/07/06

          by Prison4Bushco on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:49:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  not really..... (0+ / 0-)

          My family is on a pretty tight budget and replacing bulbs has been one thing we've been able to do.

          I haven't priced them at a grocery store but we have been buying packs of them at Sam's club.

          http://www.samsclub.com/...

          You can get 10 bulbs for $20.00, thats $2.00 a bulb.

          We didn't try to replace all the bulbs at once.
          We just bought a pack everytime we went to Sam's and it wasn't too long before we had replaced every bulb in the house that we could replace with that type of bulb.

      •  from Clark County, WA... a bulb program (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Maura in VA

        allowed residents to buy a six-pack of new, energy-efficient bulbs for $0.99

        I've had one in place for over three years now, well past the time I've replaced other, older, standard 40W and 60W bulbs (sometimes more than once).

        These bulbs alone, if they replaced ALL older, standard type bulbs, could result in a significant energy savings in a single year.

        -7.50,-6.97 | Liberal, and Proud of it.

        by Angie in WA State on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:13:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome Senator Boxer, (32+ / 0-)

    it is heartening to hear from you. Please check into Energize America here on Daily Kos. It is a program which is the result of incredible amounts of hard work by the community here.

  •  I would make it part of the curriculum in (15+ / 0-)

    every school. It starts with educating our young. One hour spent every week on global warming and how to combat it should be mandatory.

    Chimpee is an embarrassment to stupidity! GTFO ASAP! AAF

    by Asinus Asinum Fricat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 12:56:13 PM PST

    •  Gee, yesterday (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, Elise, annefrank, Floja Roja

      Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? - Ian Frazier, Lamentations of the Father

      by Frankenoid on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:00:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Education (8+ / 0-)

      I believe science belongs in the classroom, and global warming is science, and therefore I totally agree with you.

      -- BB

      •  as an educator... (0+ / 0-)

        I see great value in teaching our young children, but, as with many topics, mandating an hour a week on global warming isn't necessarily the best approach... Teachers need resources/training so that it isn't merely a forced, textbook, test-based lesson to forget until next week. It needs to be integrated into the community and culture of the school. If the school, itself, is encouraged and given incentives to recycle, use energy-saving lights, enforce lights-off when not in use, etc., these ideas will be more likely to make a lasting impression on students.

        Reduce, reuse, and recycle habits have been taught in previous years similarly and had success when embraced by the whole school, not just presented in textbook format. When the adults lose interest and passion for the topic, the lazy habits creep back in. I've seen it happen in schools over the years as society has become more complacent. Improved behaviors are much more likely if they are part of what's being modeled by the adults and community of the school.

        From personal experience, when I started my teaching in Calif., it was after the state had dealt with years of drought. I was a northeasterner who had never experienced drought. Conservation ideas in CA seemed just a natural part of the day, talking about how we could save resources in all we did. The things that were taught and reinforced as a natural part of the curriculum there even influenced my behavior, partly because the community sponsored public service announcements and promoted personal responsibilty for at-home conservation.

        I hope master educators will be consulted when public policy is developed. Thank you so much for your leadership.

  •  first we must change society (12+ / 0-)

    All the measures suggested have merit, but the only way to make any of them really work is for our leadership (that means you!) to come forward and have an honest dicsussion with the people, and remind them that we are all in this together--us and the entire world--and that only by all of us working together will we save the future for our descendents.

    Sen Boxer, the first thing I'd like to see is the entire Democratic congress announce that they are switching to green cars, green office products, and switching all Congressional offices over to green appliances, office machines, etc.

    Seriously, there has long been a (mostly true) belief that Congress passes laws for everyone else, and not themselves. Counter that by voluntarily taking the lead on these things, and the people will be much more excited about following y ou.

    I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes...

    by 2501 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 12:57:33 PM PST

    •  and tell people it's more than just "warming" (8+ / 0-)

      I don't want to start another subthread so I'm just adding here...

      To make people really understand the issue, we need to get away from the term "global warming" because it's so much more than that, and it is hard for people to get the picture from just saying GW.

      We need to explain how we're running out of water, how ripping up trees doesn't just leave more CO2 in the whole atmosphere, but also creates unusable land immediately downwind. How our farming practices are robbing the soil of nutrients, etc, etc, etc.

      Thom Hartmann's The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight is the best "big picture" book on this I have read so far. I know as a Senator you have access to all kinds of information, but I've also read a lot and his book was what finally scared me the most...

      I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes...

      by 2501 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:22:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Leading by example (7+ / 0-)

      I very much like your idea of Members "walking the walk" not just "talking the talk".

      Our family owns 3 hybrid vehicles, and I am participating in an energy-efficiency project in the Senate.  Many of my colleagues are doing the same, and I really believe your idea has tremendous merit.  I will share it with my colleagues.

      -- BB

      •  thank you for taking the time to listen (0+ / 0-)

        I think this idea could even be expanded--get sports stars, hollywood figures, ceos, authors, all of the "leaders" of our time to join in.

        People in our capitalist society measure their own level of success against what they see the rich and powerful doing. We need a movement of everyone working together, and in truth it's much harder for a lower-middle-class family to make these kind of efforts than it is for someone with a lot of money, and the only way to get hundreds of millions of poor and middle class people to move is when they see rich people making the same sacrifices.

        I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes...

        by 2501 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:45:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  there's even tech. to recycle ink off of paper! (0+ / 0-)

      as you'll see when you read Natural Capitalism.

      Miracles always happen when they have to happen. --Paul Westerberg

      by a fan of Wes Clark on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 10:00:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great to see you here! (7+ / 0-)

    Okay, it's a small way to start, and probably needs to be done at the state level, but some sort of subsidy for those who balk at the price of compact flourescent lightbulbs would be fabulous. I personally don't need it, but it might be a good way to get more people on the bandwagon.

    Just one or two per household can have a HUGE impact.

    We have replaced all in our house but the lights controlled with dimmers. I think that puts us at 20+. (Lots of recessed lighting.) I haven't replaced a lightbulb in 3 years.

    "Poverty or wealth can make all the differences in securing the substance or only the shadow of constitutional protections." -Wiley Rutlidge

    by asimbagirl on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 12:57:41 PM PST

    •  ditto (6+ / 0-)

      the compact florescent bulbs can save a huge amount of energy if everyone converts. Making Insulation upgrades tax dedutable probably couldn't hurt also.

      •  Publicize the fact (9+ / 0-)

        that there already is a "Residential Energy Tax Credit" (line 52 on the 2006 Form 1040, Form 5695) that it seems nobody knows about (I thought it was gone too, until I looked earlier this month). It covers things like insulation and other improvements.

        Expand it, publicize it, and get people like Lowe's and Home Depot (or preferably local lumberyards and hardware stores) to market it - if we have to put up with all of their advertising, at least it could be for something beneficial.

        There is no more New Frontier - we have got to make it here - Henley/Frey

        by badger on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:26:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  excellent idea (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, badger, citizenx, RogueStage

          I know that my local Lowe's does a great job of this sort of thing. When we bought our new washing machine (after the old one died, only 8 years into its life, what's that about???) we went with another front loader because of the low water usage and because they really do get my clothing cleaner. We'd already made up our minds, but the woman who helped us told us about a local incentive through one of the utilities or water boards. She went out of her way to help us out, and when we learned that we wouldn't be eligible for the rebate (limited number issued, last one that afternoon), she gave us 10% off.

          Of course, after that, I learned of a great local appliance store, which we used to buy our dryer after it died about a month after the washer....

          "Poverty or wealth can make all the differences in securing the substance or only the shadow of constitutional protections." -Wiley Rutlidge

          by asimbagirl on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:45:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Good for you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, CTLiberal

      Spread the word to all your friends.  Being an environmentalist saves you money in the long run -- and saves the planet too!

      -- BB

      •  "environmentalist" is a misnomer of sorts (0+ / 0-)

        When people ask me if I am an environmentalist, I say that I don't really think the term makes any sense because what sane person would  be an "anti-environmentalist" and be against clean air and water? I find it's a great way to clarify to those who are already conscientious about the environment but are not self-proclaimed environmentalists that they actually are environmentalists. ...And of course it's fun to underscore to guys like Limbaugh that it's insane to not care about clean air and water.

        Miracles always happen when they have to happen. --Paul Westerberg

        by a fan of Wes Clark on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 10:09:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  the one that says (11+ / 0-)

    "Require All Federal Office Buildings (8,000 total) to Become Green Buildings" seems like a good place to start.

    Politics is the deliberation of one's moral enterprise.

    by Omen on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 12:59:33 PM PST

  •  Ice cubes (4+ / 0-)

    lots and lots of them, dumped in the Potomac

    We are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy unless it obstructs interstate commerce. - J. Edgar Hoover

    by tiponeill on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 12:59:44 PM PST

  •  Tax Carbon (28+ / 0-)

    But remember that auto and truck traffic is only responsible for 20% of our greenhouse gas output.

    Half of all greenhouse gases emitted in the United States are generated by new construction.

    Put those two facts together and it's a short leap to one simple conclusion: ending exurban sprawl is the first and most significant step we can take to reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to both construction and transportation.

    The corollary is that urban centers need improved public transit. Transportation subsidies should be shifted from roads to rails, wherever possible.

    •  make motoring history (14+ / 0-)

      mass transit, bus shelters, safe streets, zoning for mandatory sidewalks, curb cuts, and traffic signals in urban/suburban areas; bike paths; escorts for primary school children walking to school ("pedibus"); new rail links to towns and recreational spots;  subsidize Amtrak like we mean it; stop subsidizing new or expanded highways;  driver education for energy conservation as well as safety;

      Cuando a merda tiver valor, pobre nascera sem cu.

      by sayitaintso on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:12:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would you really want that? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prison4Bushco, Evil Betty

        The ability to get into a vehicle and just go is one of the greatest freedoms that we have.  Whatever the reason, at any time, alone, for however far you wish or can afford to go, especially to those rural places off the beaten track; I will never be willing to give that up.  No public transportation system that exists today can give me that.  I'll drive whatever you give me based on any fuel you like or fly; whatever, but my personal independence is vital to me, I hope yours is too.    

        •  my personal independence (4+ / 0-)

          is about my freedom of worship, expression, assembly.  
          It has nothing to do with a vehicle.  
          As far as rural places "off the beaten track", I submit that if you can drive there, you are, ipso facto not off the beaten track at all.

          Oddly enough, people in the rest of the world find solace,solitude, and freedom ... without driving a single-occupancy car.  Imagine that!

          Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha achieved spiritual enlightenment by going off alone.  Without a car!
          (Although the book of Acts 1:14 hints that "the disciples continued in one Accord").

          I can't agree with the American believe that "the freedom to drive is one of ...[the] greatest freedoms".  I can only see it as a chain we put around our feet -- and others'.

          Cuando a merda tiver valor, pobre nascera sem cu.

          by sayitaintso on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:20:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How noble... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Prison4Bushco

            but America is governed by the Constitution and I am guaranteed the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I now pursue my happiness behind the wheel of an energy-efficent vehicle.  Obviously your independence and sanity have never been threatened by another human being; how lucky for you. Mine has however, and a cheap $500 dollar car was my salvation.  

            So sorry to interrupt your spiritual enlightenment with a dose of reality.

            Frieden.

            •  there's nothing obvious about who has or has not (0+ / 0-)

              threatened me from my lack of interest in internal combustion therapy.  Please don't condescend to me.
              The Constitutional right to drive your car anywhere  you want on roads into "off the beaten path" ... is that in the Articles or the Amendments?

              I'm glad you got away from that other human being.

              Cuando a merda tiver valor, pobre nascera sem cu.

              by sayitaintso on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 06:40:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  that's just silly (0+ / 0-)

            We'll do our best to give people cost-effective alternatives to driving a car, and that will greatly reduce the use of cars, but getting rid of it all together when we can have the best of both worlds? Please. You make it sound like a person with a car would be incapable of choosing to forego the use of it sometimes.

            Miracles always happen when they have to happen. --Paul Westerberg

            by a fan of Wes Clark on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 10:17:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Who Said Give Up Car? Just Use Transit Lots More (0+ / 0-)

          Including

          100 Sailing Ferries for Puget Sound

          The greatest, most media-friendly green transportation project on earth!

          It's not in the works--I just love the idea.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:53:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your title (0+ / 0-)

            is a good one.  Most transit advocates fail in their mission because they're saying "use mass transit instead of owning a car" rather than "use mass transit to commute to work instead of driving there."  There are an awful lot of people who would need to make massive lifestyle changes in order to avoid driving altogether, but who could make simple changes that would cut their automobile-related energy usage by a factor of 80% or so.

            Transit advocates really need to adopt a "harm reduction" strategy, however ideologically unpleasant it might be.  The key point here is that "lifestyle changes" and "sacrifice" should be considered means rather than ends.  Cars aren't inherently evil; they're actually a pretty good solution to the problem of needing to go to unpredictable places at random intervals.  They're a really bad solution to the problem of a lot of people needing to go from Point A to Point B on a repeatable, predicatable basis.  One could solve the latter problem easily without considering the former consideration to be a problem at all.  But that would require a sacrifice of purity.  In my book, pragmatism defeats purity every day.

    •  Public transit! (10+ / 0-)

      The corollary is that urban centers need improved public transit. Transportation subsidies should be shifted from roads to rails, wherever possible.

      Definitely. Rebuild the nation's rail network, and provide incentives for cities large and small to build walkable downtowns and public transportation networks to get people out of their cars.

      O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

      by RogueStage on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:00:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Smart growth planning (6+ / 0-)

      Your comments reflect a real understanding of regional plans that take into account energy efficiency and smart growth.  You should feel encouraged that the mayors of our country are very aggressive at doing some of the things you suggest.  

      I've always believed that public transit should be fully supported, and am always surprised that we have to fight for the life of AMTRAK every year.

      -- BB

      •  Glad to see this comment, Senator (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Evil Betty, The Overhead Wire

        Your initial list of priorities disappointed me, as the focus was primarily on automobile fuel conservation and alternative energy sources.  So too, the majority of the comments here are about energy. What we must address are our dependence on the automobile and how this mode of transportation has shaped our society and our patterns of growth.  I proposed to you several, to my mind, more important priorities - all directed at reducing our need for cars:

        1.  Stop funding highway construction.
        1.  Develop mass transit solutions and fund them.
        1.  Defund any and all programs that support suburban sprawl, in fact, figure out ways to penalize it.
        1.  Incentivize urban, clustered living solutions.
      •  This was the big missing item in your survey (0+ / 0-)

        . . . which I just took. I would rank every item in your survey, even increasing CAFE standards, below urban growth boundaries and infill development.

        We have created an environment that forces people to drive, and forces them to drive greater and greater distances as business moves out to the suburban and exurban periphery. We exalt automobile ownership as a lifestyle choice, so we fail to notice that the decision to promote sprawl as a desirable way of life destroys choice by taking away low-polluting and nonpolluting transportation options. Compact development will give people the choice of walking, biking or taking mass transit rather than driving a car, and it will make these choices more appealing in comparison.As long as people have to drive, you can bet that they will, and they'll spend their last dollar to make it as comfortable as possible, since so many factors (not least among them the lack of choice that forces everyone onto the same roads at the same time) conspire to make the experience unpleasant in other ways.

        It is my firm and considered belief that, as long as sprawl continues to exist and to be promoted as the American ideal, people will not change their driving habits to any meaningful extent until gas prices reach about $9 a gallon. It was naive to think that $3-a-gallon gas would change anybody's habits; as far as I can tell, it didn't even make a dent. All it did was make people whine a lot.

        It's never a good idea to reconstruct your entire society on the assumption that everyone has access to a particular technology. There will always be people who, because of age or ability, can't use it, and there will often be people who, because of their personal ethical and lifestyle choices, prefer not to use it. What of them? What of the children, the elderly, the poor and the disabled in our society, who not only don't but can't drive a car? Our built environment is not a vista of shining freedom to them. They're exiles from our land of so-called opportunity. In another 10 years, maybe less, anyone who doesn't own a computer or doesn't know how to use one will be similarly impotent.

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 08:22:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let the market sort it out. Carbon tax. (0+ / 0-)

      It's painfully obvious when you think about it.  Fossil fuels are causing massive destruction.  How better to encourage conservation and innovation than to make fossil fuel use expensive?

      It needs to be gradual and long term.  Start small, with something like $0.01 per gallon gas (or energy equivalent for coal and natural gas).  Next year, double it.  The year after, put it to $0.05.  Each year, ratchet it up just a little bit, and no sudden changes allowed.  It has to be known in long term, to allow the market to succeed.

      Detroit will scream.  Republicans will scream.  SUV drivers all over the US will scream.  Truck drivers will scream.

      But it will get the job done.  The U.S. will reduce use of fossil fuels.  Not only that, but we'll develop alternative renewable fuels.  And, our imports will drop.  Our national security will be enhanced.  We might not want to fight any more wars in the middle east.

      Obvious.  

    •  Urban transportation has to be reduced (0+ / 0-)

      But that can be done more organically than forced switch from an individual car to public transport.

      In particular, non-routed bus service should be seriously considered as a kind of public (or commercial) transport. I describe the proposition in a diary.

  •  How to stop global warming? (8+ / 0-)

    President Boxer is how!

  •  An Apollo Program Meets the Tennessee Valley (22+ / 0-)

    Administration on the Gulf Coast.  Invest in rebuilding everything on that coast with the greenest technology availble today and rely as much as possible on alternative energy.  Building new infrastructure, green houses, and use renewable materials in construction projects to the extent that we can.  Also invest in a state of the art public transportation system linking the Redneck Riviera with New Orleans...

    We have a clean slate to build up from right now and it is an opportunity to move forward rather than stagnate.  We should take that opportunity.

    •  Prometheus. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HighSticking, totallynext

      Frame the project: The Prometheus Project.

      Prometheus was the Greek god who gave man fire. This project will give us the technology to live a modern life without burning fossil fuels.

      I like the metaphor.

      O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

      by RogueStage on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:01:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I always think of Zeus' punishment of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RogueStage

        Prometheus for defying his order by giving man fire when I think of that tale.  The vulture and the liver constantly growing back etc.  I am not so sure that it would work from that angle and as I recall Pandora's Box is connected to that myth.

        •  Hm. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart

          I actually like that part of the metaphor.

          It's going to be painful to wean ourselves off of oil. It's still the right thing to do.

          O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

          by RogueStage on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 12:06:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well I like it too, but it is meant to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RogueStage

            be a cautionary tale.  I'd like to be triumphant.  Personally, I think your metaphor works much better for what will happen if we continue to rely on oil - like oil is the fire in the story, Bush is Prometheus and we are mankind who did as I recall suffer greatly for taking fire from Prometheus -although I can't remember exactly what Zeus did to us.

            •  I don't think so... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              inclusiveheart

              As I recall, Prometheus created each animal with something special--like the lion's teeth, the rabbit's speed, etc. Man's special characteristic was the spark of knowledge, but Prometheus noticed that man was getting his ass kicked in the animal world because he was otherwise, well, soft and pink (to borrow a phrase from The Far Side). So he gave man fire--and unlike man suffering for the gift of knowledge a'la Biblical stories, Prometheus suffered for it. Zeus was going to extract retribution, but then smelled meat cooking from the fires and demanded burnt offerings instead (which, really, the priests ate in the temples to make it seem like Zeus was actually affecting the world).

              But now we're WAAAY off topic ;)

              O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

              by RogueStage on Thu Feb 01, 2007 at 11:21:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  One of the problems with Greek Mythology (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RogueStage

                (I was an art history major so I studied a lot of it), is that the myths change dramatically from version to version and by period - Classical through Hellenistic the Gods, Goddesses and Myths evolved.  So I have to admit that since we started this little detour through one of the great Greek myths, I have not had the time to walk over to my bookshelf and pour through my ten different books recounting myths to figure out why Pandora's Box keeps punching through my recollection of Prometheus...  Having said that the reason I have always been enchanted with Prometheus is that I have always been really inspired by the fact that the Greeks understood that the liver was the one organ that would constantly regenerate.  What we don't know about Ancient Greece is incredible and what they probably knew about the world is fascinating to me.  I have thought a lot about how a society like the Greeks, the Egyptians, or the Irish could be so sophisticated and advanced and then have it all evaporate.  How does that happen? (That question is rhetorical - and if you tried to answer it, we would be waaaayyy off topic).  Cheers

  •  Project (16+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting Senator.  

    This is not an original idea; I've heard it talked about and believe it makes sense.

    You need to set up a project team on the scale of the the one that sent us to the moon, give them the task of coming up with approaches and options, and the power to make those happen.  Give them a reasonable time frame, power to choose their own members free from any political process, and any other resources they need to get it done.

    Set milestones / accountability moments, give enough stakeholders time to get involved.  Make it transparent enough that everyone is up to date that wants to be.  

    And please make sure Al Gore is involved.

    I don't know who I support for president yet.

    by BrooklynVoice on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:01:00 PM PST

    •  I think this is the best suggestion so far (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      danz

      We obviously need an alternative to fossil fuels, but there are a lot of alternatives, and each of them has its good and bad points. We need a centralized analysis of each of the alternatives for feasibility, economic and environmental impact, time to implement, and where to direct research funding. It needs to be a process which isn't dominated by corporate or ideological political interests. And, of course, we need this analysis yesterday - certainly not even a year from now.

      Then we need government to get behind the optimal alternatives with incentives and direct investment. Market-based approaches are not going to provide solutions to climate problems, and as we've seen, have been actively opposing even the smallest actions in this area.

      There is no more New Frontier - we have got to make it here - Henley/Frey

      by badger on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:18:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Prometheus. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger, BrooklynVoice

        Frame the project: The Prometheus Project.

        Prometheus was the Greek god who gave man fire. This project will give us the technology to live a modern life without burning fossil fuels.

        O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

        by RogueStage on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:02:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  GMTA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      javelina

      see my comment below, but rather than going to the moon, I compare it to developing the bomb, in the Manhattan Project

      What are you reading? on Friday mornings
      What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

      by plf515 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:16:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  other than that this isn't new (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      google on "Apollo Alliance". . . a Manhattan Project research mobilization is just a start.

      I think that within a few years, we're going to wind up doing a World War II style mobilization of our whole society to do the multiple infrastructure transitions. . . with no exemptions or exceptions.

      Actually, I think this happens regardless, our sole choices are whether this mobilization will take place to defend ourselves against the worst-case consequences of global warming in a generation or two or in the next few years to prevent it.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:22:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

        A good friend of mine is a big wig at the Apollo Alliance, so yeah, I know about it.  :-)

        But they are focused on alternative energy, which, while related, is not quite what I'm implying here.

        I don't know who I support for president yet.

        by BrooklynVoice on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 05:53:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Vision (3+ / 0-)

      I like the way you're thinking.  You have a vision that motivates people.  One great thing about today's hearing is how many of my colleagues seem to see a noble purpose in this effort.

      -- BB

  •  elect (14+ / 0-)

    al gore to be president...

    on policy we need manhattan project urgency to develop clean technologies and renewable energy resources. we need to act like this is the most desperately important issue we have ever faced- because it is!

    as a resident of your former congressional district (now, of course, the great lynn woolsey's!), i just want to say that you continue to do us proud!

    © 2006 "certain thoughts are prayers. there are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body may be, the soul is on its knees." -victor hugo

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:02:07 PM PST

  •  Scrubbing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, danz, lgmcp, jessical

    work on pollution from factories and other coporate sources of pollution. Maybe put targeted incentives on corporations like (airlines, trucking companies, cabs, etc) for using alternative fuels and wasteful usage of gas (like when a jet moves on a runway, they waste tons just parking the damn things). Also, make public transportation more effective and affordable, give federal tax credits to companies for bus and subway passes.

    •  Can't "scrub" CO2 (0+ / 0-)

      What do you plan to do about the greenhouse gases?

      The only way to get rid of the CO2 problem is to MAKE LESS OF IT.

      We might be in a runaway situation in the arctic as well.  Really scary.

      Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:50:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sequestration (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        silence

        Grow something fast, then bury it.

      •  Sure you can (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        toys

        We routinely inject CO2 into oil fields to increase production.  Much of it seems to stay underground.

        There is nothing to prevent us from pumping the waste gas from  a stationary source into back into a depleted oil or gas deposit.  There is nothing to prevent us from sequestering CO2 by growing plants and then burying them in old coal mines.  The problem with these measures is that nobody pays you do take them.

        •  Better off burying graphite (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          silence

          If you're trying to fill up those limited spaces with carbon.

          Sequestration is a temporary solution .. we need to transition to something that doesn't pollute as much (or at least doesn't screw up the atmosphere).

          I agree that we should be using sequestration right now!!! Urgently, but we need another power source than fossil fuel ASAP.

          Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 06:24:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps part of a long-term solution too (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, graphite is more dense than other forms of carbon, but you'd need to use energy to produce it.

            In the end, once we've finished burning oil, gas, and coal, we may well find that we need to reduce the amount of CO2 in the air and dissolved in the sea.  If that happens, we'll need to kick off a sequestration program in order to bring the climate back to normal.

            In the meantime, sequestration can be a small part of the solution to a big problem.

  •  I did some research (7+ / 0-)

    New Energy Infrastructure

    I'm glad you asked. Thanks! I hope you read my research. Many of the things that pass for conventional wisdom on this subject are rebutted in my research.

    Just one thought: Is the cost of subsidizing our current infrastructure REALLY a better deal in the long run?

  •  I'd put a tax on hot air from the Bush admin. (5+ / 0-)

    Sorry, not very constructive.   I'd think we can go a long way using (huge) tax incentives, paid for by winding down of the Iraq war (up to $2B/week) for development of zero or low carbon emissions power sources.  

    We can even give these incentives to companies that aren't too popular around these parts, like GM and Ford, as well as well as early adopter individuals.

    Tie tax credits for individuals to fuel effeicency above average.  Assume 24mpg.  12mpg Hummer -- twice the tax of an aveage vehicle.  48mg hybrid, half the tax rate.  Buy an solared powered car?  Tax free.

    Fuel could work the same way.

    Just some thoughts.

    •  Let me repost the constructive part of that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, Asinus Asinum Fricat

      I'd think we can go a long way using (huge) tax incentives, paid for by winding down of the Iraq war (up to $2B/week) for development of zero or low carbon emissions power sources.  

      We can even give these incentives to companies that aren't too popular around these parts, like GM and Ford, as well as well as early adopter individuals.

      Tie tax credits for individuals to fuel effeicency above average.  Assume 24mpg.  12mpg Hummer -- twice the tax of an aveage vehicle.  48mg hybrid, half the tax rate.  Buy an solared powered car?  Tax free.

      Fuel could work the same way.

      Just some thoughts.

  •  Shutting down all the hot air coming out of... (8+ / 0-)

    the right-wing media would be a good start.

  •  Elect a president who believes it exitsts... (9+ / 0-)

    for starters...

    George W. Bush... wiretapping the Amish since 2001...

    by ThatSinger on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:03:10 PM PST

    •  that would be Gore, if you want an activist Pres (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pyesetz the Dog

      and that would be the biggest step the US could make to end global warming.  He would lead the way.

      Gore for President (again).

      Jorge's a renegade; there's blood on his hands, oil in his arteries and cyanide inside his glands...

      by nailbender on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:56:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cap & trade (11+ / 0-)

    Cap emissions.  Lower the cap each year over twenty years until we're emitting 30% of 1990 level emissions (about what is needed to do our nations' part in stabilizing CO2 content in the atmosphere)

    Auction off short-term emissions rights to the highest bidder at regular intervals, and impose audits to make sure that emitters (or fuel distributors where more convenient) buy as many as they emit.

    Use the most money taken in to fund research into renewable energy, and distribute the rest in the form of a refundable income tax credit, with an equal amount going to each person in America.

    •  Thanks for explaining! (0+ / 0-)

      I have the poll open in another window and I hoped someone would explain it.

      •  Multiple cap & trade systems (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, RogueStage

        Be aware that there are several different variants on cap & trade out there.  They vary in a number of important ways:

        1. They create emissions credits for activities which remove CO2 from the atmosphere under different conditions
        1. They use different baseline years (which tends to favor particular utilities)
        1. Some systems use long term emissions credits that people currently polluting can sell to make money.
    •  Cap & trade (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      silence, Plan9, vcmvo2

      Kudos from me to you for understanding the complicated world of cap & trade!  In the bill that I support, we treat cap & trade as an option, just as it is treated in California law.  Clearly it's an option that many believe will lead to a measurable reduction in carbon.

      -- BB

      •  To me, (0+ / 0-)

        it sounds like a shell game. So, some company in Bolivia has carbon credits for sale? And I can buy them to make me feel more smug about the personal scale of the problem? Wouldn't most of the cap trade go to less-developed (and I really don't mean it that way) countries?  No problem for me, if the trades involve businesses that are working with newer technology to create energy for power, etc.

        I just fear that the high-energy use countries will take advantage of the developing countries to make things look like a wash.

        I'm thinking about small changes in the way that some humans live on earth: if there are no phone lines, put in cell towers. I suspect that this example costs end-users more, but it requires less infrastructure to apply.

        •  Depends on the rules (0+ / 0-)

          If you aren't careful with how you design the rules, then yes, you create incentives to do silly things with little actual impact.  Choosing rules isn't going to be a one-time thing either — they're going to need occasional revision as people find loopholes.

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          I'm thinking about small changes in the way that some humans live on earth: if there are no phone lines, put in cell towers. I suspect that this example costs end-users more, but it requires less infrastructure to apply.

          Less infrastructure, perhaps, but I suspect not less energy, which is the thing that really matters.

          Besides, if you add in the expense of cell phones every few years, I'm not sure that you're any better off.

  •  Affordable solar panels (27+ / 0-)

    I looked into the price of solar panels for my home and the cost was outrageous. Even with State and Federal assistance, the cost was approximately $20,000. I can't afford that, not to mention that the payback simply isn't there. Sadly, based on my geographic location and the amount of natural resources I use in my home, solar panels could have provided for all my needs.

    •  citizenre (7+ / 0-)

      is the name of a new company trying to do it a different way.
      I don't know what I think yet.  A lot of my friends are pretty negative, bu tI feel like I have to go for it.  i can't live with not doing SOMETHING!
      Basically you rent the system or you agree to buy your power from them for a long period.  They own the system on the roof.
      Check it out.  There is no out of pocket...actually $500 for a deposit.

      •  Why are your friends negative about it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee

        It seems like a great plan.  Owners of buildings can provide a place for the PV system, and they get the benefit of knowing that much of their power is coming from a renewable source at the same cost as their normal electricity rates.  It may even save them money if/when electricity rates rise.  

        The deposit is a little steep, I guess.  Aside from that, it seems like a great plan.

        •  You know (3+ / 0-)

          the old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is".
          I think that is their concern.  Why would these people give you this expensive equipment without more security?
          Who is responsible if it gets damaged in a storm?
          How long will it take to get serviced?
          What if you have to move before your "rental" period is up?
          The sales structure is pyramidish.  they don't trust that.
          The factory making their panels is not even up and running yet.

          I hear all that, but I still feel like someone has to be out in front.  These are risks I feel I have to take.  We each have to do what we can.  I would rather make this mistake trying to do the right thing than sit back and let the damage to the planet continue.  I can't afford to buy a hybrid right now.  I can't afford to buy and install panels.  So, this is what I can do.

  •  Don't be afraid to mandate emissions caps. (9+ / 0-)

    We can dance around this all we want, but corporate America won't do ANYTHING they aren't forced to. Unfortunately, consumer America won't, either.

    Force industry to reduce emissions, and don't forget to hold foreign operations to the same standard. Stop allowing SUV's to crap all over our environment. There is no reason for the limits on SUV's to be higher than other passenger vehicles.

    Save the whales. Feed the hungry. Free the mallocs.

    by davewill on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:05:06 PM PST

  •  We must institute carbon trading and meaningful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danz, empathy, lgmcp

    caps.  Then, invest in alternative energy sources in a serious way.  Third, real increases in CAFE mileage requirements, especially for SUVs.  Fourth, substantial investment in "clean coal" technology and power plants.  Fifth, real tax incentives for fuel economy and conversion to wind/solar power.

    What have we been doing since 1972?

  •  Plant lots, and lots of trees (19+ / 0-)

    Cut out fossil fuels.  Make active solar power more affordable, and encourage the use of passive solar power.  All of the items on your list need to be addressed.  I don't know if ranking them is really enough.  They all need done.  Get the factory output under control and don't allow them to sell credits to each other.  

    Sorry this isn't put together better, I was on my way out the door and wanted to respond before I left.

  •  Massive federal subsidies... (15+ / 0-)

    ...for public transportation.

    Full of good ideas since 1978. Follow the link for the latest one. -6.38, -6.00

    by wiscmass on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:05:31 PM PST

  •  Reject adventurist foreign and military policies (8+ / 0-)

    How much excess carbon has the destructive Iraq war injected in the atmosphere?  The intensive use of airpower and air transport is key to the occupation, which on all other grounds is a failure, too.

    The US needs a smarter cheaper more subtle way of dealing with the world for a large number of reasons, but global warming is right up there.

    •  Amen... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      have you ever read anyone's attempt at writing an environmental impact statement (EIS) related to the conduct of a large, prolonged military action?  I have and it made my eyes bleed.  So much environmental waste and loss on top of the souls lost, it's a wonder this old planet hasn't sent us packing yet.

    •  no more oil wars. . . (0+ / 0-)

      From the Western viewpoint, ALL the conflict going on in the Middle East is oil-related, and we're going to be paying for the next several generations for war intended to secure at most, 20 years of oil and very possibly, 10 or less.

      Fixing global warming with replacement energy solutions is the most expensive thing America is ever likely to do as a nation. We can't afford to finance this and neocon dreams at the same time.

      And when we replace petroleum for transportation, we stop funding terrorism.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:17:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Financal assistance for low income people (12+ / 0-)

    replacing older cars that are gas guzzlers.

    Grants, assisting same for solar panels for homes, and energy efficient appliances. Middle class and above can make these changes on their own, but with REAL cost living increasing (food, gas, and rents), many will be left out in the cold.

    Time to disclose the minutes from Cheney's Energy Policy Meetings!!

    by mattes on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:05:56 PM PST

    •  Yes... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattes

      but first I wish we could replace all of the single pane glass in America with double pane. I don't have any readily available numbers to back this up, but I know that huge energy savings could be gained just with this one low tech upgrade.  

      •  I was shocked to discover (0+ / 0-)

        that the house in central Florida that my son co-rents, and was built less than 10 years ago has single-pane windows. From what he understands, the code is changing.

        Unfortunately, have you priced windows recently? It might be somewhat less for replacement windows (but I doubt it), but to put windows in a new house can cost over $30 K. The houses that could use the upgrade most probably do not have as much glass expanse. But we are talking about many owners who do not have the funds, even if a tax credit were involved.

        •  30K?? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm talking about low income housing, like older city rowhomes.  I put in Energy star qualifying windows in my townhome last year and it cost under 3K.  I will get a tax break for it this year.    Getting rid of single pane windows is a good low-tech way to reduce energy consumption in homes.  

  •  Best way to deal with global warming? (5+ / 0-)

    Impeach Cheney and Bush. Anything else is picking around the edges.

  •  Federal Regs, Tax Breaks in the Buiding Industry (11+ / 0-)

    federal tax breaks for green builder would be huge.

    Regulations and tax breaks on building supply mfrs....huger!

    Think about the difference making Weyerhauser and Home Depot, etc. into green industries would make!

    More R & D on green building design.

    Plus, solar retrofit on all Govt. properties and green requirements for all new Govt. buildings. Eventually extending to all buiding.

    http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/...

    There are immense amounts of waste that can be eliminated through new buiding practices...that are also cost effective!

  •  One additonal suggestion (11+ / 0-)

    All of the priorities on your website are valid and necessary.  One additonal suggestion, more symbolic than substantial but attention-getting nonetheless: install solar panels on the roof of the US Congress (and Congressional office buildings, too).  Make them prominent and permanent.  

    "We have gained a new freedom in science, and it is a joy to use it." - Eric Voegelin

    by Bob Love on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:06:48 PM PST

  •  The ranking poll (5+ / 0-)

    is a great idea.  There are a ton of proposals out there, and advancing the most popular ones first will be key to getting anything significant done.

    I, for one, would like to hear more about phasing out coal plants (midwestern battlegrounds be damned), the worst single source of GHGs in the US.  To be replaced with:

    1. Conservation;
    1. Renewables (where economical);
    1. Nuclear power [ducks].  Some of the new designs are very promising, and I will go to the mat with any Greenpeace fearmonger on nuclear safety.  Try me.  I dare you.

    Then we can talk about ethanol and tax credits for hybrids.

    62.04 million people CAN be completely, horribly, disasterously WRONG.

    by Cream Puff on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:07:09 PM PST

    •  sad but true re: nuclear power (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, danz, Cream Puff, RogueStage

      I grew up thinking it was horrible, but from what I have read the new reactor designs (pebble bed reactors in particular) are a feasible model. France has done wonders with their nuclear power generation, we could learn a lot from them on effective regulatory models. It'll never be "too cheap to meter", but it will get our greenhouse gas emissions down significantly. Especially if we combine it with a real public transit system and begin the transition to electric vehicles.

      I'd really like to see a more diffuse power-generating infrastructure. There's no reason every home in the US shouldn't be able to generate wind, solar, or geothermal energy and pump excess electricity back into the grid. It'll piss off the utility companies, but it will also reduce the need for large centralized power-generating facilities (i.e. we won't need to build as many nuclear plants).

      "The power to dominate rests on the differential possession of knowledge" -Foucault

      by Jett on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:37:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One Idea at a Time (5+ / 0-)

    I like Japan's law which embraces small cars. They call them Kei cars. They make up for some very serious conservation of energy, and thus CO2 emmissions.

    It is quite simple, a maximum length of 3.39 m., maximum width of 1.48 m., maximum height of 2 m., maximum engine displacement of 660 cc., and maximum horsepower of 64. This law could possibly be translated from the Japanese to English and tweaked a bit.

    Other than that, being that the EIA reports that world oil production peaked in May, 2005, I see from what I've read that oil production will likely fall at the rate of 5% per year. This will be the ultimate solution to excessive CO2 emissions -- less and less oil available to burn.

    Doubtful that coal will be able to be mined at any rate  approaching a replacement for dwindling oil supplies. Doubtful about biofuels replacing much of the lost oil either, and it is sad that biofuels are pricing some of the world's poorest people out of the grocery market.

    The world's economy will really, really suck without an abundance of cheap oil, but if we can't burn our way to wealth anymore, then the skies will improve.

    Stay Above the Fray --- Vilsack All the Vay!!

    by GW Chimpzilla on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:08:38 PM PST

  •  Externalities Tax - All polluters should pay (16+ / 0-)

    proportionally to the costs of the pollution they generate. A carbon tax is one aspect of this. For example, coal mines also pollute ground water and destroy land. These costs should be paid for by the owner of the mines.  The same principles apply to all forms of extraction and burning.

    "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:09:10 PM PST

  •  Fossil fuel use may be the elephant in the room (7+ / 0-)

    but expanding population for finite resources IS the room.  Re-fund global family planning initiatives, other than Abstinence Only.  

    Oh, and join the Kyoto Protocol.  ASAP.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:09:12 PM PST

    •  By the way (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      riverlover, bheuvel67, Floja Roja

      I am well aware that resource use between ourselves and developing nations is wildly disproportionate.  We need to clean up our act intensely, no doubt about it.  

      But equally is there no doubt that even if we were all to quietly commit sepuku tomorrow for the good of the planet, world populations would continue to grow and to burn carbon.  Furthermore, most populations not already quite privileged would continue to aspire to the wasteful niche which we had so recently vacated.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:51:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Encourage planned communities (18+ / 0-)

    where people can walk to stores and resources. Shopping malls that include food stores and services connected to  multiple highrise apartment buildings. Design to reduce the need to drive.

    Time to disclose the minutes from Cheney's Energy Policy Meetings!!

    by mattes on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:09:54 PM PST

    •  Yes yes yes!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattes, tonyahky

      This one is SOOO important!

    •  don't forget local (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, mattes, danz, LNK, RogueStage, Magnifico

      small scale farming so that the food doesn't have to be transported a kazillion miles.

      •  Surround these mini-cities with farms (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        javelina, Magnifico

        woods, and parks. BUT they have to be for all financial classes.
        Some can be retirement mini-cities/mini-villages. Some can be for families....and or singles. Some mixed.

        Time to disclose the minutes from Cheney's Energy Policy Meetings!!

        by mattes on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:50:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The "trolley line" community developement (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geenius at Wrok, Whittless

      is more sustainable.  As cities replaced the funding of mass transportation with highway spending, the trolley line community form died out.  Giving people the option to live without cars is significant.  Give people communities were they have the option of taking a modern, comfortable, trolley ride to run errands. Provide a way to send the kids to the library or the local pool without having to drive them. This would greatly reduce the number of short distance drives.   Reliable, well designed and well policed commuter rail that would give more people the option of not having to drive to work. For an overwhelming number of cities, currently it just isn't an option to take public transit.

      For working class families, the car is the biggest expense beside housing.  Not just in initial cost, but in maintenance (older cars that are within their price range) and monthly fuel expense.  While we often single out the excessive number of SUV's on the road, I haven't heard anyone talk about the substantial number of older, gas guzzling cars on the road.   The worn out Caprice Classic that gets about 15 mpg and 500 mile per qt of oil was the only thing available that the brick mason or maid could afford.  What if it became an option to have a car rather than a vital part of subsistence living?

      We have the opportunity to reduce global warming, improve the quality of life, and reduce the financial burden of the poor and the working class through investment in modern mass transportation and smarter development patterns.

      Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the begining of wisdom. ---Bertrand Russell

      by leeroy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 08:22:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Zero emissions vehicles (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, mattes, empathy

    Corn-based ethanol is not the answer because of the high fossil fuel and pesticide inputs needed to grow corn (which makes me suspicious about why President Bush is promoting it).  

    We need vehicles that don't rely on fossil fuel combustion of any kind.  Fuel cell?  Solar?  Electric (generated by renewables)?  I'm not sure what the best option is.

    I also think people forget that car exhaust contains a whole host of harmful, carcinogenic compounds (e.g., benzene and particulate matter) in addition to CO2.  

  •  climate change vs global warming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines

    First, could someone educate me on the difference between these two?  

    It is my understanding that climate change is the more encompassing description, correct?

    If so, it also, in my observation, is one that is likely to get the attention of more non-partisan middle of the road Americans. "Global warming" has been bastardized by the right and may go in one ear and out the other of many in the middle because of the way the phrase has been kicked around.

    Climate Change, which may more accurately describe all that is happening to the world may get more people to listen since to me it doesn't have the same baggage.

    So, while it is time for action, there is also a need to still engage people to get the action to occur. If I'm correct, in understanding the distinction, a great place to start is the framing of the debate.

    The second part of framing, which Gore and others have done, is to immediately tie fixing the problem to economic stimulus and job creation.

    •  the UN (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, Whittless

      designates it Climate Change and they're talking about global warming....

      It actually IS time for a change!

      by netguyct on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:24:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe (0+ / 0-)

      that Climate Change is the right wing frame.

      •  I don't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CTLiberal

        because it is more accurate and covers more violent storms etc. I'm glad they are using it because it can be a common term that can have more meaning.

        •  You may (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jdavidson2

          be right.  I think some felt it was soft soaping the issue.  Surely we have to soften our rhetoric to get a larger consensus.  It is tricky deciding when.

        •  climate change is also too vague (0+ / 0-)

          duh. the climate changes... so what. the common answer is we just have to deal with that..  that's what technology is for right?

          which is different than, we are causing global warming, and we could stop/reverse the damage we have done.

          i prefer global warming. it is the truth.

          Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

          by hypersphere01 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:53:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it may be the actual truth (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            empathy

            but not sure it is the "perceived" truth yet, which politically is more important.

            climate change encompasses the violent storms we've seen of late and people definitely perceived those that's why I thought in some areas of the country it is not only covering the "truth" but it also possible more saleable.

            •  i am not so sure (0+ / 0-)

              after watching Alexandra Pelosi's HBO movie about evangelicals, i think we have a long way to go in the sales dept.  and that might not be acceptable. so what if it isn't saleable and won't get you re-elected.

              what is saleable might not be enough.

              Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

              by hypersphere01 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:35:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Many evangelicals have actually addressed the (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jdavidson2, empathy

                issue of global warming/climate change/whatever you want to call it, saying that it is real and needs to be dealt with.  I was just watching a speech given last night by Prince Charles (on CSPAN) in which he mentioned this rather large (and growing) group.

                •  that's good (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  empathy

                  however, i suggest you watch the documentary. these people are attacking science all over America. one group is good. more would be better.  however, that said, i doubt that would be enough. even if the evangelicals got behind doing something about global warming, they would, imo, fight us on the implementation.  hell even Dems will fight us about that. i still have hope, but i really doubt we are going to do what needs to be done.

                  Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

                  by hypersphere01 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:33:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Unfortunately, you are probably right (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    empathy, hypersphere01

                    just wanted you to know, have a bit of hope.  I have no doubt that many of the people who make up the evangelical movement are beyond reason, but not all.

                    We have to use better thinking than that which got us here in the first place, and, uh, that seems unlikely.  

                    •  i know (0+ / 0-)

                      when the Iraq war started, one of my best friends went to the dark side.  we used to have debates about all this. my friend is the type who was taught scripture every week by his parents and doesn't believe in evolution.

                      i hate being right. i was right about Bush and his cabal. i called it when he announced he was considering a run..  i live in texas and got an up close look at the Bush family.  all spin all the time. a PR circus on roids. which is why Rove fit in like a glove.

                      Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

                      by hypersphere01 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:24:44 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Climate Change (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jdavidson2, joel3000, empathy

          came about, I believe, because wingnuts would cite every instance of extreme cold to "debunk" Global Warming. The term Global Warming is misleading, because the climate is changing different ways in different places.

          I like Snarkalita's suggestion downthread of calling it Climate Crisis.

          "I wish that for just one time You could stand inside my shoes You'd know what a drag it is To see you" - Dylan

          by Floja Roja on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:47:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Global Warming vs. Climate Change vs... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raines, bittergirl, empathy

        Climate Crisis

        which is the term I believe Al Gore uses often.

      •  Climate change is more accurate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        empathy

        I don't think it is a right wing frame. Global warming is a somewhat inaccurate as a description because, although average temps are rising, we're also seeing greater climate variance, i.e. some places are colder than usual at times.

        Verify before Rec'ing a diary. Click username. Check prior diaries and comments. Ask yourself: is this a trustworthy user?

        by joel3000 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:17:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Neither is "more" accurate (0+ / 0-)

          Because they are both accurate terms to describe two different things. Global warming causes climate change.   Global warming is the sickness. Climate change is the symptom. It's an important distinction because while it is climate change that will kill people, it is global warming we must address to solve the problem.

    •  CLIMATE CRISIS! (8+ / 0-)

      Not the neutral and passive sounding "climate change", nor the fuzzy 'global warming' which is an oversimplification in any case. Say Climate Crisis. It is a problem we can and must do something about.

      My plan is to develop autonomous solar-powered carbon nanotube generators that consume atmospheric greenhouse gases, and sequester them in a useful material form.  I then plan to develop nanotube pie.
      I am also avoiding cremation (especially while living!), to help sequester my own carbon.

      •  that works! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bittergirl, Floja Roja, Snarcalita

        ok, I like climate crisis over global warming for the same reasons I stated.

      •  Climate crisis is the way (4+ / 0-)

        We're gonna refer to it over at The Next Agenda.

        Global Warming sounds great when you enjoy a milder winter than expected.  And as soon as the cold snap starts then everyone can pooh pooh it.

        The climate is changing all the time so IMO the term doesn't address the problems we face.

        I put up a diary over on our blog on David Suzuki's cross country tour asking the same question as Boxer and a report from the RCMP from 2005 about the security issues surrounding the climate crisis.

        The Next Agenda "For Progressive Canadian Politics"

        by Bionic on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:37:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes! Climate Crisis is the perfect way to frame (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Snarcalita

          this.  A friend and I were just discussing how global warming is confusing to people when they are having a really bad cold snap.  The term global warming is just too vague, an oversimplification that causes some people to just discount it as soon as there is a storm.  What is happening is more extremes.  Climate Crisis is how everyone should refer to it from now on.  Repeat after me:Climate Crisis, Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis,Climate Crisis

    •  'Human-Induced Climate Change' (0+ / 0-)
      • captures the essence of the situation
      • is scientifically justified (i.e. has scientific consensus)
      • even UN's IPCC uses it

      I like to qualify it further as:

      Human-Induced Catastrophic Climate Change.

      But, either HICC or HICCC will do.

    •  I think climate change encompasses (0+ / 0-)

      more of what we're seeing in as far as the violent storms and the change in weather that I've seen in New England.

      In December we had tons and tons of rain with mild temperatures while the Northwest was getting snow and cold weather; it was like the two climates switched and NE was having the weather the NW usually has.

      Climate change I think is the more apt description.

      If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy - James Madison

      by CTLiberal on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 05:09:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eat lower on the food chain (13+ / 0-)

    Going vegan is the single most effective thing a person can do to stop global warming.  

    This is too radical for the policitians or media to conceive and so this idea is being suppressed.  It is mentioned in the back of Al Gore's book.  

    Lots of info on the web.  See NRDC site.

    •  Univ of Chicago article (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      njgoldfinch, LNK, HugoDog, sillia, RogueStage

      Study: vegan diets healthier for planet, people than meat diets
         Click for print-quality photos:

      http://www-news.uchicago.edu/...

      Press citation:
      "Vegetables Fight Global Warming"

      April 27, 2006

      The food that people eat is just as important as what kind of cars they drive when it comes to creating the greenhouse-gas emissions that many scientists have linked to global warming, according to a report accepted for publication in the April issue of the journal Earth Interactions.

      Both the burning of fossil fuels during food production and non-carbon dioxide emissions associated with livestock and animal waste contribute to the problem, the University of Chicago’s Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin wrote in the report.

      The average American diet requires the production of an extra ton and a half of carbon dioxide-equivalent, in the form of actual carbon dioxide as well as methane and other greenhouse gases compared to a strictly vegetarian diet, according to Eshel and Martin. And with Earth Day approaching on April 22, cutting down on just a few eggs or hamburgers each week is an easy way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, they said.

      "We neither make a value judgment nor do we make a categorical statement," said Eshel, an Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences. "We say that however close you can be to a vegan diet and further from the mean American diet, the better you are for the planet. It doesn’t have to be all the way to the extreme end of vegan. If you simply cut down from two burgers a week to one, you’ve already made a substantial difference."

      The average American drives 8,322 miles by car annually, emitting 1.9 to 4.7 tons of carbon dioxide, depending on the vehicle model and fuel efficiency. Meanwhile, Americans also consume an average of 3,774 calories of food each day.

      In 2002, energy used for food production accounted for 17 percent of all fossil fuel use in the United States. And the burning of these fossil fuels emitted three-quarters of a ton of carbon dioxide per person.

      That alone amounts to approximately one-third the average greenhouse-gas emissions of personal transportation. But livestock production and associated animal waste also emit greenhouse gases not associated with fossil-fuel combustion, primarily methane and nitrous oxide.

      "An example would be manure lagoons that are associated with large-scale pork production," Eshel said. "Those emit a lot of nitrous oxide into the atmosphere."

      While methane and nitrous oxide are relatively rare compared with carbon dioxide, they are — molecule for molecule — far more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. A single pound of methane, for example, has the same greenhouse effect as approximately 50 pounds of carbon dioxide.

      In their study, Eshel and Martin compared the energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions that underlie five diets: average American, red meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian (including eggs and dairy), all equaling 3,774 calories per day.

      The vegetarian diet turned out to be the most energy-efficient, followed by poultry and the average American diet. Fish and red meat virtually tied as the least efficient.

      The impact of producing fish came as the study’s biggest surprise to Martin, an Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences. "Fish can be from one extreme to the other," Martin said. Sardines and anchovies flourish near coastal areas and can be harvested with minimal energy expenditure. But swordfish and other large predatory species required energy-intensive long-distance voyages.

      *******

    •  for the non-vegan voters (all the rest of us) (0+ / 0-)

      We're going to have to look at the question of getting methane generated by cattle under control.

      This can be done by diet (experimental diets have reduced emissions by 2/3) and by devices that will intercept the emissions before they hit the atmosphere.

      I think this is another area best handled by publically announcing plans to set greenhouse gas emission standards on dairy / beef cattle farms and putting research into better cost-effective solutions.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:12:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  god forbid you give up your burgers (0+ / 0-)

        It is apparently easier for Americans to give up SUVs than their burgers.

        The new America Way: no personal responsibility; just impose more regulations and let someone else make a sacrifice.

        •  I suggest responsible solutions to (2+ / 0-)

          fixing an important source of greenhouse gases. You're telling us that we have to adopt your dietary prejudices instead.

          I object to vegans trying to hijack an important discussion of global warming in order to promote your pet personal causes.

          Your whine of protest over my attempt to develop responsible alternatives for dealing with livestock-based greenhouse gas pollution tells me and everyone else what your REAL priorities are.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:30:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  brother from another planet (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Asinus Asinum Fricat

            I believe in personal responsibility. I see many suggestions imposing more regulations with no personal sacrifice. Kind of like George II's war.  

            Your insult and attempt to marginalize my point of view by saying I am a party of one in the caption indicates your prejudice.

            You may tell me I am from another planet but we both live on this one.

            •  you may have noticed a public perception (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AmericanRiverCanyon

              that vegan = nutcase.

              Stop feeding it, and stop trying to hijack this discussion. If you want to diary about vegetarianiam and global warming, go for it.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:11:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I believe if you were stuck in .... (0+ / 0-)

              ....my body with my genetics and metabolism for 24 hours you'd be BEGGING for a burger after getting sick on a vegan diet.  Please. Not everybody can do this.

              Vegan is NOT vegetarian is not ovo/lacto vegetarian.  True Vegan is extremely difficult to pull off. Vegans will also always fight with you when you point out that there are very few healthy, HAPPY vegans.  They're always grumpy. There are happy, healthy veggies and egg and milk veggies.  Show me a happy vegan...

              The vegans have also been trying very unsuccessfully for years to "prove" their belief that if only everybody else would only go vegan that everyone would have enough to eat, without dealing with the political reality. Now they think going vegan will stop global warming?

              People cannot heat their houses with tofu.    

              •  heat (0+ / 0-)

                I guess you heat your house with bacon.

                I never said anyone had to go vegan. I just said eating lower on the food chain was an effective way for each individual to take responsibility and effect positive change with regard to global warming.

                If you say I am miserable so be it.  I am a successful professional, cholesterol level of 169, 49 years old, 6'2", 210 lbs, and just returned from 10 glorious days in Costa Rica.  Life really does suck as a vegan since I have to listen to many people telling me I am a miserable nutcase based upon the fact I am a little bit selective about what I choose to put into my body. The irrational animosity gets old after a while.  

              •  heating houses with tofu isn't impossible (0+ / 0-)

                it's just neither cost-effective nor environmentally sound. Soybean, like any other conventionally farmed crop, is not that energy-effective a source of biomass, no matter what the soy lobby wants us to believe.

                With respect to a vegan diet saving the world, I rather suspect that we'd wind up with single-payer health care more expensive than the current situation. . . which would interfere rather drastically with our ability to pay for what we are actually going to have to do to pay for replacing energy infrastructure. Remember, we've also got to pay off the $2 trilion (estimated) debts Bush has incurred in our name for Iraq.

                Though the political problem would be far worse. We want people to sign on to pushing our politicians and businesses to do what has to be done and to spend the trillions that are going to have to be spent, and in the minds of both informed and uninformed people, militant vegan = insane.

                The public perceives the crazies on being on the GOP side, and that's a perception I'd rather not see punctured by people like "Buffalo Soldier" and "a fan of Wes Clark".

                Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 01:04:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  shame on you. (0+ / 0-)

            buffalo's excerpt from the chicago U study is nothing but solid logic based on facts. If you want to poo-poo the ideas in that study, do it like a man and use logic and ADDRESS the points made in it. He simply provided the math of how INEFFICIENT meat is comapared to other forms of a protein diet. What part of that argument is not constructive part of this discussion? Knowing is half the battle, so if we had a president who stood at the podium and provided the general public with the info Buffalo did so that they could then alter their diets accordingly if they so chose to do, would you have a problem with that?

            Miracles always happen when they have to happen. --Paul Westerberg

            by a fan of Wes Clark on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 10:40:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  remember who posted the diary? (0+ / 0-)

              We're trying to persuade Senator Boxer that we're more worth listening to on global warming solutions than the industry lobbyists who already have her ear.

              Saying that veganism is the solution to global warming isn't going to be taken seriously either by Senator Boxer (BTW, I'm one of her constituents) or by Kossacks.

              I don't mind being considered a rabid lamb. I do object to being associated with a bunch of nuts who I consider no more rational than those who believe reptoid control the worls or people who've "seen" a living Elvis.

              I resent your trying to help hijack a diary on the most serious problem America will ever face to promote a pet cause.

              If you want to debate the merits of veganism and the world's "need" for it, write your own diary and maybe if I have nothing better to do, I'll give it a read.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 12:53:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Or just LESS meat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buffalo soldier, dwcal

      You  don't have to go totally vegan to have an impact.

      Encourage the marketing of rice and beans (and similar)

      Ban factory farms, which pollute a lot, and that would encourage local production, which eliminates  a lot of transit, and also encourage more sensible eating

      What are you reading? on Friday mornings
      What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

      by plf515 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:46:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Whittless, plf515

        You have to be practical about it. Vegetarianism as a lifestyle just isn't that appealing for a whole lot of people. It's a lot easier for everybody to buy 10% less meat than to persuade 10% of us to go vegan. Buy less meat. Buy better quality meat and enjoy the taste of it. Don't buy it to stuff your face with lots of it.

        •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dwcal

          Instead of meat, 2x or 3x a day, as the main part of the meal, how about meat 1x or 2x a day, and at least sometimes as a flavoring or addition?

          I am NOT ever going to be vegan, unless there is no choice.  But less meat? Yeah, I can do that

          What are you reading? on Friday mornings
          What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

          by plf515 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:51:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Impact of livestock (3+ / 0-)

      This has also been recognized in a United Nations report, "Livestock’s Long Shadow –Environmental Issues and Options," released in November of 2006 from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

      If Americans reduced their meat consumption it would make a significant difference. Eating less meat is also  consistent with improved health risks.

      You don't have to become a vegan to make this contribution, just reduce animal foods.

      "It is time, brothers and sisters, for America to be patriotic about something other than war." John Edwards, 1/14/07.

      by sillia on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:13:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who killed the electric car (9+ / 0-)

    I just finished watching this heartbreaking film. I would stop global warming by getting the EV1 out to consumers.

    It's shocking we have this technology and it's being mothballed for greed. Offer big incintives to entrepreneurs to advance this technoloogy and to consumers to buy it. Stop the tax incintives on Hummers.

  •  Legalize hemp....no not necessarily to smoke. (8+ / 0-)

    Glad your here!

    Time to disclose the minutes from Cheney's Energy Policy Meetings!!

    by mattes on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:11:40 PM PST

  •  Make urban areas more liveable... (15+ / 0-)

    In addition to the technological changes such as green roofs, solar energy, energyy efficient appliances, etc., we need to make older urban places liveable again.  Places like Camden New Jersey and Gary Indiana, cities with tons of existing infrastructure but that do not meet modern living standards due to drugs and aging housing and schools.  Get serious about removing the drug trade from Americas meanest streets and people will move back in.  I live in such a neighborhood in Baltimore and we have so many vacant units around us which are begging to be restored but fear keeps good people away.  Bring the people closer to the employment centers and you will reduce the miles driven.  Baltimore has lots of hope but needs more.  Places like Camden NJ that Diane Sawyer highlighted on her special 20/20 show last week, haven't even a glimmer of hope yet.

    Senator, if global climate change is addressed properly it could be the catalyst for so much positive change on this planet, my examples are just a fraction of what could be done but I know you are going to be deluged here so I'll write more later.  Thank you for your time.

    •  Liveable=it all goes back to TRANSIT (4+ / 0-)

      to get us out of our cars.  Intelligent community design is a big plus.  Tax break to live close to work?  That made sense to me when I lived in Atlanta.    

      •  Transit is only the part of the solution... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gooserock

        a more comprehensive approach is needed, IMO.

        •  Of Course But Transit's a Low-Brainer (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Overhead Wire

          Buses and spare cars & engines for rail already exist and are in production.

          Plus a big dose of mass transit will multiply the attractiveness away from energy intensive sprawl, less need to move food, goods and services across sprawl, less need to build energy transmission lines out into sprawl, yadda yadda.

          It won't stop global warming but it's the most immediate & easy step in turning away from our energy intensive living arrangements.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:58:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Urban renewal and white flight (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geenius at Wrok

        You can't talk about urban renewal without the context of white flight to the suburbs. Instead of fixing our cities we just gave up and left, which is tragic in this case because suburbs are so energy intensive in transportation, heating and cooling.

        I grew up in NYC in the 70s. I know living in the city can suck, but after travelling around the U.S. and Europe, I know cities can be nice places to live and, yes, even raise a family without a huge single family house.

  •  Excellent topic Senator Boxer!! (8+ / 0-)

    We're so glad to have you here!

    Some priorities:

    I like the Green Grants for cities (hopefully to push Solar and Wind power a bit more) and requirements for Federal Buildings to be "green". Mayor Daley has done some great work in Chicago with the rooftop Greenhouses, I think we should work to get every major city involved in creating programs for those.

    I also think we need to raise CAFE standards quickly and require cars that are bought be the Federal Government to be hybrid or use bio-diesel fuel.

    And finally, we need to stop all subsidies to the oil industry and invest that money instead in alternative energy research.

    Those are my thoughts :-)

    Looks like you've got a great list to start with! I'm excited and I hope to see these pass!

  •  Shut the coal fired power plants (5+ / 0-)

    as soon as practical.

    Replace them with nuclear, solar, wind.  Instead what we seem to be doing is shutting down nuclear plants and replacing them with coal.  That is so very not a step up.

    Nuclear power really works for the French in giving them clean air and less global warming type emissions.

    http://www.pbs.org/...

    France gets 76% of its power from nuclear plants and is the mostly nearly energy independent country in Europe.  

    I despair of this happening in the USA-the nuclear fearmongers, funded by big oil and coal, have us afraid of the wrong things.  We need to be limiting coal Fly Ash production and CO2 production.  

  •  massive nuclear power build (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    object16, TiaRachel

    in remote areas of the mountain west, with massive power transmission lines that can cross the continental divide.

    •  if anything, smaller, distributed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      danz

      nuclear closer to the cities. Transmission losses are too great.  imho

      standardized plant design that incorporates all previous lessons learned.

      It actually IS time for a change!

      by netguyct on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:27:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  respectfully (0+ / 0-)

        i disagree.

        even at losses of 10%, it's trivial given the trade-off in terms of distance from waste disposal sites and distance from populated areas.

        •  disposal sites.... (0+ / 0-)

          Since I last checked, all disposal sites are closed.  Waste is accumulating on the grounds of every plant. Yucca mountain is not yet open, and since it is on or close to a fault line, certification and licensing is guaranteed to take a long time.

          While you make a decent point, I was more referring to the french operating model that seems to have worked..  If I remember correctly, it has one plant design, fixed output, and all lessons learned are carried forward into the next.  While more numerous, smaller shipments of spent rods seem to present more opportunities for accidents, i'm not sure it matters, since fuel rods tend to last a pretty long time.

          I only back nuclear as an absolute last resort over coal and other fossil plants... I'm much more of a solar guy.

          It actually IS time for a change!

          by netguyct on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:22:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Tax credit for biking to work. (9+ / 0-)

    Reduce carbon emissions and solve the obesity epidemic simulaneously!

    Seriously, it's going to take a massive effort for people to break their dependence on the car.  

    Beyond personal responsibility, corporate responsibility!  I know this is a tough concept, but corporations must be responsible for the emmissions of their factories, products, shipping means (trucks, planes, company cars) and corporate offices.

  •  PLANT TREES!!! (11+ / 0-)

    Simplest is best.  Shift farm subsidies (currently corn etc) to tree planting.

  •  What not to do (17+ / 0-)

    Please don't fall into the trap that some state and local municipalities have and too narrowly target specific technologies.  For example, any new law regarding car mileage should not be hybrid-specific.  As long as people are going farther on a gallon of gasoline and therefore emitting less CO2 per mile, we shouldn't care if they're driving a hybrid or something powered by magic fairy dust.

    My point here is that remaining technology agnostic will get the maximum benefit out of market forces.

    Similarly, be on the lookout for vehicle technologies coming in just a few years that could break any formulas for incentives, like plug-in hybrids or all-electric cars.  If nothing else, put in specific language that treats those as a special case.

    •  Yes, watch the tech sector! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jett, empathy, scoff0165

      Technological innovation is increasing exponentially, thus "vehicle technologies coming in just a few years" are a virtual certainty.

      "We have gained a new freedom in science, and it is a joy to use it." - Eric Voegelin

      by Bob Love on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:19:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  especially since (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dwcal

      a diesel gets comparable fuel mileage to a gasoline-electric hybrid right out of the box.

      The current incandescent light bulb is an ecological disaster and should be banned, but there are lab prototypes of next-gen incandescent bulbs comparable in efficiency to compact fluorescents.

      In general, I favor non-technology specific energy efficiency standards that are based on current "best practices" standards, with provisions to reinvestigate the issues periodically to improve standards as underlying technology improves.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:06:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sustianable Technology Initiatives (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines, Elise, empathy, scoff0165

    The huge question is how the planet is to support six, seven or eight billion people, with some quality of life.  Goverment money for research, over time, can produce amazing things...the listed alternatives which involved research and a change in the technological infrastructure got my "1" votes.  Changes which cripple existing systems -- really indiscriminate cap systems, for instance -- much less so.  Changes in government car fleets and buildings, least of all.

  •  End pollution credits system (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    empathy, Magnifico, netguyct

    The ability to trade pollution credits seems to create a number of problems:

    1. We can measure when individual regions or cities see a spike in emmissions-- with companies tradiing emission credits I would guess it would make it highly difficult to truly enforce.
    1. If manufacturing something more cheaply means making more pollution it seems like some companies are looking for a short term profit rather than investing in tech of the future.  Just make them do it.
    1. Finally- it is true that American based companies compete with foreign companies that do not have the same requirements.  Why shouldn't our trade agreements, especially within our own hemisphere, require shared emission requirements.

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:16:05 PM PST

    •  Amen! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, danz

      The point is to cut emissions, so let's all cut to the chase!

      No trading!  It's all very Enron (remember bandwidth trading?)

      It actually IS time for a change!

      by netguyct on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:21:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it works though, doesn't it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpiterak

        The point is you set a cap and then allow people who are below the cap to trade with people above it. Over time you reduce the cap. This provides economic incentive to companies which are greener and adds cost to those which are less green. It folds the externality back into the market system. It's got a carrot and a stick, and over time that stick just keeps getting bigger. As long as the carbon trading is well regulated I don't see why this is bad.

        To address you points,

        1. They are trading emission credits, not actual emissions. It won't shift actual physical pollution and thus won't effect our ability to actually measure emissions. Additionally, we're talking about a regulated public market - you can see when a CEO sells a bunch of stocks in the company he works for, you'll be able to see when a company buys a lot of emission credits and thus know that that company is a heavy polluter. If anything it will make it more difficult to hide emissions.
        1. This system does just make them do it by harnessing the corporate profit motive. If they don't reduce emissions they are forced to pay money to companies which do reduce emissions. Shareholders hate things like that.
        1. We can require any company doing business in the US to participate in our trading scheme. We can create a global trading scheme. It's not really a problem so much as an added benefit - we can leverage our corporate power and huge consumer market to reduce emissions around the world.

        "The power to dominate rests on the differential possession of knowledge" -Foucault

        by Jett on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:53:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We really need to end the fossil fuel addiction! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Elise, empathy, Predictor

    There is only so much supply of fossil fuels left on our planet...
    And look at how much damage has been done in the pursuit of more! For the sake of our national (and global) security, as well as our global survival, we must end this addiction to fossil fuels! I definitely want to see our government invest in clean, renewable energy, instead of wasting any more funds trying to salvage the fossil fuel industry.

    Development in renewable energy would not just help us preserve our environment and stop climate change, but also provide new jobs and a boost to our economy! Oh yes, and it will free us from dependence for oil from politically unstable regions! Obviously, development of renewable energy would also benefit our national security... And global security!

    If we want to thrive in the future, then we need to stop thinking in the past. Thanks, Senator Boxer, for making this constituent of yours quite proud. If only more folks in Washington took the issues surrounding climate change as seriously as you do.

    : )

  •  Stop BigOil's stranglehold--throw the bums out! (6+ / 0-)

    This is a multifaceted problem, but we must reduce our reliance on roads and highways.

    Promoting infrastructure such as Amtrak, high-speed rail, and allocation of gas tax funds to local commuter projects will lay the groundwork to eliminate the necessity of the personal automobile.

  •  Agricultural solutions and alternative power (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaye, Kingsmeg
    Agricultural:

    * Farmers whose farms are suffering from drought conditions can grow biomass for energy - switchgrass, flax, hemp, and other quick-growing high fiber plants.

    * High production of plant materials will increase oxygen production in areas that have high carbon dioxide levels

    Alternative Power:

    * Start building nuclear power plants now.  This will increase the employment rate.  Start development through the government or private firm to build a better nuclear reactor.

    * Make the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty mean something.  Take the new improved designs for building nuclear reactors, and offer it as an incentive for nations to sign on.

    "I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they kill, there would be no more wars." - Abbie Hoffman

    by Jensequitur on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:18:09 PM PST

    •  I think you're a bit confused (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whittless, navajo, coigue

      You seem to be concerned about local CO2 levels:

      • High production of plant materials will increase oxygen production in areas that have high carbon dioxide levels

      I can see how this matters for things like mercury, where local concentrations of the pollutant matter.  I'm VERY unclear as to why it matters at all in the case of CO2.

      •  Sorry, didn't have time to go into details (0+ / 0-)
        And I should say that it's not just carbon dioxide I'm thinking about.  Areas in Texas, for example, like the high plains, build up layers of pollution like carbon dioxide and mercury.  These areas are also troubled with drought.  Part of the problem is the deforestation of these areas - what used to be covered with scrub oak is now a flat, dry plain.  Not to mention dust storms and water usage across large areas...

        So to my way of thinking, the straight-path solution is to plant these areas with low-water use biomass materials.  The extra plant life provides oxygen to the area.  The ground has more plant life to hold the soil.  And we'll provide a needed industry to the area that doesn't produce more carbon dioxide for the air, and gives farmers something to grow.

        "I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they kill, there would be no more wars." - Abbie Hoffman

        by Jensequitur on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:59:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you thinking of Carbon Monoxide? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          navajo

          Is it possible that you're thinking of CO, instead of CO2?  They're different chemicals, and CO can in some places build up to concentrations that are harmful.

          CO2 is, aside from its warming properties, basically harmless in the low concentrations that people encounter it in the environment.  Its a normal product of human metabolism, and is emitted from your body every time you exhale.

  •  Senator: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, danz, LNK, empathy

    We'll have to do all of the things you mention in your poll, and much more.

    We need to reduce emissions by 75% ASAP.

    The most important single thing you can do is begin to speak with utter realism about the magnitude of the problem.

    Thanks.

  •  Land of Enchantment already picked up on (4+ / 0-)

    your site, and posed the question here.

    Please check out that diary and the ideas within too!

    It actually IS time for a change!

    by netguyct on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:19:36 PM PST

  •  ties to foreign aid and trade? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, empathy

    How about rewarding other countries that cut their emissions, and have some kind of financial "big stick" for countries that don't?

  •  Alternative energy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Babsnc, mattes

    Government Investment in Development of
    Renewable Energy Sources seems to make the most sense to me

  •  Carbon Tax. (7+ / 0-)

    Carbon tax.

    Carbon tax.

    Carbon tax.

    Oh, and I would tax carbon.

    If the enemy is carbon and you want to reduce carbon, then you need to put a penalty on carbon and let the market work out the details.

    I suppose you can play with cap and trade and blah blah blah, but the coal utilities are experts at gaming the system so I'm skeptical that they'll ever adhere to a cap when they've never adhered to it in the past. But that's just history.

    Mostly though, thank you Senator Boxer (for reals) for being the one leader in the Senate who's proposing an actual solution. Help us help you to kill the Bingaman bill and any iterations of this "safety valve" nonsense.

    And check out Energize America.

    I am the federal government.

    by mateosf on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:22:20 PM PST

  •  Senator, you said five beautiful words: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coigue, mattes, Pyesetz the Dog

    "I am listening to you."

    Now, if you could train all the other Senators to do that, and the Representatives, and the Executive branch--we would have a proper republic again.

    I like conservatives. They're opposed to all questionable adventures abroad and for fiscal prudence . . . . It's right-wing nuts I can't stand.--Molly Ivins

    by Dar Nirron on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:22:24 PM PST

  •  The first step must be to improve efficiency (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, SecondComing, empathy

    because all the alternative fuel sources in the world won't save us if we don't change America's consumption habits.

    Also, I'd like to say thank you, Sen. Boxer. Thank you for continuing to fight for all of us and for caring about and paying attention to what we, as Americans, are saying.

    "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein

    by scoff0165 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:23:49 PM PST

  •  Energize America!!! (8+ / 0-)

    You should look at Energize America, an open source plan by Kossacks to vastly improve our energy policy.  One specific idea is to tax energy, not property.

    And Energize America has many other ideas worthy of implementation.  Please consider a whole packages such as Energize America rather than a forced ranking of ideas that don't necessarily compliment each other.

    My favorite:  Plug-in hybrid electric cars would be a huge help to run our fleet, reduce oil addiction, and increase national security by reducing support for Wahhabis and other thugs around the world.  It would not increase our electric load due to night charging, and would provide stability and revenue for our utilities.  Subsidize this and better batteries to incent a change in the fleet over the next 10 years.

    9/11 didn't change the Constitution!

    by Prof Dave on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:23:51 PM PST

  •  Outline of a comprehensive plan: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    empathy

    (1) new emmission standards and target dates; (2) two-tiered phase out of highway subsidies to states -- 1st (and favored) tier is states that have imposed registration surcharges on SUV's and non-compliant vehicles -- 2d tier ( and faster phase-out) is states that fail to enact surcharge; x% of surcharge to be returned to the fed for purposes of underwriting the development of alternative fuels; (3) complimentary phase-in of grants for public transportation, with strict mileage targets; (4) set a target date for a ban on the sale of non-hybrid or alternative fuel new cars, after which owners of non-compliant vehicles will be subject to strict gasoline rationing.
    I haven't thought about the new-home construction problem yet.

  •  Net Metering + Wind/Solar/Geothermal Tax Credits (7+ / 0-)

    We need tax credits to encourage home-owners to upgrade their homes to wind, solar and geothermal.  We also need federal net metering legislation mandating homeowners using private renewable resources be allowed to pump energy back onto the grid to "run the meter backwards" and help offest the costs of upgrading their homes.

    As for autos, plug-in hybrids are coming and anything that can be done to encourage their adoption would be very helpful.

    •  Yes--and combine this with tax incentives for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, Near Vanna

      using energy efficient appliances, such as point of use water heaters, and building homes using alternative building methods, such as earth sheltered--anything that reduces energy consumption.

      Somewhere in Texas there's a village missing an idiot.

      by tonyahky on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:47:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Support solar energy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    empathy, Magnifico, Jbearlaw

    Encourage Americans in the sunbelt to install solar panels on their rooftops, and encourage automakers to install good batteries in electric cars, like the ones designed by Stanford R. Ovshinsky.   http://www.greenenergyohio.org/...

    Maybe with tax incentives, businesses in those huge glass towers could replace some of the energy inefficient glass with solar panels and get their own electrical usage "off the grid."

    I live in a part of Texas which is sunny most of the year, and my back yard has a Southern exposure.  I'd love to have solar panels on my roof, and a plug in electric car with an Ovonic battery.  I could generate my own electricity and drive free from oil.  If others did the same, it would make a big difference cleaning up air pollution in our cities, not to mention long range help for climate change.

    In TX-32, visit Sessions Watch to keep an eye on Pete Sessions

    by CoolOnion on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:24:43 PM PST

  •  Give Al Gore a bully pulpit and the authority... (15+ / 0-)

    ...needed to implement ALL the ideas he describes in "An Inconvenient Truth".

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:25:20 PM PST

  •  Promote Electric Vehicles, Mass Transportation... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poemless, empathy, The Overhead Wire

    Senator Boxer,

    Throw everything you can at the prospect of Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles.  These vehicles would be partial zero emission vehicles for 70+% of regular travel.  If I owned one, I would probably never burn a drop of gasoline during the course of a regular year.

    Better mass transportation is a must-have as well.  If I could get back and forth to work easily and fairly quickly, I wouldn't think twice about ditching my car.

    PLEASE read the Energizing America proposal if you haven't already.  If you have, then re-read it, and share it with your senator friends.  It's a great place to start.

  •  First: get Bush out of the way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HighSticking, Pyesetz the Dog

    Really. You can't stop him from destroying science, as today's NYT report shows. So step 1: remove Bush/Cheney from office. We can begin now or in 2 years. Your choice.

  •  Some of the Pubs want to use smoke and mirrors (0+ / 0-)

    literally!

    "Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert

    by InsultComicDog on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:26:28 PM PST

  •  The first step (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tracker, chillindame, dotcommodity

    to dealing with any problem is RECOGNITION that there is a problem. So the first step needs to be removing the Bush/Cheney hand of obfuscation and lies from the mouths of scientists (I know!  I'm one!)....

  •  We cannot stop global warming. (0+ / 0-)

    All we can do is try to help the people hurt the most by global warming.

    Just like we can't stop hurricanes, we can only try to help the people hurt the most by hurricanes.

    •  Wrong.(I think) (5+ / 0-)

      You cannot change the severity of o hurricane, yet we can change the severity of global warming.

      And changing the severity will affect millions of lives.

      •  i think you might be wrong about that (0+ / 0-)

        i think our government has been testing devices that shoot microwaves, among other things into the atmosphere, to create/control weather.

        i think it works. i study the work of Tesla and think our government has had this technology for a very long time.

        Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

        by hypersphere01 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:55:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kay. (0+ / 0-)

          But my point stands that we can change the severity of climate change, perhaps even stop it (James HAnsen gives us 10 years before it's irreveraaible)

          •  i hope so (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coigue

            it's a theory i want to believe in, for my kids sake..

            it might be too late..  but i will not lose hope.

            Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

            by hypersphere01 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:31:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tesla was a bit grandoise in his dreams. (0+ / 0-)

              While he was right that we can shove the ionoshpere around and create some local weather changes, there are some huge gaping holes in our knowledge.  Aside from no one understanding the full implications of changing the weather, the power requirements for doing it on a global scale are truly insane.

              In reality, taking control of the weather would require being able to move enormous amounts of thermal energy from one region to another.  Outside of that the best your going to do is disrupt the local weather, with all but unknown consequences to the surrounding area's.

  •  we may need to start 'carbon sinks' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaye

    This was a side concept in a book I read a while ago where defined areas would get rid of exccess CO2 by filtering it out and storing it as dry ice. All that is needed is pressure to get it to form at room temp. We keep pouring it into our environment, somehow it has to come out again.

  •  Gotta add... (0+ / 0-)

    Please, please, please (like this will count lol) don't propose crippling the airline industry.  I don't know how one weighs something like accessible international travel against carbon emission, but I'm very sure that we have the most pluralistic and diverse world in history -- current horrors aside -- in part because we have travel that is avaliable to people without a lot of money.  People from all walks of life are shaped by travel and by international commerce in ways that are very difficult to quantify, so I am concerned (and scared) that in the pursiut of a good, necessary cause we'll end up with a smaller, meaner world...

  •  Incentives (4+ / 0-)

    for conversion to solar and wind power in homes and for using green construction materials and methods. Building codes don't have to address only safety concerns but can also make energy efficiency mandatory.

    "No matter where you go, there you are" -Buckaroo Banzai "I drank what?" -Socrates

    by UEtech on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:29:09 PM PST

  •  One more suggestion: macho language (3+ / 0-)

    The only thing some right-wingers understand is war, so maybe you could get more of them interested by declaring "war" on greenhouse gas, or call greenhouse gas a "terrorist" or something like that.  Maybe the wingnuts would jump on board if they thought it was a "fight" about something! lol!

    In TX-32, visit Sessions Watch to keep an eye on Pete Sessions

    by CoolOnion on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:29:16 PM PST

  •  Short term vs. long term, make it happen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, danz, Floja Roja

    There are two ways global warming have to be addressed: short-term ways to stop adding to the problem and long-term goals to reverse the trend.

    In the short term we need to do relatively simple things, like aggressively lower emissions on our vehicles and factories. I use the word aggressively here intentionally—corporations will complain about costs. Our country has proven time and again that when we want to, we can rapidly and radically change our entire infrastructure. The wartime footing we went on during WWII is probably the best-known example. We need a government that will not kowtow to Wall Street's whines about hurting profit, but make companies move quickly. I see no reason not to halve emissions in all forms of manufacturing and vehicles in under five years, other than letting companies avoid some costs.

    For the long term most of the alternative energy options out there would improve the situation. There's a lot of complaining about electric vehicles still generating electricity, but controlling the environmental emissions at a few hundred electrical generation points is easier than controlling hundreds of thousands of individual gas-based vehicles. We need to find reasonable, "cleaner" paths of generating power for our economy and concentrate the worst parts in as small of the system as possible.

    The real problem with long term goals is the "kicking the can down the road" syndrome. We've seen our car companies talk about alternative futures, but they never get here. Imagine if our country had stuck to the firm goals of President Carter's energy plans. Instead we see a lot of "hot air" about the future but nothing ever happens.

    Are you shaking or biting the invisible hand?

    by puppethead on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:30:30 PM PST

  •  Here are two ideas. (0+ / 0-)
    1. Tax carbon emissions
    1. Enact tariffs on countries that pollute

    Thank you Senator Boxer.

  •  I want an electric car. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coigue, LNK, Floja Roja

    I live quite locally most of the time, so a range of 40 miles is fine with me. I'll keep my old high-milage gas cars in case I need to go further. The ideas I put on the questionnaire:

    (1) See "Who Killed the Electric Car" or

    (2) See PBS's NOW episode  
    about the documentary.

    Solar is relatively old technology, but needs to benefit from the economies of standardization and scale. (Wouldn't New Orleans be a good place to do that?)

    GM, Ford, and Toyota all chickened out on their EVs. They know how to do it, and Congress must do what it takes to encourage them.

  •  Is "Elect Al Gore" an option? n/t (7+ / 0-)
  •  go off the grid as soon as possible (4+ / 0-)

    My family and I have already started by joining up in the CitizenRe Corporation's plan to take the entire nation 'off the grid' where feasible, with solar power as the technology becomes available. check it out.

  •  Ask. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HighSticking, poemless, dwcal, coigue, 0wn

    really.  it's that simple.
    ask. us. to. conserve.
    we're sick of shopping...

    OR, you could push to vote on kyoto.
    or make your own kyoto-lite.
    have experts as well as gung-ho biz leaders testify about what they're doing and how to prioritize it for the whole country.  form broad-spectrum of interests (science, business, health--YOUNG and old)
    make a strategic plan.
    implement.

    or you could just ask al gore.  he'll know what to do.

    •  kyoto is obsolete... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, Pyesetz the Dog

      we need a new global warming treaty based on the latest IPCC study due out Friday, and we need to come up with inducements to get China and India to sign on.

      We now know that things are so much worse than the analysis that Kyoto was based on that full compliance by everybody including 'excluded' developing countries would barely make a dent in the problem.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:56:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but still important (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stagemom

        Most importantly, joining Kyoto would show that we're ready to join the rest of the world and work to solve this problem as part of the international community. It's a diplomatic gesture to the rest of the world.

        Once that's done, we can start work on Kyoto II and include China, India, and others this time.

        •  thanks, dwcal. i was just sitting here wondering (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dwcal

          how to politely answer...
          you took the words right out of my fingers.
          there's no use debating where to begin and no time for recrafting something.  we and the whole world can make amendments to kyoto and other ideas.
          the point is to do something immediately.

        •  the danger with Kyoto is that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raines, dwcal

          enacting it in its current form would give politicians and businesses both targets that are far easier to meet than what's going to be required to put a serious dent in the problem and an excuse to say "that's all we need to do".

          I think Kyoto's going to be the fallback position for corporate America when it finally realizes that global warming action is inevitable... though for practical purposes, compared to the size of the actual problem, it has to be considered "feelgood bullshit". And a lot cheaper than a serious attempt to solve the real problem.

          I think we need to bypass it and get to work on Kyoto II. . . NOW.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:15:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, that's important too (0+ / 0-)

            We all know Kyoto isn't enough, and we need to do more. What I'm afraid of is if we can't even pass Kyoto, nobody will take us seriously about working on Kyoto II.

            •  The Montreal Protocols (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dwcal, profmom

              The Montreal Protocols were the Kyoto of their day.  They were set up to control CFC's and stop the worsening of the ozone hole.

              When people think of what stopped the ozone hole from getting worse, most people refer back to the Montreal Protocols.  

              But they would've been a complete failure.

              The recommendations and plans from Montreal were woefully insufficient to fix the problem.  But what they did do was set up the framework by which future fixes could be performed.  The follow-up protocols don't get the press, but they were what addressed (and mostly fixed) the problem.

              Kyoto is just the first step, but it would start to have its own inertia.

  •  Just a couple of ideas. (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob, Babsnc, danz, toys, profmom, hsvscg, Durs

    For starters:
    a. Improve the CAFE standards to minimally 25MPG.
    b. Reinstate the Federal Tax-incentive for buying a hybrid verhicle that gets better than 40 MPG.
    c. Ban (re-)sale of non-collector cars & trucks worse than 12MPG for use on public roads.
    d. Expand the California PV-subsidies to all states.
    e. Put a surcharge on incandecent light-bulbs.
    f. Make all highway lighting PV-powered.
    g. Re-regulate the Power-industry, outlawing electricity transport-losses higher than 15%.
    h. Decentralize the electrical power industry by allowing more possibilities of co-generation.
    i. Support, Subsidize and promote domestic fuel-cell technology.
    j. Support, Subsidize and promote Creation off-shore wind- and wavemovement energy generation plants.
    k. Support, Subsidize and promote Deep-drill Geothermal energy-mining (MIT has a nice study on that).
    l. Support, Subsidize and promote shallow (2-200 Meter depth) domestic geothermal residential assist for heating and cooling.
    m. Support, Subsidize and promote energy efficient building on federal property, for Federal buildings.
    n. Support, Subsidize and promote public transportation by taxing cars according to their MPG.
    o. Outlaw transportation-costs deduction, except for businesses that have logistical functions. (Separate license plates, might I suggest.)
    p. Promote the Expansion of the Califirnia emission standards accross ALL states.
    q. Support, Subsidize and promote use of bicycles. (That would also neatly dovetail with preventive health-care and long-term healthcost-savings).
    r. Fight Urban Sprawl.

    Those are just the ones that I could come up with in the last 5 minutes. There must be many more.
    Good Luck!

  •  With all due respect Senator (8+ / 0-)

    I hope that you will get experts on urban planning, alternative technology, and ecological economics to answer this question.

    I appreciate your coming here, but I want the best of what's available, and it's not my area of expertise.

    Now, I would be up for participating in any of the following:

    Federal programs to encourage carpooling within institutions (schools, etc)

    Solar panel programs. PG&E is welcome to put panels on my roof for free, and they can use the energy themselves...or I'll put some on if they are cheap enough

    Community supported Agriculture in the school lunch program.

    Electric cars

    Urban planning for safe bike lanes.

    Public transportation.

    I think there is some low-hanging fruit here.

  •  increase the mpg standards and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, SecondComing, mattes

    increase research money and subsidies for wind power and solar.

  •  Senator Boxer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, alizard, mattes, danz

    thanks for doing this.  Please make sure to: dramatically raise cafe standards, remove exceptions (light trucks), provide tax rebates for more efficient vehicles (over 40 mpg), remove any tax rebates for gas-guzzlers like hummers, require that all new power stations be carbon neutral (ie, wind, solar), require new home developments to include solar roofs, subsidize any private homeowners' solar conversion efforts, and dramatically increase research into new battery and solar cell technology.  Also, require that federal fleets convert to hybrid, electric, or fuel cell vehicles.  And that's just to start.

    One thing I'd add: ethanol is a red herring.  Please do not pour all our money into that development.

  •  Raise Gasoline Tax (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, 0wn

    so that average cost is +$5.00/gal ... use the funds to 1) improve public transport (cities  & rural areas) 2) Clean up dirty energy generation plants 3) help lower income folks with buying cleaner cars.

    Why?

    1. gets cars off roads; goal is to make public transport more accessible
    1. Obvious
    1. lower income workers can't afford to buy new cars.. so to get all the

    old cars off the road - help them buy new ones with higher MPG.  Upper
    income people don't need the help - so the money would be better spent
    if used in this manner ... especially if the money went to folks that don't
    have good public transport available in their community.

  •  Innovative Transportation Technologies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, station wagon

    It would be nice to see some money being spent on demonstration projects of transportation projects like the Pod-car system now being built by a conglomerate of Korean and European companies outside Stockholm.

    The test track in Uppsala is complete, and operational tests are now being run on a technology that is vastly more energy efficient, adaptive to our current built environment, and capable of being deployed relatively quickly.

    Representatives from Swedish Rail, in conjunction with the Swedish Minister for the Environment, were in California this month to meet with state and local officials about ways to build test tracks in Santa Cruz or Irvine.

    And by the way, Senator Boxer, we Californians are tremendously proud of you.

  •  Plan B 2.0 by Lester Brown... (7+ / 0-)

    Argues that there is enough wind power available in just a few states to meet all of the US ENERGY needs (not just electricity needs). The source for this statement is the US department of energy 1991 wind resource inventory.

    If there was enough wind power in 1991 to meet our energy needs, all it takes is will power to convert us from carbon-based fuels to non-carbon-based energy.

    We need a 'Manhattan project' on wind power, wave power, tidal energy, geothermal energy, and some of the more esoteric space-based things you see on the Discovery Channel. Make these alternative sources of energy economically viable versus cheap coal through tax breaks, incentives, and penalties for using carbon-based fuels.

    Nuclear is, in my opinion, too controversial, because the problem of waste is intractable.  

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

    by kmiddle on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:35:57 PM PST

  •  NSF science research to cap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK

    chimneys and car tailpipes with some kind of greenhouse gas collecting device.  Even if it was first optional and expensive.  Something that is a carbon sink at its source.

  •  increase federal tax credits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaye, Floja Roja

    for residential use of alternative energy: solar panels, solar hot water, wind, geothermal, etc.

    And tax credits for high efficiency cars.( how bout the equivalent credit that Bush gave to Hummers!)

    thanks and good luck!

  •  Distributed Solar on Commercial Rooftops (12+ / 0-)

    already posted this on Land of Enchantment's diary but for ease of reference, Senator, here it is again:

    The following is a "pet" theme of mine... and I've repeated it a few times in various discussions where appropriate:

      1. Mandatory incorporation of Solar technologies, whether passive or active systems, in all new construction.

      2. Solar photovoltaic arrays on flat commercial rooftops can actually provide a very significant percentage of our total electrical consumption.

    I found that if half of California's flat commercial rooftop space were equipped with "today's" solar panels operating at efficiency rates realized by Tuscon Electric's solar plant (real world data), the instantaneous generating capacity would exceed that of ALL of CA's nuclear plants combined.  my very long very first dkos diary that explores the potential of solar on flat roofs is here

    One of the largest obstacles is regulatory. While net metering is a good start, building owner/operators and businesses that operate within usually don't have the bandwidth to take on a solar project; and I can't start a company to rent roof space to install rooftop systems to sell power to the grid profitably.  In many instances, "avoided costs" are all I could recoup from the power generators who have bulk fuel contracts and long-paid for infrastructure and can therefore produce a basic kWhr pretty inexpensively.  I'm doing more research on various state regs, but wow, is that a chore...  A solution is legislation that allows independents to operate systems with pre-approved components selling to both the grid and individual building owners or tenants.

    Additionally, every local government needs guidance on zoning and planning to allow solar power generation on commercial rooftops in commercially zoned areas.  Solar arrays that would re-sell power to the grid are sometimes lumped in with "generating stations" that no one wants built anywhere near residential areas...

    Incentives for not just alternative fueled vehicles, but even for conventional ones that get over 30mpg on average would help.

    All the other points are great, but I can't stand the emissions trading idea.  Everyone can do something, whether to buy Compact Flourescent or LED lights or insulating, or recycling or carpooling.  Being able to throw money at something barely scratches consciousness, and a consciousness shift is urgently required.

    While I don't like taxes, 5000 square foot homes use far more power and energy than 2000 square foot homes, so perhaps an excessive energy use tax would inspire the owners of those behemoths to incorporate solar thermal or photovoltaics into their properties.

    I hope you actually get to read this, and thanks if you do.

    It actually IS time for a change!

    by netguyct on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:38:17 PM PST

  •  MASS TRANSIT!!! (15+ / 0-)

    We need mass transit desperately.  We need to break the dependency we have on cars and trucks.  We need electric rail transport in cities and between cities and the suburbs.  We need reliable mass transit.  The vast majority of our carbon emissions come from cars and trucks.  We need to invest in infrastructure NOW so that in 10 to 20 years we can make the transition to utilizing mass transit the majority of the time.  

    Mass Transit.

    Electric cars.  We can forget about ethanol.  Lets concentrate on high efficiency electric cars and trains.  Anything less than cutting our driving and transporting goods by truck at least in half is not going to make a dent.

    •  Mass Transit... (4+ / 0-)

      I always forget to add things to my original post...  :)

      The most important thing is changing our vehicle use tendencies.  Id argue that the Global Warming trend is much more dangerous to our economy than the dependency on oil.  We need to cut global CO2 emissions drastically and immediately.  We need to lead the way in alternative public transportation.  Electric rails.  We have to cut emissions now.  The economic ramifications will be positive.  New technologies will emerge to utilize solar and wind and nuclear for electricity.  

      We will have lights in our homes and we will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but we cant afford to drive our cars 50 miles a day or more and not see the polar ice caps melting.

      We need to concentrate on global warming first.  Energy needs will be met.  Im quite sure of that.  The "free" market will see to it that innovation will surely tackle any problem we have.   Electric cara, solar, wind generators, waves, mirrors to concentrate sunlight, etc.  We will have electricity.  We wont have cheap oil and gas.   So we need to begin to switch over to clean solar and wind power.  

      Bur first, concentrate on Global Warming.

      We need to cut emissions now.

    •  Trains really would help (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theadmiral, The Overhead Wire

      Do what was done with the Interstate highway program with rail.  We must invert the problem of steadily increasing vehicular transportation and recentralize transportation in order to have a hope of containing the problems.

      Light electric rail is needed to replace the majority of commuting to work done in the US and diesel electric trains should be used to replace air travel for medium distances.  This would also cause more economic development around all proposed and new rail access as well as increase value around existing rail.  Small electric commuter vehicles can be used for short, point to point shopping, appointments, visits, etc.

      Our fleets of passenger jets contribute significant tons of CO2 directly to the upper atmosphere where that CO2 is never coming back down.  We could incent the air travel industry to replace their shorter domestic air routes with high speed rail.  Tax air travel to fund expansion of Amtrak to every city of 75,000 and over and make all new rail high speed.

      Our fleets of cars and SUVs used for work commuting wouldn't be necessary if we superimpose on the main traffic corridors fast, effecient electric rail above the highways or between lanes.  Rail works in all weather, whereas cars get stuck, damaged, malfunction, require frequent costly maintenance, and otherwise cost owners valuable time and money, taken from both work and family.

      Most workers I know would prefer to take safe rail transit if available and under $10 to $15 for a round trip, given what parking, gas and auto expenses cost.

      Give incentives to business and government to favor rail travel over air by their traveling employees with tax credits, deductions, and assessing impact fees for using higher-CO2 emitting travel.

      Give incentives to manufacturors (plane and car/truck) to construct electric hybrid vehicles that can run on rail and roads.  Set a goal of converting 90% of semi-truck travel to hybrid powered road/rail vehicles by 2012.  Get Wal*Mart to buy in.  Give credits to distributors to locate near and utilize rail travel.

      Require airports and local rail to interconnect, using hubs through out a metropolitan area.

      Allow private trains, down to familiy sized, to use rails for a fee with scheduling and switching by government-run traffic control function - it could be automated. This will promote investment, employment, innovation, and create a variety of new economic sectors, and encourage travel using low-impact means.  Give tax credits to all those implementing these as developers and users.

      Going to electric rail helps simplify the travel emissions problem greatly. If we can focus and reduce the travel emissions problem to the smokestacks of a few power plants, now we have reason to create and use the best scrubbers and containment systems possible.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:22:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  mass transit (9+ / 0-)

      I totally agree.  As I said in a comment up-thread, I've always believed that public transit should be fully supported, and am always surprised that we have to fight for the life of AMTRAK every year.

      -- BB

      •  Its a shame, though (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Autarkh

        that even here in California, our legislature and our governor keeps denying us even a vote on high speed rail. Your advocacy in favor of allowing the high speed rail proposition to go to voters would be welcome.

        The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility - Albert Einstein

        by theadmiral on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:30:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Transit Funding (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Overhead Wire

        One thing that could really change the future of transit projects is to include the benefits of reduced carbon emissions in the evaluation of projects.

        Currently transit projects have to pass certain standards in terms of cost-effectiveness to obtain federal funding.  This is determined by looking at the capital and operating costs of the projects, and the projected ridership.  One thing this completely ignores is the potential for reduced carbon emissions from transit.  

        If you were planning a Bus Rapid Transit Line, a bus running on diesel is the same (in the eyes of federal funding) as an electric trolley bus running on wind power.  So the diesel bus would always win out in the planning process that has to evaluate alternatives on cost effectivness.  Even worse, neither project might be funded, leaving single occupant cars as the only option.  If the carbon impact was integrated into the planning/funding of these projects, more would gain approval, and the carbon impact would be included.

        Increased funding of these projects would also allow more projects to be funded, but without a change of the rules, low carbon intensity systems cannot compete with "cheaper" high carbon intensity systems.

    •  Windpower. Including Old Windpower!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maura in VA, profmom

      --Great for tourism. Biodiesel for backup engines.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:59:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  welcome - and. . . (4+ / 0-)

    There are only three major solution categories:

    • Replace our fossil fuel based transportation energy infrastructure with something that burns something else. This means biofuel (other than corn ethanol) and electric vehicles. Requiring all diesels sold in the USA to support B100 would be a good first step.
    • Replace our fossil fuel based electrical energy infrastructure with something else. At the moment, this means wind and solar. "Clean coal" is an oxymoron.
    • conservation - create an energy standard for light bulbs based on compact fluorescent light energy efficiency level and ban all bulbs that don't meet that standard. Ban CRT monitors and TVs. Ban the sale of heating/cooling appliances that don't meet or better specific EER ratings. When I say "ban", I mean over a multiyear phase-in period with specific exceptions for health or legitimate business reasons. (e.g. a graphics artist who needs incandescent light bulbs or a CRT monitor for color balance.) Require that new business and residential construction meet energy standards. Revive and tighten CAFE.


    The above is only a start.

    You also need to realized that converting our energy infrastructures is going to be the largest project the American people, government, and business will be doing this century, and the long-term costs will probably run into the tens of trillions of dollars.

    Also, that "transitional solutions" should be avoided whenever possible. You know the real financial costs of the War on Iraq. Between this and the overall costs of fixing global warming, we're not going to be able to afford to start with "transitional technology" and plan to replace it later with 'something permanent'. We basically have to try hard to make the right choices on the really expensive projects.

    We also have no choice about it.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:38:43 PM PST

  •  Education (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danz, Floja Roja

    The difficulty with this problem is that we as individuals are the front line "polluters". But perhaps that can be turned into an advantage, since what has to change are personal habits, and there isn't actually a powerful lobby to overcome to change those habits.

    There are individual websites with CO2 footprint calculators. If there was such a calculator on a government-sponsored website, along with an education program, that would be a major step forward with minimal investment in resources.

    CAFE standards are always the first thing on people's minds, but those CO2 calculators have a different focus: miles of commuting, flying miles, recycling, energy use in heating. If those are the major factors, are there ways to spend government resources to change how we consume them?

    Many of us are not going to make rapid changes in the cars we own, so can we use our cars differently? Public transportation has taken a major hit in the last 6 years; can we improve it to the point where people actually start to shift away from their car miles?

    What about lawn mowers? Sometimes I hear gas-powered mowers are a major unreported contributor, possibly even more than automobiles. If so, what about CAFE standards for those engines?

    If heating fuels are a major contributor, can the government provide incentives for more efficient heating?

    People are scared. They know global warming is real. Don't focus on CAFE or trying to beat down the oil lobbies. Go directly to the people. Look for things that individuals can do. Give people hope that their habits can change things, and they'll change those habits.

  •  Senator Boxer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    0wn

    Thanks for blogging!

    Will Harry Reid allow more legislation regarding wind power plants, solar power advances, and E-85 to the floor in the next two years?

    Dan

  •  American Innovation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prison4Bushco

    Tax incentives to put American technology, know how and, ingenuity and productivity to work.
    Look at Tesla automobiles.  bring Detroit up to speed ASAP!
    Above, you have many magnificent suggestions.
    Don't forget to put us to work.  What ever you are trying to get through, make sure to let us know how to throw our weight behind it.
    By the way, the time has come for investigations, subpeonas, and impeachment of Administration officials.  Stop these criminals.

  •  You should check out Energize America (5+ / 0-)

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

    by poemless on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:40:46 PM PST

  •  make it easier (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, netguyct

    Make it easier for the average citizen to collect rebates for installing energy efficient appliances and upgrades to their homes.  Everytime I have replaced an appliance or added insulation, etc., I have gone online to look for rebates from my local utility company, only to discover that I missed their deadline by one or two months, or they stopped offering the rebate. This is really stupid.

    •  Talk to your PUC (0+ / 0-)

      Your state-level utilities regulators are probably the place to go to get this solved.  Its usually something called the "public utilities commission" or the likes.

    •  Not just utilities (0+ / 0-)

      but tax breaks:  During the seventies, there was a lot of renovation work being done to houses to upgrade windows and insulation, add solar, and other energy saving measures.  There were great tax breaks to encourage it.  

      This also put a lot of people to work and boosted the economy during a sluggish period.

      Example: There are a lot of outdated, energy hungry a/c units and furnaces that people can't afford to replace -- but a tax refund might be incentive for middle class people to replace them.

      By offering energy-saving incentives, the demand goes up for those products, which encourages manufacturers to work harder on those developments.

      Investigate! Impeach! Indict! Incarcerate!

      by Cato come back on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:13:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Strict caps on power plant and factory emissions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danz, Floja Roja

    and NO trading of CO2 credits.  Either comply with the law or go out of business.

    The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

    by cometman on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:42:54 PM PST

  •  Thank You Barbara Boxer ! ! ! (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for asking, thanks for the great hearing this morning, thank you for going after this! ! Proud to be a Californian: thanks to your staff for making you point out we could save all the imports from the middle east if we all consumed like California.
    Can't write now, will join in this evening.

    By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with

    by dotcommodity on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:43:55 PM PST

  •  Draft Al Gore for President. (5+ / 0-)

    I am tired of big money donors deciding the field. The people of this nation elected Al Gore in 2000 and he deserves to be re-elected. He has the background, the knowledge and the courage to put this nation on the road to putting a dent in global warming. The United States is responsible for the majority of global warming. It must take the lead in cooling the climate. Al Gore has shown leadership in delving into this much more profoundly than any other person.

    Let's re-elect him. He is the logical choice and I believe he will be the overwhelmingly popular choice.

    One certainty about Al Gore: he is not one to leading us into wars for oil, and right now, that is our central problem.

    No Blood for Oil... Stop Bush/Cheney Before They Get Us All Killed

    by skywriter on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:43:57 PM PST

  •  Thanks girl (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, Floja Roja

    Europe has had high gas prices for years and are already ahead of us..They have a MDI air car that runs on hydrogen power encased in plastic that spits out water.  I saw it and it is sharp..I also like the idea of geothermal heat..Gas and oil company wouldnt like it but if they jumped on the band wagon, now they could be leaders..Thank you Barbara..Dont give up ..We have but one earth..One more thing, please get our right to a trial back and get your powers back before bush does something stupid,like nuke iran , or give israel the nukes to do it,just to steal their oil..Clark said on hannity that their is more than one man that runs iran, talk to them..

  •  You emailed me the poll. (4+ / 0-)

    But I chose not to choose.

    Energy is sufficiently technical that very few of us can give you a good answer.

    All of them are good ideas.  But which is best?  And sometimes, the best one to do FIRST isn't the best overall.

    If I were you, I'd have a staffer--or perhaps ask the EA2020 people to--rank your suggestions in three ways:

    1. Effectiveness
    1. Cost
    1. Ease of implementation

    Then create a 4th category by dividing effectiveness by cost--call it Bang-for-Buck.

    And prioritize by Bang-for-Buck.  Toss in all of the low-hanging cherries at the top of the implementation list for flavoring.

    One thing that might be useful from your poll; you might get an idea of which tactics have the most political support among Democrats.

  •  Okay.. a few suggestions... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja
    1. Push for signing and ratifying the Kyoto treaty.
     A. This gets some countries off our backs
     B. This also adds pressure to the countries who haven't signed.
    2. Working with the UN create an international commission to work with the major science intense countries in an effort to create a new energy efficient transportation that all countries can make use of.
    3. Reenergize the rail system in the country for continental, regional, and state transport of cargo and people.
    4. This is just off the brain type of thought, but it has a point.
     We are at the beginning of brand new technological growth, most of it still in the labs. Not just in biology or nanotechnology, but in information transference as well. Well, energy is essentially information. Perhaps something like quantum teleportation can be applied in such a way as to free up energy for other use.
    I know that there would be problems in this such as balancing the energy burn versus energy gain, but it might be something to consider.

    That's mine. Have fun.

    If we have no freedom nor civil liberties, then what worth is our lives that we can not pursue living?

    by RElland on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:44:55 PM PST

  •  Massive subsidies for mass transit (4+ / 0-)

    I would add, Senator Boxer, that in your position, on the transportation committee, you have the power (and I hope the will) to send the majority of money coming to California in the next transportation authorization bill into trains and trolleys and other forms of mass transit. The transportation bonds presented to Californians went toward the support of more asphalt. No amount of highways or the encouragement of more cars will put a dent in global warming. California can lead the way to cool global warming.

    You have the power-- and I hope the will -- to turn that around and to start funding mass transit in a way it has never been funded before.

    No Blood for Oil... Stop Bush/Cheney Before They Get Us All Killed

    by skywriter on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:45:33 PM PST

  •  wind power (7+ / 0-)

    It is my understanding that we are only tapping into a small fraction of the potential wind power that we have in available in this country.  Places like here in MN, TX, CA, MT and the Dakotas all have massive amounts of wind power available that are not being utilized.  Wind turbines are obviously quite expensive, but there is no reason that we shouldn't be investing in these technologies as part of a national strategy.

    I'm a big fan of the "moon shot" philosophy withe respect to dealing with "energy independence" / global warming.  Call me old fashioned, but I think this is a great country, with great people, who are simply dying for some real leadership on this issue (as well as others).  A huge step would be just having leadership willing to stand up and say that this is important and that it is a priority.  We have none of that now.  

  •  I don't want this to sound off-topic (5+ / 0-)

    But I really would be interested in Federal legislation that removed hemp from the Controlled Substances list. We need to research hemp's oil-yielding properties, along with those of various other grasses/crops.

    Granted, the California Hemp Bill failed last year, but
    given the factual errors that wholly make up the anti-hemp argument, it seems time to inject some common sense back into publc policy. Maybe sometime later this year there will be a day to vote on a bill.

    We are beyond the realm of reasonable argument really...arguing in circles about a plant that was used to make the paper that our Declaration of INdependence is printed on. Global warming, as well well know, is excacerbated by deforestation. Let's find alternative crops, not just alternative fuels.

  •  There are two fronts to stopping global warming (14+ / 0-)

    As an individual, this is what I've done:

    1. Shift my schedule to be awake during the daylight
    1. Bike to work
    1. Take light rail to school
    1. Use the car 1-2 times/week for a combined errands/shopping run and/or church
    1. Unplug electrical appliances when not in use (many of them drain when off)
    1. Replaced old-fashioned incandescent lightbulbs with compact flourecent low-energy bulbs (I wish LED lighting was affordable/available)
    1. Bring my own bags for grocery shopping
    1. During spring/summer/fall buy local from my farmer's market
    1. Eat much less meat
    1. Buy less and watch less tv (library for books, magazines, and DVDs)
    1. Switched to green electricty (zero carbon and non-nuclear)
    1. Wear layers and reduce the heat to 66 degrees during day and 68 degrees at night (less heat)
    1. Wear undershirts and wear shirts 2+ times if clean enough (washing/drying clothes less)
    1. Take Amtrak instead of flying

    Others have great suggestions what to do on a national level, but here are a few that might have been missed:

    1. Fund (and use) public transit (buses, commuter rail, light rail, and streetcars) in both rural and urban areas (trading off the money our country spends on roads and highways)
    1. Strengthen Energy Star standards on all electrical devices and require all electical appliances sold in the USA to comply
    1. Have all federal buildings replace incandescent lightbulbs with compact flourecent bulbs
    1. Pass laws mandating the reduction of packaging on products, perhaps return to reusable packaging
    1. End subsudies for corporate ag (don't get sucked in by ethanol and cheap meats pollute)
    1. Fund libraries (promote sharing and community vs. private ownership)
    1. Fund and expand Amtrak (stop subsudizing airlines and airtravel)
  •  Break up Exxon/Mobil just like AT&T n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattes, LNK, Cassiodorus, 0wn

    "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

    by java4every1 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:47:55 PM PST

  •  Shut up Bush.. that's 3 degrees of hot air alone. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marathon, Topaz7

    n/t

    "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

    by java4every1 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:50:17 PM PST

  •  Can global warming be stopped? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines, SecondComing, Pyesetz the Dog

    Slowed down, but not stopped.

    It will take a global commitment, which is a job in itself. Come to think of it therein lies the answer. We the Peeps of USA could do our part  tomorrow by parking our cars and walking. But what do you do about the rest of the world?

    Capitalization, modernization, ye almighty buck is now spreading rapidly. Behind it is smog, pollution, hydrocarbons, global warming and all the rest of it.

    As the saying goes ya can't stuff the genie back in the bottle.

    "If you are the Diarist, then where are your sources?" "Sources? I don't have to show you any stinking sources"

    by PlanetTreasures on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:50:27 PM PST

  •  draft Al Gore to be President (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pyesetz the Dog, Topaz7, 0wn

    change our whole system. stop the wars. we should be partners with our neighbors, not enemies..  for we will never be able to take care of our Earth, while we are at war.

    stop playing politics with peoples lives. there is no reason for us to have bases all over the world, spend more than all countries combined on our military, and not be able to save/protect one American city from a slow moving natural disaster that everybody knew about in advance.

    it's like a metaphor for what it means to be American these days... no wonder the whole world hates us.

    Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

    by hypersphere01 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 01:50:39 PM PST

  •  Increase The Federal Gas Tax (0+ / 0-)

    An increase in the federal gasoline tax is a very effective way to reduce CO2 emissions in the United States.  The tax applies uniformly across all persons and industries who use gasoline. It is easily implemented by increasing the current tax.  It is an easily enforced tax.  

    A substantial increase will reduce gasoline usage and improve efficiency.  Indeed, legislation could be passed that ramps it up over a ten year period, thus allowing businesses and auto-buying individuals to make informed choices now based on future gas prices.

    As for the current schemes regarding automobile gasoline use, a regulatory-heavy system to replace or enhance CAFE standards will not be as effective as a gas tax.  First, CAFE and the currently-proposed alternatives are subject to lobbying for exceptions that will reduce their impact.  Second, such regulatory systems are susceptible to gaming.  An example of this is the 2005+ Subaru Outback, which consists of a 2004 Outback that has been modified slightly so that it can be classified as a "light truck" under CAFE, thus allowing Subaru to effectively lower the true gas mileage of its fleet without losing its ability to comply with CAFE.

    A gas tax would be a major revenue source that could fund, say, health care for all Americans, or tax relief for low income earners, thus softening the inherently regressive nature of this tax.

    •  Gas tax ... (0+ / 0-)

      only touches about 1/3rd of US GHG emissions.

      Thus, while I would welcome a gas tax, this doesn't address the full extent of the problem.

      Now, a carbon/global warming emissions fee would work better, capturing not just gasoline but coal-electricity, cows in feedlots, etc ...

      The Energy Conversation: Learn - Connect - Share - Participate: For a new dialogue on Energy issues.

      by A Siegel on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:37:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  my comment to Sen. Boxer (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, SarahLee, raines, ixos, coigue, NewJerz, Topaz7

    My comment on the rankings page focused on something left out of the choices: changing our land use habits.

    This is a difficult issue because it's in the hands of thousands upon thousands of local units of government. We need to reform zoning, land use laws, and design covenants and standards in order to produce more compact, mixed-use communities.

    The gist of this concept is that you shorten car trips or eliminate them altogether because most of the places you need to go to are all closer together. More efficient vehicles are important; but continuing in our bad habits with greater efficiency isn't the best solution.

    Even better: changing development practices is basically 'free.' There's no new costly infrastructure to build and we already know how to build livable communities. It's just a question of will.  

    •  Agree Completely! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob, raines

      I recently moved away from the suburbs to a walkable section of city, and I love it!

      I can now walk to the grocery store, video store, coffee, restaurants, liquor store, dry cleaning, gas station (heh), parks, services, etc.

      More development needs to be modeled in such a way to encourage walking and less vehicle travel.  To see this stressed on a national level would provide a great way to address global warming, and maybe even the obesity epidemic.

      I've also heard the term "New Urbanism" tossed around to address this idea.

      •  nothing new about New Urbanism (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, raines, Magnifico

        New Urbanism is basically about remembering how we used to build towns. Not a radical idea by any stretch.

        If I were in charge, or in the Senate, I would sponsor a bill requiring every development to include sidewalks.

        •  Sidewalks! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joe Bob, raines

          You wouldn't think you'd need to require sidewalks but it looks like we do. I was stunned to realize after I'd moved to a neighborhood in southwest Portland (Oregon) that there were no sidewalks anywhere. I wondered how people walked around when they were in grazing distance of passing cars. The answer of course is that they don't. Why would anyone build a neighborhood without sidewalks?

          A word after a word after a word is power. -- Margaret Atwood

          by tmo on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:42:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's easy to answer (0+ / 0-)

            Why don't some new neighborhoods have sidewalks? If the local building code or zoning ordinance doesn't require them it's at the developer's discretion. Sod is cheaper than concrete...so there you go.

            At the same time, a certain brand of suburbanites don't want sidewalks in the first place. As part of my job I've sat through quite a few planning commission meetings in suburban towns. As a city dweller, there are some things that get the suburbanites wound up that just boggle the mind:

            • They don't want people who don't own houses on their street to drive down their street or park on their street. It adds insult to injury if you park in front of their house.
            • They don't want people who don't live in their neighborhood to walk down their street.
            • When strangers walk on their streets they fear for their children.

            Nevermind that the homowner's property line stops at the curb; these are all things I have heard people say out loud in a public forum. It's the mindset of people who aspire to live in a gated community but can't afford it. So, if you have sidewalks you're inviting people to walk down your street. And yes, these are the same people who complain about traffic and needing to drive their kids everywhere.

    •  Brilliant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob, raines

      thank you for bringing this up. It's a personal peeve of mine. I see some cities preserving land and growing "upwards", while others continue to carve up farmland for more and more sprawl. The type of sprawl that should have died out 25 years ago.

      Think how many automobile trips would be eliminated or reduced by progressive land use policies.

      "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

      by Topaz7 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:16:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's so great to see you here again!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines, Caldonia

    In answer to your question. We need to be looking at alternative energy. Renewable energy. Short and simple.

  •  SUVs. (0+ / 0-)

    and jet engine technology (fuel).

  •  My plan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja

    A combination of incentives and tax deductions for refitting for corporate energy efficient technologies.

    Public government move toward efficient technologies and building codes.

    Give status to contractors who use the most energy efficient technologies.

    Offer farmers incentives or grants toward using energy efficient technologies to run their farms, such as composting digestors, wind turbines, ect.  Use a "best practices" approach when offering farming and agricultural grants.

    Energy companies that switch toward low-emission sources could be eligible for tax reductions on profits.

    Offer grants and subsidies for research and development to speed  consumer-friendly technologies to production.  

    Companies that produce such products, solar air-conditioners, fuel cells, etc., should have incentives to produce in the US.  

    Come up with an economic plan that shows how companies that refit will save on fuel costs over long term.  (this would necessitate a study)  For example, if a company can reduce heating and cooling costs, show how this will save money over the long term.  It's not rocket science, many people are using these various technologies already to reduce overhead.  

    Expand through State University Cooperative Extensions the educational materials and resources available for programs such as 4-H, Farmer's resources, and other outreach materials suitable to  Urban and semi-rural areas.  Cooperative Extensions already provide services and education on best practices, (For example, the Cornell Cooperative Extension)and this could provide an outreach mechanism.

    Companies that are already 50% energy efficient could get upgrades at the initiation of said programs.

    Through energy companies, property owners could get rebate packages to become more energy efficient, for example, rebates on instaneous hot water heaters, switch to natural gas appliances.

    Initiate continuing dialogue with a broad spectrum of business leaders, global warming scientists, engineers, and encourage states to take initiative on their own.  

    I believe it will take a combination of efforts in order to become more energy efficient, but the resources are well within our grasp.  Energy efficiency is a huge step toward increasing our competitiveness in the global market, it will stimulate our economy, make us energy independent,(a national security issue) allow companies to cut costs, while helping to reduce the effects of global warming.

  •  Nuclear Fusion - Volcanic Eruptions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, Tao

    The funding for Nuclear Fusion research (currently acheiving break even energy production in ITER project) is poorly funded by the U.S., in fact funding was reduced and cut off several times.  Imagine what the 500 billion for the Iraq oil could have bought instead.

    Possibly initiating volcanic eruptions would put enough particulates in the atmosphere to cool the planet by a couple of degrees buying us some time.  This was seen after the mount Pinatubo eruption.. 2 degree temperature drop for a year.

    •  Yes fusion -- no volcanology (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      canadianeye

      You're exactly, precisely correct on EMERGENCY funding for fusion research. IT is THE ONLY world-saver over the next 100 years.

      The volcanoes? Not so much.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:00:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We could have had fusion by now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      canadianeye

      If just a fraction of the hundreds of billions wasted on the Iraq war could have been spent on nuclear fusion research, we could have had viable nuclear fusion power by now.  Some politician should propose a grand Manhattan Project-style initiative to develop fusion power, to unite the country behind something positive that has the potential to end global warming, make us energy-independent, and end our having to constantly meddle in the volatile Middle East.  The only things standing in the way are lack of funding and the fact that so many politicians are beholden to the big oil status quo.

  •  Senator Boxer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, Floja Roja

    Solar is in the process of dramatically improving to the point that it can have a dramatic impact on our energy usage. The big problem is the up-front cost. Some tax incentives for its installation would work.

    There are many things that are being developed that need to be nurtured into WIDE usage by the public to be effective. Example, new energy efficient light bulbs (twisty flourescents) will save 80% in electrical usage. They need to be ENCOURAGED into usage by the public. I think that some energy saving tips such as public service announcements, (or more creatively by some hollywood types giving us the message) will go a long way in educating the public about these alternatives (and as information as well).

    Green buildings in Europe are so far ahead of us here in the U.S. because they are thinking about being carbon neutral. A trip to some of the best innovative green buildings out there would help you and others in congress to really wrap your mind around creative solutions and help your colleagues understand the world is moving foreward and that we need to catch the train.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."-George Orwell

    by Babsnc on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:01:15 PM PST

  •  Hello, Senator Boxer. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    With all due respect, if it were me, I would put all my energies into stopping the war in Iraq first.

    "I think once they get in harm's way, Congress's tradition is to support those troops." --Stephen J. Hadley

    by dov12348 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:01:42 PM PST

  •  Paging Jerome a Paris, Jerome a Paris to the dias (8+ / 0-)

    That's who you want to talk to here at DKOS Senator.  He probably has a nice thick document about sustainable energy policy you could use for bedtime reading.  ;)

    Seriously, you want to talk to Jerome ASAP.

  •  Solar AND coal And ocean wave power (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, dotcommodity

    A breakthrough in solar power technology that makes solar panels so efficient they only need light (who cares if it's a cloudy day) to power our homes, our cars and small buildings is my dream solution. But it will take a Manhatten-project committment to get us there. Please liberally fund such research.

    Coal. Although derided in many posts above, we have enough within our continental borders to power the country for the next 250 years... if only we could scrub the emmissions well enough and restore the environments where we mine it. More research, more committment, more funding.

    Ocean wave power: Where's that kid's invention that won the 2005/2006 National Science Fair award as best of show? A simple, easily built machine that generates electricity using only the constant motion of the ocean to power it. And he didn't need Manhatten-project funding!! That funding should be going into development of his idea.

    Thanks, Senator, for the opportunity to speak with you directly. I applaud your efforts on behalf of our citizens and the world community in the face of great adversity.  

    •  About coal ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickWn, Whittless

      Coal isn't going to last 250 years if the demand increases. A 2% annual growth rate in consumption makes that number more like 85 years. If we use a significant fraction to convert to liquid fuels, even less.

      Here's a speech by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, other house, other side of the aisle, and one of the strongest proponents of taking action now. He's given variations on this for years -- apparently the chamber is usually nearly deserted (of Democrats AND Republicans) when he gives it.

  •  Stop buying so much shit (9+ / 0-)

    Hello fellow American consumers, I too once collected shit that I thought I "needed."  It seems my ego was a slave to fashion and the opinions of my similarly brain washed by the corporate media,  friends.  Now that I have kicked the buying habit, I am not only happier, but have some money in savings as well.  And my garage doesn't resemble a teenager's closet anymore, unlike many of my still woefully consumerist neighbors.  

    Buying unnecessary products must account for a large part of the degradation of the environment.  The harvesting or manufacturing, production, packaging and shipping all are expensive.  And then most of it is left unused, disposed of.  Why?  And why doesn't anyone ever remember to bring this up?  It seems to be a taboo, because consumer spending is the driving force behind our pathetic Ponzi scheme of an economy.  We talk about slow food, but no one ever mentions thier fast clothes habit.  Are we in denial?  Or just trying to be cool?  

  •  Impeach Bush/Cheney... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, keikekaze

    that would get rid of alot of hot air.

    Frodo failed....Bush has got the ring!

    by Alohaleezy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:05:27 PM PST

  •  Sell Carbon credits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, dotcommodity

    But with a twist.  Each credit diminishes in value over time.  You buy 300,000 shares at first to pollute 300,000 tons (I'm making up numbers here so if my scale is off, forgive me).  The next year, those shares are only worth .9 tons apiece so you have to cut back or buy 30,000 more shares.  And the next year they're worth 10% less again, etc...

    Investigate now. Impeach later. Then Extradite. Then, something involving wolves...

    by nightsweat on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:06:48 PM PST

  •  Here in Philadelphia, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poemless, Floja Roja, Topaz7

    we have Philly Car Share.

    PhillyCarShare, a non-profit organization, is Philadelphia’s premier car-sharing service. Founded by five Philadelphians, we’ve accomplished greater positive environmental impact in Philadelphia than, well, any car company on the planet!

       * 2,100 cars off Philadelphia's streets
       * More walking, biking, use of transit
             o 10 million fewer miles driven since inception
             o 53% reduction in miles driven - each member drives about 130 fewer miles per month, on average
             o Members who got rid of a car more often walk (38%), take transit (36%), take a taxi (19%), or bike (17%)
       * 95% reduced auto emissions, from driving hybrids, driving less, owning fewer cars, and making fewer cold starts
       * 440,000 gallons of gas saved
       * 80% of members preferring residential locations near PhillyCarShare pods, thus strengthening the city
       * $4,000 saved annually by each former car owner

    In 2004, the City of Philadelphia joined PhillyCarShare, becoming the first government worldwide to share cars with local residents in a major fleet reduction effort. The pioneering project has helped eliminate over 330 municipal vehicles, saving Philadelphia taxpayers $2 million annually.

    How about offering a tax credit to anyone who has given up their own personal automobile to take advantage of a program like this in an effort to increase the visibility and benefits of such programs and how much impact they could have on a national scale?

    Phillybits - A Showcase Of Political News And Thought

    by Stand Strong on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:07:11 PM PST

  •  Bush taking more power by executive order (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, fumie, LNK

    Bush taking more power by executive order

    Wesley P. Warren, program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who worked at the White House for seven years under President Bill Clinton, said, "The executive order is a backdoor attempt to prevent E.P.A. from being able to enforce environmental safeguards that keep cancer-causing chemicals and other pollutants out of the air and water."

    Need to stop this first, else impeach him.

    McCain Defends Bush's Iraq Strategy

    by ctsteve on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:08:07 PM PST

    •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Topaz7

      To start, make sure the real science gets out.

      To do that you have to reverse or block Bushes executive order referenced above.

      To do that, get on the phone to Pelosi to get her and the House started on impeachment hearings.

      We at Daily Kos must demand more of our country and of our representatives.

      by Pescadero Bill on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:11:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Call James Hansen before your committee (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, LNK, dotcommodity

    along with Gavin Schmidt (also of NASA) and the folks at realclimate.org.

    Don't need to go into how the Bush WH doctored their reports (Henry Waxman is checking that out and Hansen already gave his account on 60 minutes).  

    Just (please) see who they suggest to testify and what they have to offer on how to slow down the tipping point (if that's even possible) after they get a chance to vent in an opening statement.

    :O)

    •  Also, as long as THEY bring a science fiction (0+ / 0-)

      writer to testify on global warming, how about we bring on

      Jared Diamond who wrote Collapse: How societies choose to suceed or fail to testify on what ostrich-like behaviour on making similarly irreversible environmental mistakes did to previous societies.

      (They were wiped out of existance)

      By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with

      by dotcommodity on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:35:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cut of Federal Education funding for states (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, Topaz7, dotcommodity

    whose school boards refuse to show An Inconvenient Truth

    can we all...just get...along-Rodney King

    by nspguy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:09:18 PM PST

  •  Update legislation to encourage good solutions (0+ / 0-)

    Raising CAFE standards is a start.  Another gripe of mine is that according to the EPA, it's illegal to drive cars on straight vegetable oil (SVO) or waste vegetable oil (WVO) because these are not approved for use as a motor fuel.  If what's lacking are studies, we need to provide the R&D to accomplish those, because even with particulate emissions, I'm virtually certain that the emissions are better that what our petro-based fuels are putting out.

    Even though I understand that no one has yet been fined, our laws need to be updated to show support for these types of solutions, not serve as obstacles.

  •  Barbara, what a coincidence that we should meet - (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, peraspera, Topaz7

    what with both of our diaries on the recommended list. You certainly received much attention here in Connecticut when you came and stumped for Joe Lieberman in Norwalk, Connecticut

    What do you plan to do with him now? You were part of the group that got him elected. We officers of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party are very interested as to how the Democrats plan to reign him in. He is the most destructive Democratic force in the Senate today.  

    Please respond.

  •  I'm sorry to be rude (0+ / 0-)

    But not including a carbon tax on the list is aggravating and rather pathetic.

    I totally respect your commitment to the issue, but even in today's hearing you were softpedalling the science, saying "Irreversible changes may occur."

    May?

    Species are already extinct, islands already under water. How much more irreversible do we need? Don't be afraid to emphasize that the effects of global warming are already damaging us now.

    Also, the oceans don't act "like" a sink for carbon, they are a sink for carbon. I don't doubt that you know it, and maybe you need to dumb down your language for the Republican-Americans on the panel, but not for the audience.

    I enjoyed listening to Carper's metaphor of slowing the car from 55 at a measured pace instead of slamming on the brakes, as he characterized the Jeffords bill.

    It's certainly a good idea to slow down with comfort, unless of course you're driving straight towards a cliff.

  •  Congress needs more bold Dems like you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK

    Americans voted for sanity - STOP FUNDING THE WAR!

    by annefrank on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:12:56 PM PST

  •  Manhattan Project (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, dotcommodity

    We have lots of ideas. Lots of them are good.

    But we need more, and better ideas.  Brilliant ideas.

    We need a new Manhattan Project.  Let's gather the best people in all related fields, pay them plenty, give them what they need, and let them go for it!

    This time, it wouldn't have to be secret.

    Who knows what's possible? Nanotech? Biotech? I don't know. Neither does anyone else.  Yet.  Let's find out.

    In the MEANTIME, let's spend a few hundred million on solar, biothermal, and other really renewable resources.

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

    by plf515 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:13:32 PM PST

  •  Home solar (5+ / 0-)

    I would like to add my voice to those calling for increased use of home solar panels, home geothermal, solar water heaters, and the like.  I don't believe, however, that tax incentives are likely to be sufficient.  America has a negative savings rate for the first time since the Great Depression.  Waiting for people to gather the money to invest in solar, etc., for their homes, is simply non-sense.  Most people will not have sufficient money to make the initial investment in the first place, and even most of those who have the money will sell their homes before they can recoup the investment, so there is hence no incentive to use the tax incentive in the second place.  What we need is a federal grant program that will install the solar panels, water heaters, etc., at no cost to the homeowner.  For those who keep calling for a "Manhattan Project" or a "Marshall Plan" for renewables, etc., I would say that this is proven technology.  What's lacking is the investment structure.  

    The Federal government could recoup its investment by metering the power produced, and requiring that the utilities reimburse the Fed for excess energy put back into the grid for say, 20 or 25 years from the date of installation of the panel, heat exchanger, etc.  

    Additionally, if the homeowner wanted to sign up for the grant, the Fed could take a lien against the property a lien that would run with the land requiring that whoever owned the home be required to pay a mimimal amount each month (an amount easily offset by the energy savings, say $50 a month) until the cost of the investment is paid off.  

    A program to install solar panels, at the rate of 1 million a year, would make a substantial impact within just a few years.  And the economy of scale would also play a part.  Once solar panels are being manufactured at a large scale, the cost would likely go down.  The Fed could help that transition occur.  

    •  It would be nice also (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, pb, Radiowalla, SarahLee

      if those of us who don't own our own homes had some way of converting to solar power.  There is probably not a lot of incentive for landlords who don't pay the electric bills at their rental properties to install solar power, so special attention/incentives would have to be given to them.

      •  Solar for renters - plug'n'play (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tryptamine

        Second your call for solar for renters. Obviously this discussion is biased towards home-owners but I'm sure something will happen if renters keep clamoring for it. I'm thinking of a "plug'n'play" type of solar panel that doesn't require special installation. Something that easy would be more affordable for home-owners as well.

        A word after a word after a word is power. -- Margaret Atwood

        by tmo on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:48:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If I may channel CJ Creig (6+ / 0-)

    Of the West Wing:  In a crisis, people want to feel like Soldiers, not victims.  

    It is about enlisting the population into the cause.  A sort of mobilization.  I'm resistant to the "war on CO2" phrasing, but definitely this needs to become a social norm, just as smoking became socially unacceptable slowly over time, so does wasteful energy use need to become something people disapprove of.

    Everyone needs to feel like their contribution matters.  Even here I see a lot of "you can't do anything about it" hand wringing.  No.

    It won't work if the program is just a set of laws passed by congress and misunderstood and hated by the population.  Those laws need the popular "buy in" and that requires a protracted and serious campaign to garner substantial public support.  Like 55% or even 60% if possible.

    •  agree, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      and we have a ton of work to do to because
       

      It won't work if the program is just a set of laws passed by congress and misunderstood and hated by the population.

      ...to reverse the years of propoganda, lies, censoring of science and deliberate misinformation that weas designed to ensure the general populace would help big oil big coal in their aims.

      By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with

      by dotcommodity on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:28:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Compare to WWII (0+ / 0-)

      During WW2 Americans rationed, conserved, collected scrap metal, and considered it all their patriotic duty. After 9/11 Bush told us to go shopping.

      One of the most important parts is the PR battle to get people to agree that we need to solve this problem, that they're both part of the problem and part of the solution.

  •  The power of money usually works (0+ / 0-)

    A consumption or luxury tax on anything that wastes energy - (especially SUVs, Hummers etc), and BIG tax breaks for hybrids, electrical powered vehicles, passive solar homes.  Little things like taxing regular light bulbs and giving a big discount on CFLs will make a big difference if it's widespread enough.  We also need more recycling plants and need to encourage more made-in-America products (so much energy is wasted shipping things in from overseas).

  •  As has already been mentioned many times... (5+ / 0-)

    Put Al Gore in charge.

  •  Ban all trade with countries that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, dotcommodity

    pollute.

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

    by plf515 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:18:09 PM PST

    •  Yes, announce we will carbon tax imports (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Floja Roja, Topaz7, plf515

      from carbon polluting nations just like the EU is apparently considering.

      Tell those resistant Senators that we will suffer economic damage when we suffer from EU punitive carbontaxing. (Because WE are of course who the EU is mad at over our non action on emissions.)

      By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with

      by dotcommodity on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:25:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And require the taxes brought in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Floja Roja, dotcommodity

        to be used for green projects

        Also, VASTLY reduce all trade and increase local purchasing.  Everything needs to be transported, and that burns fuel.

        What are you reading? on Friday mornings
        What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

        by plf515 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:30:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yabbut (0+ / 0-)

      But given that the US is one of, or THE largest polluters in the world? No, more needs to be done than that.

      Who would it hurt? Some third world countries who rely on their exports to the USA and Europe? I dunno. I'd prefer we clean up our own house first, then look at a carrot approach with other countries, rather than a stick.

      "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

      by Topaz7 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:39:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think we need to do both (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Topaz7

        China is a horrible offender on pollution issues; per capita, of course, we are the worst.  But they do things we've outlawed

        What are you reading? on Friday mornings
        What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

        by plf515 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:49:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My POV (0+ / 0-)

          I'm working on some issues with a counsellor right now - I know, this is TMI! But the key is to fix what you can fix. Not to complain about what others aren't doing.

          I think that's why I feel strongly that we do what we can first, before going after others in a negative way.

          "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

          by Topaz7 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 08:22:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'd find a way, either through (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, dotcommodity
    incentives or direct tax of the by-product, to reduce the CO2 emissions from conrete manufacturing plants, the largest emitters of CO2 in the world.

    Concrete is a funny commodity, as it is usually created very near to where limestone is mined. It is these plants that need to be looked at.

    Batch plants, where the trucks are filled for work sites, are not the culprit.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:19:58 PM PST

    •  CO2 from cement production (0+ / 0-)

      You're right about that. I searched the Tubes for more info and found this interesting article. The energy consumption in cement production comes from heating the ingredients to 1500C.

      http://www.physorg.com/...

    •  Carbon emissions from cement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spud1

      Cement plants will certainly have to be part of the discussion, but they pale in comparison to fossil fuel use.  The emissions are on the order of a tenth of what coal burning emits.  Oil is comparable to coal, while natural gas is close behind.  

      It should be noted that much of the CO2 emissions from cement plants is not from fuel use, but from carbon coming out of the limestone (calcium carbonate) as it is processed into cement.  In effect, the limestone was "sequestered" carbon that is being released.  Reducing the carbon impact from fuel combustion is feasible, reducing the carbon released from turning limestone into cement would probably require some expensive sequestration techniques.

      The reason cement is usually produced so close to the limestone mines is that the limestone is, by far, the largest mass that makes up the cement.  Shipping limestone is not a cost effective use of transport.  The fuel (coal typically, but some plants burn most anything they can get their hands on including tires, industrial wastes, hazardous waste, and even human waste), iron ore, clay, and fly ash also used are less massive, and therefore it makes more sense to transport them.

      •  Yes, we have a waste mound less than two miles (0+ / 0-)

        from us. I don't know what our local plant uses for fuel. It supplied a lot of the concrete used in the Big Dig.

        17. Ne5

        In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

        by Spud1 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 07:17:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dragon? (0+ / 0-)

          Are you near the Dragon Cement Plant in Maine?  I believe they mostly burn coal and oil, but their website also mentions oil contaminated soils and waste wood products (from all the lumber mills and paper processing plants).  Any waste woods products they use reduces their carbon impact, so that is a good thing (as long as it burns clean enough).

          The waste mound might very well by cement kiln dust, which their newer process kiln probably doesn't create as much of ... not that it makes the old pile any smaller.  The plant claims that they are selling offmost of the dust now, instead of adding more to the pile.  But 60 years of buildup probably makes for a big mound.

          •  Whittless (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spud1

            I've just read your last diary (May 06) and your comments, after you responded to me about coal. You've got a lot of knowledge about energy generation. How bout a diary on this stuff?

            (nudges Whittless)

            I'd love to hear what you have to say.

            "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

            by Topaz7 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 08:39:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, Dragon. I'll make the time to read your (0+ / 0-)

            earlier diary in depth, and like topaz, urge you to write a diary about this. Cheers.

            17. Ne5

            In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

            by Spud1 on Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 05:25:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  One suggestion I have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Whittless, raines, Floja Roja

    is (quite aside from going ahead and trying to get the Gold Standard through, which of course any sane rational person would approve of doing)is

    also deal with the irrationality problem we have in the Republican resistance to doing anything that sets off their fear flight and fight response, that I wrote about here in Intergalactic Battalion of Smoking Missiles!.

    They fear that Democrats will somehow benefit financially in some way at their expense if we enact any solutions. ( We in California know that we all benefit financially if we survive :-) ! But...

    ...just for those resistant Senators: For their coal fired electricity plants:

    Create a Carbon Innovation Fund, supported by a Carbon Tax, that keeps the money in the industry taxed, till used:

    This innovative arrangement would keep the innovation money close to those with the most use for it, provide incentive to invest in accelerated emissions reductions and allay the hysteria about those Demcrats profiting from taxing Big Carbon.

    This a straightforward mechanism that, with fairness, predictability and certainty, would put a substantial cork in our carbon emissions.

    This cork is a simple carbon tax that would harness billions a year to pave America's path to a green industrial revolution based on a low-carbon economy.

    Since nearly half our total greenhouse-gas emissions were produced by just a few hundred coal fired facilities. It's much easier to corral emissions from these few facilities than to switch all our SUV's and gas guzzlers in time.

    Here's how it would work.

    Announce that, effective in 2008, all extractive industry and power-generating large final emitters would be levied an initial modest tax of $30 a ton of Co2 emitted. This would be accompanied by a specific schedule of the carbon tax rise over the coming decades.

           

    The money would be pigeonholed into each facility's trust account and managed by a Carbon Innovation Fund.

           

    The money would not belong to the government, but to the facility itself, with certain provisions.

    The facility could use the cash only to finance emission-reduction projects at the facility, up to a maximum of the total value of estimated emissions averted over the project's life.

    To spur such investments in the early stages, money deposited in the fund would have to be spent within three years. This would provide a double dividend to companies investing in Co2 reductions: They would get their money back, in a sense, and lower their future carbon-tax bills at the same time.

    An industry carbon tax, if applied equally to all industries, would raise billions for the Carbon Innovation Fund, while keeping the money within each Co2 emitting company involved. We all use energy, and a few companies emit most of the Co2 that supplying our energy needs causes.

    One key to unlocking latent American innovation coiled up and ready to power a green industrial revolution is this kind of precision-guided carbon tax.

    For us in the the reality based community though, enact your Gold Standard Boxer/Jeffords bill. (And see if you can deter the media from calling it the Sanders bill, because it plays exactly into the fears of the opposition camp: of the financial fears referenced above, and Sanders, bless him, is a socialist, God forbid.

    This is one time where framing is important.
    And please put all your good PR, like this chart from the NYT on your website to counteract the dreaded Inohofe propoganda!
    Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

    And just how does this compare with what is needed?
    Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com
    There is also a chart showing where we will be if we continue under the Republican ostrich approach at the NYT.

    Please put them up at the site to counteract his lies. I know you won't stoop to the partisan politics of Senator Inohofe, but at least stand y(our) ground.

    You are right. He is wrong!

    By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with

    by dotcommodity on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:20:17 PM PST

  •  IMPEACH Bush! (0+ / 0-)

    The rest will follow.

  •  Divert CO2 Into Valuable Agriculture (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Floja Roja

    I would divert the biggest, most easily dealt with Greenhouse Gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), out of the atmosphere where it's pollution, into agriculture, where it's a valuable product. It's a technique known as "Carbon Sequestration" in a "Carbon Sink", already underway in countries under the "Kyoto Protocol" as a "carbon offset".

    First, I would encourage people in cities, towns and suburbs to plant flowers, shrubs, bushes and other native plants to beautify the landscape. "Victory Gardens" like an echo from the US, UK and Canada's WWI and WWII programs will grow some plants, and get everyone caught up in the effort to save the planet. Meanwhile, some of the US farmers subsidized to grow less, or otherwise subsidized in agricultural production, can instead grow more of the native plants that don't affect their delicate market supply, but which sink the most carbon, into biomass and decorative/shade/etc, as determined by the Agriculture Department. Timber companies can use excess production capacity to plant and cultivate more native timber in deforested areas, including new suburbs, which is not to be harvested (outside the supply/price cycle), incentivized in various ways including qualifying for current tax and other subsidies, and even qualifying for export quotas. Meanwhile, US governments should just be planting lots more native plants, especially forests and grasslands across our vast territories.

    Meanwhile, the US should lead international efforts at reforestation and other "greening" programs that plant around the world, especially across Asia, Africa and South America. America's economy has led the cutting down of many of these places working against the environment, and can lead the recovery into reversing the whole process. Kyoto and other, newer, better protocols even offers a global market for trading "carbon credits". Greening the Earth back into health can be an economic recovery, too.

    Much of those new plants can be harvested for biomass fuel, which the US government's strategic fuel reserves should preferentially purchase, rather than expensive (in every way) foreign petro fuels. And community garden programs can strengthen communities beyond the biological, in important social and economic ways - especially in ghettoes. While the new plant cover reduces the solar energy bare ground and roads now absorb as part of the global warming process.

    Victory Gardens. At every size, everywhere. They make all kinds of sense even without the threat of global warming that they help cure. They don't tinker with the environment in drastic new and unexplored ways, as if we'll be more adept at "fixing" the environment in decades when we were in breaking it in centuries. By sinking carbon, we're stopping the damage, letting nature heal itself. And it makes more flowers for moms for generations to come.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:21:41 PM PST

    •  Victory gardens (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocGonzo, NewJerz

      It should be noted that planting will only function as a net carbon sink for the time that it takes to grow to maturity, thereafter it is carbon neutral. It's therefo8re not possible for planting to offset long term, ongoing carbon emissions, but only one-time carbon emissions.

      However 'victory gardens' are a good idea for other reasons. One of the chief ones is that reinstating the idea of local vegetable production would cut into the very-long-distance agricultural system that the western world relies on, which is carbon intensive, unhealthy, and also a worryingly vulnerable supply system for one of the essential products. More greenery also supports healthier urban ecologies, of course, as well as lower urban temperatures, pollution absorbtion and more oxygen.

      I have a delay pedal and I'm not afraid to use it.

      by droneboy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:00:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mostly Marketing (0+ / 0-)

        Victory gardens are valuable mostly for their political/social value including more people in a more visible action. The gross carbon sunk in urban flowers and vegetables is small, even considering the carbon saved by local prosumers. Every little bit counts, but the energy/carbon efficiency of the gardens is tiny compared to planting them with less attractive/inclusive hemp, rapeseed, bamboo, or trees.

        The composting for biomass is also a compelling demonstration of the new way of life. Having moved from 1980s "yuppie" NYC to 1990s "post-hippie" SF, I know that green is contagious - even SF yuppies recycled/etc. It generates a "shared sacrifice" that replaces "selfish waste" as a cultural attractor. Just like in WWI & WWII, where victory gardens inspired people to suffer through rations, while slightly reducing their necessity. That kind of inclusion makes for the politics essential to perpetuating the system.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:19:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Apollo Project (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    First, we need to stop INCREASING our fossil fuel consumption. We need to implement stronger efficency standards. Every time I shop for a car, I hear "performance performance performance" which means "gas gas gas"! This has to change... culturally. It starts with stronger regulatory standards on industry. Just like aerosol, we need to stop companies from producing products for the mainstream that are inefficient or otherwise hazardous to the environment.

    Second, we need to stop the corporate welfare of fossil fuel industries. Whatever assistance is provided to gas, oil, nuclear, and alike industries, it needs to be re-evaluated. There is a lot of money flowing out of Washington in this respect and it needs to be addressed.

    Third, we need to cultivate efficient, renewable energy industries into the majority. This means money, this means marketing, this means apollo projects, this means getting the solutions into the households. Victory gardens. You get the idea.

    And Fourth, we need to legislate the planet into sustainability. The unsustainable industry of incineration and excavation. Work with other countries to get back on a Kyoto-like global standard and work with the UN to ensure that, after we catch up to leading countries, we work together to bring us all to the next step.

    Thank you Senator, and I look forward to your tenure as Chairperson.

  •  ELIMINATE - OUR - NEED - FOR - O I L (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, Topaz7

    Period!

    We are now technologically capable of completely eliminating our need for fossil fuel power.

    If we invested half of the energy and money we have wasted on the Iraq and Vietnam wars into research (with oversight), we could have 100% electric vehicles, supplied by power stations fueled by solar banks, tidal generators, cellulitic ethanol, wind and hydro-electric. Oil would only be used for materials like polymers and plastics. We could massively improve electronics, lighting, heating, and energy efficiencies, reduce emissions, and become wholly carbon-neutral.

    And so the great greed and apathy of humanity will bring us to a well deserved extinction as the environment becomes foreseeably if not (yawn) predictably uninhabitable by human life. And nothing short of an invasion by space aliens will stop the unprotected love fest with our inherent me-beat-you-on-head-with-club-and-steal-oil caveman nature. Blame it on the limbic system - and the creator's lack of long-term thinking in not atrophying it like the much beloved appendix.

  •  Listen to the scientists, not lobbyists (6+ / 0-)

    Listen to the real independent experts on what the causes are and then form your legislation around that.  Pay no attention to how it affects big business because this is more important than any rebuke they could make.  Plus they typically lie through their teeth about increasing costs or loss of jobs.  They'll say anything to avoid government regulations.

    I don't think it should be hard to come up with real solutions to this.  I looked at your list and that seems a bit overcomplicated.  Many of those are good suggestions (with exception to cap & trade) and shouldn't need too much meditation before you start writing up legislation.  Here's a good rule of thumb: if the scientists believe it will help then do it.

    Don't let beauracracy slow progress on this front. It's too important!

  •  A major emphasis on public transportation. (8+ / 0-)

    More ways to get around the cities and towns we live in, and between them as well.  Once upon a time, people didn't have cars, and they still managed to get wherever they needed to go.  While I'm not suggesting we get rid of cars altogether, I would like to see their use (and the need for them) greatly reduced, which won't happen if people don't have alternative ways to get around.

  •  Bring back (and update) Clinton's plan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja

    And this time, don't let the bastards derail the BTU tax.

    Here's how they did it last time:

    ...In 1993, for example, Burson-Marsteller led a $1.8 million campaign to defeat President Clinton's proposed BTU tax on fossil fuels, the centerpiece of Clinton's plan to combat global warming. Journalist David Helvarg described this campaign as follows in the December 1996 issue of The Nation: "Clinton committed the United States 'to reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases to their 1990 levels by the year 2000.' The Administration's plan to accomplish this included a deficit-reducing energy tax and increased gasoline taxes of up to 25 cents a gallon. Then a computer-driven 'grass roots' letter and phone-in campaign orchestrated by the American Energy Alliance, along with an oil-funded push by PR giant Burson-Marsteller, helped undermine support for the energy tax. The Administration abandoned the tax in the Senate after House Democrats, braving the wrath of industry, had passed it. Relations between the White House and Congressional Democrats soured quickly after that. Congress also voted to keep the gas tax below 5 cents, guaranteeing that with the lowest fuel prices in the developed world, alternative energy sources would remain noncompetitive."

    Keep an eye out for the bastards, and let them have both barrels.

    We're counting on you to get it right this time!!!

    Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo

    by racerx on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:32:02 PM PST

  •  Money from Iraq war into R&D solar, wind, etc. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Floja Roja, dotcommodity

    Tons of tax rebates for people putting these installations on their own property. Both business and personal property.

    Laws requiring public entitites to go green with energy purchases.

    Be good to each other. It matters.[me] / John McCain

    by AllisonInSeattle on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:32:05 PM PST

  •  Rooftop Solar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, navajo, Floja Roja, Magnifico

    I calculated that even with then-current ("PV") solar panels, the rooftop area of NYC could generate more electricity than NYC consumes. Probably over 50% more, which means plenty of rooftops that somehow don't get included in the programme. And probably extra power to send to neighboring cities with even less density, which can make their own solar rooftop power more economically once NYC shows the way. Plus the solar rooftops absorb and reflect more sunshine than the current mostly black tar roofs, making the buildings cooler without electric air conditioning.

    Solar rooftops with basement batteries would also make cities like NYC less vulnerable to devastating blackouts like the one covering the Northeast in August 2003. While the physics of "DC" solar power consumed locally by our mostly "DC" consumer electronics means we instantly get a 20-50% boost in available power just compared to the inefficiencies transmitting "AC" power.

    Geeks know that the Sun dumps up to 1 kilowatt on every square yard, for free. Most US homes consume an average of under 5 kilowatts. If we capture and use that energy, instead of wasting it while it cooks us, we can turn one man's poison into another man's meat.

    Ask Al Gore - I'm sure he's got a slide that turns all those numbers into a cute way of seeing our roofs as "preemptive" protection from global warming, not just from the rain that comes with it when it's too late.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:32:24 PM PST

  •  thanks for the diary.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, raines, Floja Roja

    I have recommended it on DailyKos Environmentalists (see my signature below)...

  •  No time or interest to "rank between 1&9 using... (0+ / 0-)

    each ranking only once.

    If you want our opinions, please create a poll that's reasonably easy to take.

    Do you want people asking you questions like that? I thought not.

    Thank you.

    Be good to each other. It matters.[me] / John McCain

    by AllisonInSeattle on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:33:45 PM PST

  •  Where are the little cars (0+ / 0-)

    cheap, little, all-electric cars?    

    "A fundamentalist is someone who hates sin more than he loves virtue."--John Schaar

    by Guglielmo on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:33:55 PM PST

  •  Bike lanes (7+ / 0-)

    on all highways, streets, and thoroughfares of any type.

    Vastly increased carpools (park and ride)

    another idea for suburb-city commute is what Israel calls the Sherut, essentially a shared taxi.

    Tax on all cars that get less than a certain mpg rating (say, $2,500 per mpg under 30 mpg).

    Increased telecommuting.

    Increased recycling

    HUGE increase in Amtrak funding, to be paid by taxes on short plane trips.

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

    by plf515 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:34:26 PM PST

  •  READ THE DAILYKOS CREATED ENERGIZE AMERICA PLAN!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, poemless, oldjohnbrown

    This conversation has already taken place and resulted in a comprehensive energy security paper, that also happens to reduce global warming emmissions, created by a team led by Kossacks Jerome a Paris, Doolittle Sothere, Meteor Blades and Devilstower.  

    It was presented at the first YearlyKos last year.

    You can download the plan at
    http://www.ea2020.org/...

  •  Fleet Vehicles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, TaraIst

    This one may have already been posted so I apologize if it's being repeated here.

    Why not mandate that fleet vehicles must be hybrids?  

    Corporations have been given enough handouts and it's time to start chipping away at all of the tax breaks they've been getting.  I wouldn't condone offering them yet another tax break.  Why not roll BACK some of the runaway corporate welfare and tax breaks, but soften the blow by offering a hybrid fleet vehicle incentive of some kind?  

    It won't solve the problem, but every little bit helps.

  •  If we think big (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines, kosblt, VA02 femocrat
    how hard could it be?

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Seriously though, I'm very grateful to see this finally getting the attention it needed. Thank you Senator Boxer, we will have your back on this. FWIW, I think we will need every solution available and then some. (And no, I'm not strongly pro-nuke although realistically I think it has to be part of the immediate answer.)

  •  Thanks for asking, Senator Boxer! (0+ / 0-)

    My priorities around this issue would be:

    Immediate steps (from the PacForChange list of options):

    a.  Major government investment in development of renewable energy resources.
    b.  Lean heavily on Detroit to increase fuel economy in existing models and to develop and market electric and other alternative-fueled vehicles.

    All the other items on the PacForChange list are good ideas, too; to which I would add:

    c.  Impeach, convict, and remove Cheney and Bush, and enter in good faith into all existing international accords and agreements designed to slow global warming.  

    Longer term, we need to get people out of their cars altogether, by developing serious public transportation (high-speed metro trains running frequently) in the cities where it doesn't already exist, and restoring serious railroad service between cities and towns coast to coast.  And we need to overhaul the capitalist economy altogether, from an economy based on overconsumption and waste to an economy based on long-term value, recycling, and renewal.

    "Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure." -- White Rose letter no. 1

    by keikekaze on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:38:37 PM PST

  •  Start Here: (0+ / 0-)

    Impeach George W. Bush.

    We need to be able to cooperate with the rest of the world, not keep pissing everyone off and getting distracted by oil.

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't. "We're all hicks, to these people."

    by d3n4l1 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:38:58 PM PST

  •  Progressively rising gas and fossil fuel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prof Dave, AshesAllFallDown

    consumption taxes on individuals and companies, with revenues used for the research, development, implementation & to subsidize the use of clean alternative energy, and to fund rebates and credits for low-income workers.

    If we make the stuff expensive to use, less of it will be used, and alternative energy will become more popular. There should be no positive incentives to use fossil fuels, and a lot more negative incentives to not use them.

    This is one case where government has to use its intervention power harshly and wisely, and where the so-called "free market" theory fails utterly, because the feedback loop is taking way too long to kick in--and when it does, it'll be too late.

    He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

    by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:40:25 PM PST

    •  Hard to stomach, but truly workable solution /nt (0+ / 0-)

      Is their any way to make this easier on the poor? (who have a hard enough time paying energy bills for gasoline and heating fuels as it is).

      •  As I mentioned in my comment (0+ / 0-)

        [fuel consumption tax] revenues [would be] used...to fund rebates and credits for low-income workers.

        This is of course imperative. People who are barely getting by should not have to shoulder the burden and costs of weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels.

        I would also impose steep purchase and usage taxes on low-mileage vehicles--again with breaks for low-income workers. Bleed those Escalade owners dry!

        He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

        by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:04:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Heating costs for the poor (0+ / 0-)

        Shabby housing drives up heating (or cooling) costs. Extensive rehab, including insulation, windows, etc. will make a big difference.

    •  The problem of the commons (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      is that capitalism doesn't include those assets and their ruination in their model.  Until imposed by the outside, there is no way the commons (environment, quality of life, etc) can be priced into the costs of doing business.

      So, good idea.  We need to do exactly wbat you propose.

      9/11 didn't change the Constitution!

      by Prof Dave on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:53:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  An economist friend of mine (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prof Dave

        calls these factors externalities. I.e. factors that current cost and forecasting models either don't, won't or can't account for, but which eventually play a major role. Political scientists call this the "law of unintended consequences". E.g. invade a country to take down an evil regime, and an even more evil civil war takes its place.

        One of the problems with so-called free-market self-regulating capitalism is that it only factors in short to mid-term feedback loops, and completely ignores long-term ones. It does this because not only because these are hard to estimate--which they are--but because it's not required to.

        E.g. why should GM care if its cars are contributing to global warming if there are no easily foreseeable consequences to itself for making and selling them, either legal or financial? Ideally, its economic forecasters would realize that someday, this is a losing venture, but such companies think in terms of months and years, not decades. And few laws exist or are enforced that require them to be more responsible.

        Economists need to develop better predictive models to foresee the economic consequences of poor environmental practices. But government also has to step in and mandate these practices, because companies often don't know what's good for them in the long run--and they generally don't care what's good for the public in the short run, unless they're forced to.

        This whole free market nonsense is just that, nonsense. Would anyone watch a baseball game that had no rules, boundaries or umpires? Why should it be any different in business? This just seems intuitive to me.

        He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

        by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:21:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have no problem with (0+ / 0-)

          a free market - that is regulated to include externalities and to prohibit unethical behavior (see Enron and CA energy market manipulation or back-dated stock options for corporate insiders).  

          Aside from that, there isn't anything inherently wrong with a free market to me... I think we just have to shape the market such that it includes some level of ethics and more foresight.

          9/11 didn't change the Constitution!

          by Prof Dave on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:53:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But if you regulate it then it's no longer (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Prof Dave

            a "free" market, but a "fair" market. How can something be truly "free" if it's regulated?

            This might sound like a silly semantic meta-argument, but the right has co-opted the word "free" to mean absolutely and not relatively free, which is both politically dangerous and misleading, and our continued use of it just helps them politically.

            I.e. to them, "free" in its absolute sense is good--which it is clearly not, as we agree. And whenever we use the term "free", we reinforce their notion of the word. (And never mind the fact that even their "free" market is not really free, given all the corporate subsidies built into it and actively supported by them.)

            I like the term "fair trade" for these reasons. But whatever one calls it, clearly, it has to be wisely regulated to protect everyone and everything affected. The Miltonian "free market" model has to be rejected and replaced by a fairer--and more honest--organic model, both in theory and practice. And it has to be promoted actively by our side.

            He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

            by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 05:32:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fair enough, but I am (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kovie

              very wary of the "fair" in fair market proponents, as it means widely different things to different people - mostly whether it is seemingly fair to them at a particular point in their life.

              I think that most would accept that America's markets are free, or at least minimally regulated compared with almost anywhere - and I would only advocate the addition of the commons - which is the exact same thing as your externalities - because the market has no mechanism for pricing them in.  (it seems we agree on this)

              However, I would argue that you can price in things more typically referred to as "fair", such as child labor, or labor unions, or living wages, or other issues along those lines.  I buy "fair trade" coffee and organic food because I can, and am willing to pay a premium, and on these issues one can usually source a "clean" product.  

              Mostly, those who argue for "fair" trade want a protectionist stance against cheaper labor from other countries.  I understand this desire, but the problem is we cannot continue to compete in that fashion.  We have to become competitive by either improving our education level or job sophistication, or we will wind up supporting industry much like we support cotton - to the tune of billions of dollars to subsidize industry.  If we work the same way as 3rd world workers, we cannot expect to make 1st world wages.

              We have to make ourselves competitive, not legislate our way to a no-trade zone.  I am well aware of the problems that can happen with trade, but the problems with protectionism are much worse in the long run (in my opinion).

              Good discussion - I have to go now, though.  

              9/11 didn't change the Constitution!

              by Prof Dave on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 05:45:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Fair enough"--pun intended? ;-) (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Prof Dave

                All good points. To which I'll only add that there is surely a "fair" mid-point between too much and too little regulation, and that while in the long wrong less trade protection is probably better (assuming that products we import are produced fairly, safely, cleanly, etc.), there does, I think, need to be a transition period in which some protections are probably good as workers are trained and transitioned to new economic realities. It doesn't have to be an either/or situation, either absolutely or over time.

                He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

                by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 05:50:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Barbara stumped for Sen. Lieberman in Connecticut (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    vcmvo2

    I'm sorry, fellow Kossacks - but this is too much of a coincidence. Barbara is a good politician, which is why we people in Connecticut were shocked that she flew out from California to walk around with Joe and lend her support.

    I would like to know why she asked us, now, today, our feelings about global warming. My diary about CFL addressing Joe is now on the Rec list.

    She has never addressed, nor apologized for her actions. We now have to deal with the consequences of Joe in the Senate. I would have liked to see an apology diary from her - not one here deflecting her support of Joe.

    Please see her diary for what it is. If she wanted to discuss this issue with us, there were many other days she could have brought this up.

    •  She was waiting (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, TaraIst, vcmvo2

      Yes, I'm sure she was waiting until she saw your diary hit the recommended list.  She knew she had to sabotage it.  So she quickly threw together the post, the survey, and sent it off.  Now your post has been bumped down one slot on the recommended list, and her work is done.

  •  Questioning Congressional power (0+ / 0-)

    I read that the president has signed a directive giving him more control over the rules that the federal government develops to regulate public health, safety, etc., from Rawstory NYT link:

    The President "signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules that the federal government develops to regulate public health, safety," privacy and other issues, writes Robert Pear for the Times.

    Pear reports that "in an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Bush said that each federal agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee" who will monitor the creation of process and procedures and the associated documentation.

    "The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency," Pear writes, "to analyze the costs and benefits of new rules and to make sure they carry out the president's priorities."

    If this is the case, is there anything that either the House or Senate can do on global warming through regulations? I can see new Bush appointees in the EPA, for instance, watering down regulations, making any new ones ineffective.

    What I found most laughable was:

    The White House said the executive order was not meant to rein in any one agency...

    Yeah, right, and I have a bridge on the moon I want to sell you.  

    It isn't shameful to vote your own self-interest instead of the interests of multi-national corporations--iceman

    by fumie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:41:25 PM PST

  •  Create a permanent archive (0+ / 0-)
    of climate information, reports and data from EPA, UN and other relevant sources.  To fund it, de-fund the ongoing Total Information Awareness program.

    "We have gained a new freedom in science, and it is a joy to use it." - Eric Voegelin

    by Bob Love on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:43:39 PM PST

  •  It honestly is a little overwhelming... (0+ / 0-)

    there is SOOOO much work to do.
    But I am so glad that you, as my Senator, are on the job.

    As I said in your Pac's survey, I think the key is to do something visible and all encompassing as a first act... mandatory gas mileage standards and

    CAFE standards are a great place to start, because it affects everybody and it shows that this Senate means business!

    Don't get me wrong, I think Greening Federal buildings and vehicles is a huge thing, and should definitely happen. But that is a largely symbolic move, and should be saved for after the big fights.

    My two cents.

    -C.

  •  First Do the Math--Science Must Drive This (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poemless, Miss Jones, Fraggle

    more than votes.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:46:44 PM PST

  •  Also: subsidized high-speed intercity rail (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peggy, Whittless, Indiana Bob

    Europe and Japan figured this out decades ago and it's been a huge success, so why not here? Done right, and in concert with fossul fuel consumption taxes (that would be used to partly subsidize it), this should drastically reduce unnecessary car and airplane travel on short to mid-haul trips and go a long way towards ending pollution.

    Yes, it will cost a fortune and call for massive construction, but these costs can be amortized over decades, and the long-term environmental and eventually financial savings will more than pay for it. And let's face it, domestic air travel just plains SUCKS.

    Anyone who's ever taken a European or Japanese high speed train knows what I'm talking about. These things are comfortable, convenient, very safe, and FAST. And no more dealing with getting to the airport and parking hassles.

    He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

    by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:50:36 PM PST

    •  Right on Kovie! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      So Bush says he want to cut gas by 20% in how many decades (and 20% of future gas consumptions – which won't cut it for reducing global warming).  

      Rail is the answer.  And we could accomplish this in one decade, maybe less (especially if we were not spending $10000000000,00 a week in Iraq and Afghanistan).

      I live in Indiana.  The capitol city, Indianapolis, is sometimes referred to as “The Crossroads of America” mainly because Ike and FDR's interstate highway system has many arteries converge there (I-70, I-65, I-74, I-69, plus US-31 and US-40).

      That model worked well then, times have changed.

      There are several existing rail lines that could be easily converted to light rail commuter lines.  For safety reasons, underpasses and overpasses would have to be built, creating jobs for workers used to highway construction and civil engineering.  The tracks themselves would have to be upgraded.  More jobs for manufacturers (open up the closed plants all over the midwest, easily configured for building things for trains).

      But taking this model further, a state like Indiana would invest in a high-speed corridor to Chicago, which itself would have high-speed corridors to St Louis, Cleveland, and Minneapolis, for example.  A 250 mph train could go from St Louis to Chicago in a little over an hour, non-stop.  Compare that with getting to O'Hare two hours early for an 40 minute flight.  

      A city like Denver, which has benefited greatly from it's investment in light rail, would become the new “Gateway to the West”, with high speed routes coming from Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas and going onto LA, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle through Salt Lake City.

      Long term, Chicago would have a corridor that would go through the Quad cities, Des Moines, Omaha, then on to Denver or Salt Lake City.

      And on it goes, all over the country.

      Of course, for a trip from NYC to LA, get to Kennedy or La Guardia two hours early for the 6 hour flight.

      On local level, towns like Bloomington, where I live now, have started to invest in clean burning city busses.  They also are giving all Indiana University students and staff free bus passes.  We also have built many bike lanes.

      We can do this.

      And Thanks to you, Ms Boxer for all you do.  

      •  I'm a big fan of urban and intercity rail (0+ / 0-)

        (as you can tell, of course), not only because it makes so much sense, but because I've travelled quite a bit by train in three continents, and for such travel it simply cannot be beat.

        Hell, I grew up in NYC riding the subway to high school and for nearly every job I've had there, and that model clearly speaks for itself (amortized over the over 100 years that it's been operating, its startup costs are negligible).

        But I've also travelled by rail quite a bit in Europe (the TGV is simply amazing) and the US, as well as a bit in Israel (where commuter and intercity rail has become a huge success), and it's SO mich better than flying.

        In fact, I once took a train through Indianapolis (Amtrak's Cardinal, from Chicago to NYC)--although it passed through it in the middle of the night and I was asleep. ;-) I've also taken trains across the US and along the west coast.

        I think you're being a bit optimistic on the costs and time it would take to build this up. But we have to think in terms of decades of usage and longer, not years. And the arguments for rail are long and impressive--not the least of which is the boost to local economies and the jobs it will create. And nothing beats eating in a moving dining car! :-)

        He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

        by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 09:15:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Get Real People! (0+ / 0-)

    We need to go back to using as little energy as we used prior to industrialization.

    You are all fooling yourselves if you think we don't need stop using so much energy.

    This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

    by Mr X on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 02:53:13 PM PST

    •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Indiana Bob

      You contradict yourself simply by posting this comment--which requires a computer, which last time I checked didn't exist prior to the industrial age.

      There's no going back, period. But neither is there standing still, as we've been doing. It's a cliche, but there's only moving forward, with newer, cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. And so long as the sun shines, there's no lack of that.

      He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

      by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:08:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Norwalk, CT, stumping for non-Democrat (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    kovie

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    If you believe she heard you then, then why now?

    •  Thanks, this is really helpful (5+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, vcmvo2, Prison4Bushco, Indiana Bob, Predictor
      Hidden by:
      Sprinkles

      now go purity troll somewhere else.

      He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

      by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:06:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My diary is on the rec list as (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        vcmvo2

        I type this. If I'm a troll, talk to the posters who put it there.

        •  I read and commented on that diary (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maura in VA, SarahLee, vcmvo2

          earlier today. But it was on a different topic, and merited recommendations. The above comment, though, contributes nothing to this discussion IMO, and tying it to the topic addressed by your diary is a serious stretch. And yes, I view making largely unrelated issues all about YOUR issue as trollish.

          If you have an issue with Boxer's unfortunate and disappointing support of Lieberman last fall, then I support you in this. But don't bring this issue into a discussion about an unrelated issue. This is extremely unproductive. Save the politics for political diaries. This is a policy diary--which this site sadly has all too few of.

          He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

          by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:38:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your repetivite comments are both off topic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Indiana Bob, Predictor

          to this diary and trollish behavior here.

          One comment was enough.  You need to remove your troll  rating from kovie's comment above.

          •  I have no intention of doing so (0+ / 0-)

            Politicians are viewed by their past behavior - in order to judge their current motivations and future actions. It's the only information we have.

            I'm pleased that she has come to Kos, but I would like the other posters to know her history in Connecticut. She needs to state whether or not she  will contine to support Sen. Lieberman, as she has done in the past.

            That is what concerns me. She hasn't apologized, or said what she will do in the future - either to support his views, or how she will coordinate with the Dems to counteract them.

            If you don't understand this, you will be burned, as we were. And we Nutmeggers really appreciate your support.

            •  This comment, like your others, has NOTHING (0+ / 0-)

              directly to do with this diary. ZERO. ZILCH. If one were to follow your logic, then every diary comment thread would turn into a meta-examination of the honesty and legitimacy of the diarist, their diaries' topics, and each commenter.

              Stick to the topic at hand or STFU.

              He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

              by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:40:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  That makes about the 4th or 5th TR (0+ / 0-)

        that I've gotten in the year and a half or so that I've been positing here.

        You're in good company!

        He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

        by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:34:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  These repetivie comments are boardering on troll (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      behavior.  Cut it out.

  •  Bring it on! (0+ / 0-)

    Reading (actually scanning) this whole comment string reinforces my belief that this country and maybe the whole world is incapable of dealing with an "armagedon" scale issue.  Between short-term self interest, and an irrational, anti-science and anti-promethean view of the world we can do nothing on the scale of what would counter the global warming threat.  I believe we are heading towards a cataclysmic "adjustment" to earth's sustainble human population.  It's a toss-up between global warming or nuclear war in the mid-east.        

  •  Put a couple of windmills in front of Tony Snow (5+ / 0-)

    We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately. Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

    by Hobbit78 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:01:39 PM PST

  •  And if nothing gets passed? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines, Autarkh

    Worst case scenario: we close down the country one day a week.
    Go to a ten hour / 4 day workweek. Close all stores and businesses on Mondays.

    I grew up in New Zealand, where everything was closed on Sundays. Boring, yes...but peacefull, and a chance to really connect with family. But mostly:

    ...this could cut emissions by 1/7th... what is that...a 14% drop in emissions?

    By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with

    by dotcommodity on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:03:37 PM PST

  •  Please check out Energize America (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poemless, Indiana Bob
    Developed over months of discussion here at Daily Kos

    Energize America
    http://www.dkosopedia.com/...

  •  skytrust initiative. (0+ / 0-)

    You can read about more in depth here. Please visit the links as well to see the other proposals of a skytrust initiative.

    http://thehenrygeorgeblog.blogspot.c...

  •  Senator. (0+ / 0-)

    If you're looking for answers and good policy check out New Jersey's renewable portfolio standard. If this were instituted nationwide it'd be a big step.

  •  We need to move towards renewable and carbon... (0+ / 0-)

    ...neutral sources of energy, but in the long term, we also need to invest heavily in fusion power because the potential rewards are immense. The level of funding the U.S. is contributing to ITER, for example, is a disgrace.

    On another note: thank you for your work Senator Boxer. You are the only member of my congressional delegation of whom I feel genuinely proud.

    "The idea of achieving security through national armament is, at the present state of military technique, a disastrous illusion." -- Albert Einstein

    by Autarkh on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:10:23 PM PST

  •  Electrical Profile (0+ / 0-)

    The current (2005) electrical profile is available from the EIA.

    It lays out our current problem.

    Coal 50%
    Natural Gas 19%
    Nuclear 19%
    Hydro 7%
    Oil 3%
    Other renewable (biomass, geothermal, wind, etc.) 2%

    So 72% of our electricity is carbon based, with the most carbon intensive (coal), making up the largest portion.

    So how do we change that dramatically?  And quickly?  What technologies are already at hand that can be implemented over the next 20 years?  You can't rely on new breakthroughs, because the timeline from breakthrough to implementation to fully scaled up sector is decades long.  I would also like to see how other people would like to see this pie sliced up in the future.  

    My proposed 2025 grid would look something like:
    Coal 25%
    Natural Gas 10%
    Nuclear 30%
    Hydro 10%
    Wind 20%
    Others 5%

    This would drop electricity to being 35% carbon based (over 50% cut).  The increased nuclear would take some of the baseload power role from coal, with the increased wind (and pumped hydro derived from wind) taking over some of the peaking power of natural gas.  I think the load balancing issues with wind make it difficult to expand significantly beyond 20% on a national level, especially given the dearth of good wind power potential across the Southeast.  Other would contain geothermal, biomass, and solar, with hope that solar could take a larger regional role later in the period.  

    The other further critical point is that conservation would have to keep up with increased demand (from population and economic growth), as well as making room for electrical demands from the transportation sector.

    If transportation (cars and light trucks) could be effectively coupled to a less carbon intensive electrical system (plug in hybrids as one option), this could also sharply reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector.  These vehicles would largely be charging in the off-peak night period, where baseline power from coal and nuclear is often in excess of needs.  This power is not effectively used currently, and thus from a carbon perspective, would almost be free.

    This future scenario would sharply reduce oil consumption (with the side benefits of security, trade deficit, environmental impact, reduced exposure to lower supplies), reduce natural gas consumption (reduce need for import terminals), and reduce coal consumption (mountaintop removal, tens of thousands of deaths from particulate exposure).  

    It would require a expansion of nuclear capacity (baseload power) and thus increase both uranium mining and long term waste disposal problems.  It would take a major increase in wind capacity, with difficulties in rapidly scaling up an industry that has an immature regulatory framework in the U.S.  It would require an increase in the pumped hydro capacity, with the accompanying impacts on habitat and recreation.

    All this, and it would be an intermediate step.  But it could be a very good start.

  •  Senator Boxer (0+ / 0-)

    Appreciate your interest.
    However, if we end up in WW III, global warming may not seem so important. We need to be free from this administration before things get worse. Would appreciate your effots in stopping this war and investigating these criminals.

    Remember to call Congress and call often

    by lisastar on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:10:41 PM PST

  •  Get rid of coal (0+ / 0-)

    Coal! Who still uses coal? Besides the US and China, and third world countries.

    A bigger push on hybrid cars. They're a stopgap measure, but an easier and easier step to take, as the prices come down.

    Following the conversion to hybrids, we move on to the next technology - whatever it turns out to be. We can work our way to the no-emissions automobile in steps.

    "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

    by Topaz7 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:10:51 PM PST

    •  Other Countries (0+ / 0-)

      Many other countries still use extensive amounts of coal.  I think Germany is the 5th largest consumer in the world (behind China, the U.S., India, and Russia).  It still plays a major role in electricity generation in countries like Denmark, Italy, South Africa, Canada, and Australia.

      The U.S. and China do account for ~50% of the global consumption.

      •  Not Canada! (0+ / 0-)

        Noooo, not us! Where do we use coal? The maritimes? (I'm talking about Canada).

        I'm in BC, so it's all hydro here. Lots of steep mountains and rain, at least on the coast. Perfect for hydro.

        That's disappointing information. I'm going to have to read up on this. Thanks for your comments.

        "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

        by Topaz7 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:42:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Canadian Coal Power Plants (0+ / 0-)

          The Canadian coal industry page has a map, with the major power plants.  The largest plants are in Ontario and Alberta.

          Coal is also used to fuel cement kilns, and many other industrial processes (Oil Sands?).

          •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

            Looks like I was a little "truthier" than I should've been. My bad.

            Now off to get rid of coal in my own country!

            "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

            by Topaz7 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 08:33:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  alternative fuel researcher here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, peggy

    Dear Senator Boxer,

    As an alternative fuel researcher at a university who thinks about global warming every day I have this input:

    1. Fossil fuels = hydrocarbons => GHG. Ultimately, and by that I mean soon, we need to substantially cut the use of fossil fuels and dramatically increase the efficiency of the fossil fuels we do use.

    The ultimate weapons in the War on Global Warming are zero mitigation renewables, namely solar, wind and hydro. Renewables are best when paired with energy storage. We need an Apollo like program to develop the energy storage technology of the future. We need more battery, hydrogen and ultra-capacitor research. Nuclear can be considered too, but the costs, time and waste problems with nuclear are substantial.

    If the world is to survive, America has to use less energy and use it better. This is a hard position for a politician to sell. It is probably best framed as a sacrifice we make for the good of our children and grandchildren.

    1. Americans must reduce their meat consumption, especially from beef. Cows produce methane as a byproduct of their digestive processes. Methane as a  green house gas is 21x more potent than CO2.

    The meat production system in America as a whole is highly inefficient.

    We don't need to eliminate meat entirely, we just need to cut back.

    1. The American public has to be prepared to make sacrifices. In order to do that the global warming issue has to be properly framed. My suggestion would be to use the neocon playbook and start talking about how we, the American people, sacrificed to fight Hitler in WWII. Global warming is an enemy greater than Hitler. When people start whining about how they don't want to give up some hamburgers or drive more fuel efficient vehicles, they should be reminded, shamed even, that these sacrifices are so that their children and grandchildren might have a decent world to live in.

    Senator Boxer, the time for bold actions on global warming is now. Things need to change, and quickly. We have 1000 weeks to make serious headway on global warming problem. If we haven't made significant change by then, we're toast.

    Dems need to start the War on Global Warming.. Now. Terrorism is trivial next to massive climate change.

    Verify before Rec'ing a diary. Click username. Check prior diaries and comments. Ask yourself: is this a trustworthy user?

    by joel3000 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:12:35 PM PST

    •  Subsidized Ethanol (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joel3000

      No, not to reduce our energy needs.  But subsidized ethanol will lead to reduced meat consumption.  If the price of corn is artificially manipulated by enough ethanol subsidies, it will drive up the price of beef, pork, and chicken.   This will bring the price of the corn-dependant industrial scale agriculture closer in line with grass-raised agriculture, and because of cost, probably reduce meat consumption.

      Just a little unintended impact, and a sign of how the government should be careful in picking "winners". Putting a broader based system in place the encourages many options to fix the problem is a lot better.

  •  Bike trails! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peggy, kosblt

    They have to be improved.  SF's are OK but could be better. Boston's are no so good.

    •  Bikes, walking and obesity (0+ / 0-)

      Besides Global Warming, we also face an obesity crisis. If a proportion of Americans could occasionally walk or bicycle instead of driving, both the earth and our bodies would benefit.
      To change our modes of transportation would require infrastructure adjustments. Many towns do not have sidewalks, making it unsafe for children to walk to school. Riding a bicycle in city traffic can be frightening; bicycle lanes and paths such as Rails to Trails would encourage commuters, Light rail and other mass transit not only decreases personal car use, but also provide a health giving walk to the job from the stop.  
      The final reform is to make inner city streets free of violence so that they are safe enough to walk on.

      Dear Senator Boxer,
      These suggestions may seem mundane, more suitably addressed to a mayor than a senator, but you have thousands of constituents dying of diabetes caused by obesity. They have a toe, a foot amputated, then a leg; their kidneys stop working; they die. To reverse this gruesome process get people out of their cars and walking.
      Make walking pleasant and purposeful. Provide sidewalks and shade trees (and maybe a view). Trips with a purpose would be to buy necessities such as Pampers or milk, going to school, work or church, visiting a park or playground, or catching a Metro bus.  

    •  I meant to say - bike lanes! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Try to establish dialogue with the .... (0+ / 0-)

    ....people who are in denial so we can at least get SOME of them on board.

    My parent's generation would have looked at saving energy as logical because they lived thru  WWII and the Great Depression, and they understood that thriftyness= survival.

    The people who are currently in power, averaging about 5 to 15 years older than I am, are just plain useless with this concept. I assume it's because they grew up wealthy and feel entitled. But they crave power and wealth so much they just will do anything to manipulate the populace into voting for them. And they are sabotaging this necessary change in how we create and use physical power (electricity, fuel) in our society.

    People who were very religious in the Judeo/Christian faiths in the past understood intrinsicly that they were at God's mercy to save them from the elements.  Now some of them spend all their time fighting with other people to prove they were right all along and that God is going to use the elements to destroy all of us.

    Getting off the fossil fuels shouldn't be thought of as as a religious conspiracy against anyone.  Yet that is how it is being portrayed by the NeoCon Right.

    The "Creation Care" religious people who believe that being given dominion over the Earth doesn't mean destroying it but managing it so the Earth continues to provide, should be asked for their input on how to speak to people who are still in denial.  I believe this movement originated in Appalachia in the coal mining mountains but it needs to spread beyond that.

    What ever happened to "waste not, want not?

    I hate to say this, but the "in- the- middle, just sorta going along with the flow" types of middle Americans are not going to be the ones who save the planet.  Oh, they will help.  But we need some sort of wider alliance between the atheists, agnostics, heathens, pagans, Protestants, Catholics, scientists, and the evangelicals, because they all have passion for change and will work for it. They'll question things, they won't accept the status quo that we as humans are powerless to at least not foul our nest beyond habitation.

    I don't want to see just lip service given to changing over from fossil fuels, as is being done by some of the more stubborn politicians, even in MY HOME STATE, but I want them to scream loudly in protest and STOP going along if the President does one more thing to sabotage the Enviromental Protection Agency.  And if they refuse, then they should be marginalized into the dustbin as being bad for the entire human race. If someone does not understand that mass extinction of other species means our mass extinction as well, they have no business controlling a penny ¢ of the taxpayer's money nor writing legislation.

    I read thru all the comments so far before I wrote this, others have touched upon the practical things from changing lightbulbs to building windmills to solar to nuclear, grid or no grid,  all good ideas. But we also need more people who don't have this mental block about the subject.

    For my practical suggestion I'd come up with a way to encourage all new housing being built to have aspects of passive solar/wind use in the design. This can be as simple as orienting your house to a certain direction, placing a large shaded overhang to the south, and having windows located to pick up cooling breezes.  I'd also have roofs with solar panels sprouting up all over the place as status symbols...imagine plugging your car into your roof array every night.

  •  I wish I had gotten here earlier, but (0+ / 0-)

    here goes:

    I would suggest getting the message out as to how important the problem is is job one.  People need to be prepared for harder times and higher prices when it comes to energy.  Fuel taxes (remember Gore's BTU tax?) would be a place to start.  A much tougher stance on conservation is a must.  The nation needs to have a debate on providing more elecricity via nuclear.  Small-scale PV sites and other solar , wind, other alternatives need to be incentivized via tax credits or other ways.  There will be VERY TOUGH DECISIONS to be made, and many will not be pleasant.

    I'm sorry, but my take on this issue is quite pessimistic.

  •  Some good ideas (0+ / 0-)
    • tax carbon at the cost of removal
    • telecommuting
    • bike trails
    • rooftop solar
    • windfarms
    • realtime $/day electric meters
    • green appliances
    • CAFE
  •  "Fossil-Fuel War Profiteers Windfall Tax" (0+ / 0-)

    Used to fund a comprehensive federally funded Sustainable Energy development and deployment program.

  •  Across the board 10% redirection of DOD budget (0+ / 0-)

    Used to fund a comprehensive federally funded Sustainable Energy development and deployment program.

  •  Hybrid diesel engines... (0+ / 0-)

    ...are another promising area. We need to bring the sulphur level of diesel fuel down to what it is in Europe (I believe Bush issued an executive order loosening new standards),  so that auto manufacturers can begin to offer diesel engines as an alternative here in US. A standard diesel car gets almost twice the gas-mileage of its gasoline equivalent. When combined with biodiesel, and plug-in hybrid technology, there is a massive increase in efficiency.

    "The idea of achieving security through national armament is, at the present state of military technique, a disastrous illusion." -- Albert Einstein

    by Autarkh on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:23:58 PM PST

  •  Offer incentives to get old cars off the road (0+ / 0-)

    And offer incentives both positive and negative to buy cleaner more fuel efficient cars.

    For example:

    Tax gas! (except distribution). It is simply ridiculous that such a high percentage of cars on the road are SUVs and full size Trucks.  

    Gas guzzler Tax.  The larger the engine the more tax.

  •  Just pay for it (0+ / 0-)

    After thinking about it, I think it's quite simple. All we really need to do to stop emitting CO2 and eliminate oil imports is to decide that we will and then pay for it.

    I think it's just that simple. Anyone actually know what it will cost to stop? I'll bet it more affordable than we think if we look long term.

  •  Laws to consider (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Autarkh
    1. Eliminate legal "corporate personhood" and make individuals liable.
    1. Oil industry and other major sources of the problem should be very strictly monitored and controlled. Punish those who have been lying and make it impossible for them to spread disinformation. Follow their money. Full disclosure and transparency.
    1. Get rid of corporate money in political campaigns.
    1. Patents. Change the laws so that no patent may be suppressed. "Use it or lose it". A number of energy saving patents were purchased by corporations to kill any alternatives.
    1. Land use. America has been completely cowardly about law and land use.

    a). Any good farmland should be restricted to farming! Land management to preserve the soil, to maintain conditions for agriculture.
    It takes 10,000 years for Nature to form good soil. Wildly wasteful use of energy trying to improve poor soils through chemical products.
    b). Zoning. Do like in The Netherlands--new office complex must have housing and shops nearby. Reduce commuting time.

    1. Support local task forces. All levels of government starting with local communities need to be involved. Link together for bulk purchasing and information-sharing.
    1. Shame on "MacMansions" and all careless, wasteful  use of central heating, constant hot water, and central airconditioning.
    1. Law enforcement on the roads. Strict enforcement and punishment, to cut down on accidents so people don't feel they need to be driving a Sherman Tank to be protected.
    1. Vertical Agriculture.

    http://www.verticalfarm.com/

    Vertical Farms
    Dr. Dickson Despommier of Columbia University explores the potential for vertical farms--urban farms that would take up a full city block, and could feed 50,000 people per year.
    Listen or Download MP3

    http://www.wnyc.org/...

    1. Evaluate and Score: Winners and Losers--Who got it right and who got it wrong in the past 40 years when it comes to Global Warming. Rewards and Punishments. Especially: those who got it wrong need to be muzzled.
    1. Follow the lead of NRDC which got corporations involved and asking for uniform standards that will require them all to conform, so that none will be at an individual disadvantage.
    1. Undo Bush Administration appointments of political cronies instead of qualified people to handle government regulations. Esp. EPA, etc.
    1. Hollywood and other trendsetters. When Katherine Hepburn wore pants in a 1930s movie, American women picked up the habit. When it comes to perceptions and habits about energy use, surely more trends can be propelled by the entertainment industry.
  •  Energise America (0+ / 0-)

    Here is the dailykos Energise America set of initiatives developed here over a couple years of work...

    By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with

    by dotcommodity on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:28:49 PM PST

  •  Replace the entire Federal Tax Code (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines

    ...with one that is based on carbon footprint and (looking ahead to a time when energy doesn't come predominantly from carbon) energy use.

    Businesses and Individuals.  No Exceptions.

    No income tax per se...instead, tax individuals' consumption of energy-intensive goods and services.  Rich people will naturally have to pay a LOT MORE for third and fourth cars, extra homes, and luxury goods.

    Anything that has to be transported long distances before being sold would be subject to more tax than locally produced goods.  This has many advantages, not least of which are the encouragement of local sourcing for food production and the rebirth of domestic manufacturing as high taxes make locally-produced goods more competitive.  In addition, a company could avoid these taxes by switching to a carbon-free or low-carbon means of transport, increasing the market for those technologies--yet another benefit that would naturally follow from this scheme.

    Low-income workers would realize significant benefits from their higher per-capita use of public transportation (which it is our national duty to expand).  Taxpayers of all sorts could receive rebates if their energy footprint is below a certain threshold (call it the "sustainability level" or something positive) that is determined to be sustainable if it were met by all citizens.

    Property taxes would be based on the energy use of the building, not its phantasmal "market value."  This would encourage new construction that is green as well as green retrofits of existing building stock.  If new solar cells could eliminate your property taxes in perpetuity, you'd be a lot more likely to invest in them and take the hit in the short term.

    Taxation based on this system would even help green up the green industries themselves, by allowing them to increase their profits through the use of green manufacturing processes and clean energy (which would help reduce their own taxes).

    Finally, the production of energy would be taxed...in direct proportion to the carbon footprint it carries.  This would naturally favor wind/solar/other distributed technologies over nuclear (think about the mining and transport of the fuel!) and fossil fuels (obviously).

    I'm sure many more advantages exist that I haven't thought of.  Help me out here, people!

    "You menace others with your deadly fangs
    But in tormenting them, you are only torturing yourselves."

    Milarepa

    by Scarpia on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:31:20 PM PST

    •  There certainly needs to be an economic... (0+ / 0-)

      disincentive to carbon emission (including some form of carbon tax), but scrapping the income tax altogether is more than just a little problematic.

      "The idea of achieving security through national armament is, at the present state of military technique, a disastrous illusion." -- Albert Einstein

      by Autarkh on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 05:46:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Senator Boxer: please have people on your staff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines

    collect and compile these suggestions--along with others that they can easily find on the internet and elsewhere--into a reasonably brief, easy to read pamphlet that you can present at this hearing and offer to the public either online or at a low printed cost. We need to rally the public around the idea that this country needs a MASSIVE change in its energy policies and practices, and such a guide would help consolidate such support.

    There are so many great ideas about how to solve our energy problems, some that can be implemented immediately (e.g. energy-saving light bulbs), some fairly soon (e.g. wind power), and some in the long run (e.g. high speed rail)--all of which are technologically, economically and culturally viable--which, combined, can drastically make our energy consumption more efficient and cut down on the ill side-effects of our current energy usage. We only need to find the will to do it.

    He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

    by kovie on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:31:38 PM PST

  •  Lil Ole Bus Rider in L.A. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Autarkh

    I've been taking the bus for ten years here in L.A. I could do with a better public transportation system -many cities could.  Green buses and subways would be sweet.  (Which reminds me of my favorite 'Simpsons' ep: "Monoraaaaaail!")

    Also it would be nice if the Red line went to the west side.  (that comment is for the magic subway fairy)

    I'm just saying.

    Sorry to interrupt the serious discussion.  As you were.

    "As people do better, they start voting like Republicans - unless they have too much education and vote Democratic." -Karl Rove

    by spoonflipper on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:32:54 PM PST

  •  I would answer your poll except I'm tired of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sprinkles, kosblt

    being required to give my e-mail address.  It is well known that politicians are the worse spammers. Why can't you just snag my IP address for demographics?

    As far as what we should do first.  Do the easy ones.
    CAFE
    Electric Cars
    Forget Hydrogen - it a pig in a poke
    Energy Efficient Appliances - stop the power trickle from their standby off mode.

  •  A "Sabbath" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines
    One day a week, take a "Sabbath" from generatingso much  greenhouse gas. Stay home. Dine by candlelight. Rest. Do like people used to do on the Sabbath.
  •  China, India need help, too (0+ / 0-)
    Bring them into the new way of thinking and acting.

    But we should set the example.

  •  Who gives a crap? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sprinkles

    With all due respect, Senator, it is foolish to ask random people to answer such a question.

    Don't get me wrong.  I think it is great that you care about this issue.  I also think it is great that you are communicating your concerns to this community.  But we are not here to provide you with answers.

    This is why we elect representatives.  So that THEY can study the issues.  So that THEY can weigh the options.  So that THEY can make the difficult decisions.  So that THEY can solicit INFORMED opinions as to experts.

    In short, we tell you WHAT we want and YOU tell us HOW we can achieve it.  Anything else makes you look weak.

    Let's look at your proposed alternatives:

    1. Increased Fuel Economy for Cars & Trucks

     

    1. More Incentives for Alternative Fueled Vehicles

     

    1. Government Investment in Development of Renewable Energy Sources

     

    1. Incentives for Deployment of Energy Efficiency Devices for Home & Business

     

    1. Green Grants to Cities and Counties for Energy Efficiency Projects in Buildings and Auto Fleets, as well as greatly increased Planting of Carbon Absorbing Trees

     

    1. Require All Federal Office Buildings (8,000 total) to Become Green Buildings

     

    1. Make Federal Government Auto Fleet (60,000 vehicle purchases per year) a Model of Energy Efficiency

     

    1. Implement a "Cap & Trade" Carbon Emission System

     

    1. Reduce Power Plant Emissions

    All of these are possible solutions, but the question of which to emphasize can only be answered by first knowing (a) how much each will cost, (b) how great the effect each would have, and (c) how drastically we need to reduce our carbon emissions.

    Can the lay person even begin to answer THOSE questions?  Of course not.  How many cars equal one coal plant in CO2 emissions?  Don't know?  Then how can you decide which trade-off to make?

    •  WE give a crap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sprinkles

      This is a democracy. It's our responsibility.

      •  Your responsibility (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sprinkles

        is to elect intelligent representatives who will zealously represent your interests.

        Your responsibility is not to become an expert on global climatolgy, carbon trading, and myriad alternative energy technologies.

        Do I give a grap about global warming? Absolutely.  Do I give a crap about your personal opinion as to how best to solve it?  Unless you have a Ph.D. in physics,  chemistry, engineering, economics, or significant experience in those fields, not so much.  

        I'd sleep better at night if I knew Barbara Boxer was polling the faculty of MIT, Stanford, and Princeton than rather than anonymous bloggers.

        •  As far as this goes ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Whittless

          Unless you have a Ph.D. in physics,  chemistry, engineering, economics, or significant experience in those fields, not so much.

          Actually I do, and even work in a closely-related field. But you couldn't know that. Anyway, one thing I've noticed is that the way it's supposed to work -- scientists making recommendations to policy makers and the MSM reporting the information to the public -- no longer does, if it ever did. Politics has an ugly effect on science policy and much of it's institutional. Too much money goes to lobbyists and PACs. The only way to combat that is to remain informed and engaged and to demand better of your reps. Expect leadership from them, but also challenge them, and make it clear that you'll be voting differently if you feel it necessary. Ultimately if we're going to turn this thing around, it won't be the scientists and politicians who do it. They have their roles, but it won't get done until the public get informed, get engaged, and take action.

          •  Yes, but (0+ / 0-)

            everbody can't be informed on everything.  

            Each of us has our areas of expertise.  Perhaps yours does relate more closely to global warming.  If so, great.  On that topic, you should take a lead role.  You should be writing to your reps, in your capacity as an expert.  You should be writing letters to the editor, or op-eds.  You should be a check on the lobbyists.

            •  Sure ... (0+ / 0-)

              I do some of those things, certainly I could do more. These days I'm trying to get the public engaged, mostly by getting scientists to give short public talks followed by extended discussions. It's just getting off the ground, initial interest seems to be high so far.

    •  Remarkable admissions of ignorance by space (0+ / 0-)

      You could educate yourself, space, on central issues of the day. Clearly you lack the desire. How sad.

      No Blood for Oil... Stop Bush/Cheney Before They Get Us All Killed

      by skywriter on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:01:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hardly (0+ / 0-)

        I simply have the humility to admit that I do not have the time (and probably the intelligence) to master those fields.

        However, if I were sufficiently authoritative to contribute to solving the problem, I would submit that the best way to do so would not be on a dKos thread.

  •  make compact flourescents cheaper (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines, kosblt, Mary Mike

    Right now Compact Flourescent Lights cost arount $4-6 each. This is because we are not only buying the light bulb but the "ballast" to power it. When the bulb burns out in 10 years we must replace the ballast along with the light.

    1. Is there a way to encourage business to come up with a way to make a CFL that detatches from the ballast (just like the tube flourescents do)?
    1. Is there a way to encourage city building codes to require that each point of light have a permanent ballast recepticle so that consumers can plug in cheap CFLs that don't have a ballast attatched?

    Losing in Iraq is not an option, it is a result.

    by bobinson on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:47:47 PM PST

  •  Public discussion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    Many good ideas here: light rail, distributed energy generation (solar on every house), electric vehicles, etc, but none of the things that will make a real impact in the next 5-10 years are politically possible without convincing the public of the necessity for them. A few examples

    • Conservation. This is the single most effective tool we have. Jimmy Carter showed that this has the political aerodynamics of a lead brick.
    • Sustainability (ties into conservation). How do we reconcile economic growth with a finite world? Fail to do that and growth will stop, likely go negative, but we as people have steep discount rates and don't like to think long term. This one is not trivial, politically impossible without the public behind you.
    • Carbon tax. Works better than CAFE (we keep setting new records for vehicle miles travelled), also includes coal-fired utilities. Will need retuning of tax code to avoid regressive impact. Again impossible without the public behind you.
    • Care with subsidies. Ixnay on ethanol, petroleum, etc subsidies. This skews the market and gets the government in the business of choosing technologies. So nay on hybrid car tax breaks, yea on cars with (say) >40 mpg -- which may exclude some hybrids. Nay on corn ethanol, yea on demonstrably sustainable biofuels -- which may but probably will not include corn ethanol. This treads on lobbyist toes, so again, you'll need the public behind you.
    • Urban redevelopment. Largely a local problem, but the feds can help by encouraging light rail, walking-scale communities, etc. It will be hard to get us out of our single-occupancy SUVs to commute to and from the exurbs -- a carbon tax will help ;)
    • Nuclear back on the table for discussion. Ultimately we might decide to reject it again, but we need a modern reassessment.
    • Did I mention conservation? (Did you know that the average European uses half the carbon that we do? That Japan, the UK, and Germany make 40% more GDP per ton carbon than we do? Do we really want to go forward continuing to be so exquisitely vulnerable to a diminishing and dirty resource?)

    This is a democracy, which means the public have and must take the final responsibility, and the elected representatives must get us sufficiently engaged and well enough informed that we can make good decisions. While improved technology will be important, in the end no technology will solve problems which have social and cultural solutions. So challenge us, talk to us, engage us, win us over. Lead us.

  •  TV Alert tonight: Climate Change/Politics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, joanneleon

    c-span 2 at 8 p.m. EST

    House Committee
    Political Influence on Climate Change Research
    Oversight and Government Reform

    Waxman, Henry U.S. Representative, D-CA  
    Grifo, Francesca Director, Union of Concerned Scientists, Scientific Integrity  
    Shindell, Drew T. Scientist, NASA, Goddard Institute for Space Studies  
    Pielke, Roger A. Jr. Professor, University of Colorado, Environmental Studies
    The Oversight Committee holds a hearing regarding political interference in the work of government climate change scientists.

    repeated at 2:28 a.m. EST on c-span 1

  •  First off... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, A Siegel

    My wife and I are going to be buying our first home soon (hopefully.) The first order of business for us is to install solar panels and buy a windmill.

    ^^ I have been researching home windmills, Senator. I must say that I think that they (and solar panels) should be installed on every logistically possible government building.

    Secondly, I work exclusively out of my home office. Because of the advent of high speed internet and the improved technologies that allow shipping companies to pick up on demand, there is no reason for me to get into a car every morning and clog up a highway to get my work done.

    (Hint hint, corporations)

    :)
    ::::

    "Let's put a shoe in there!" ~ Haywood Nelson

    by nowheredesign on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 03:53:50 PM PST

  •  No to nuclear because (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kosblt, JML9999

    of waste in mining and dangerous by-products, not to mention safety issues re: terrorism.

    [Meanwhile, why can't I have a little exercise bicycle to generate power to my computer?]

    •  There are ways to address most of your issues (0+ / 0-)

      The Boiling water reactor Explodes,Melts Down and the fuel can be used in a dirty bomb or fed into a breader reactor to make plutonium.

      Thees is an alternative the PBMR pebble bed modular reactor or Pebble reactor for short. Is uses Cue Ball sized Graphite(carbon) Balls filled with 1/28th of ans oz(gram) of uranium. These balls(pebbles)heat a gas(Helium) which then spins a turbine to make electricity.

      They apparently can't melt down or blow up and with the relatively tiny amount of Uranium in each pebble you'd need to steal 1000's if not millions of them to get usable quantities of uranium. The graphite acts as shielding so they are safer to ship and probably impossible to separate the uranium from the graphite.

      Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

      by JML9999 on Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:47:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Global Wa