Gallery: Al Gore Challenges America to go Carbon-Free in 10 years

 

Al Gore recently appealed to the competitive nature of the US as a market driven society with an energy challenge that calls for a complete shift to renewables in the entire electricity sector. The former Vice President and Nobel laureate is raising the bar with the goal of total carbon-free wind, solar and geothermal power by 2018. Part of the vision includes powering electric vehicles (as truly emissions free), but the ambitious plan would transcend through transportation and ripple throughout the green building industry and beyond. With elections on the near horizon and a push to drill for yet more oil, Gore’s challenge is as timely as it is clear: in order to transcend an unsustainable existence, we need to transform our energy outlook.

The challenge is not just about controlling carbon emissions, although this is of course a priority. Gore’s vision is a far reaching idea that addresses not only energy independence but also seeks to alleviate the economic, political and social turmoil connected to our fossil fuel dependence. At this moment in history, the most effective way to solve the overwhelming issues around the globe is to stop contributing to the cycle by stepping up renewable energy production.

Although the challenge is directed towards America’s leaders, it is a call to “all Americans in every walk of life: to our political leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers and to every citizen.” Already industry leaders are balking at the feasibility of letting go of coal which currently represents about 50% of the US’s electric power, and is a huge contributor to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. But the challenge has been tossed into the arena, and even if industry drags and lags, individuals can meet the challenge head on.

Hopefully with the changing of the guard in American politics in January, we will see a large and important shift in government policy on energy in the near future. However, if we have any hope of meeting this challenge in 10 years, consumers and designers are going to have to take matters into their own hands and start thinking about renewable energy on an individual level. Big energy companies are going to be the last to make the move to renewable energy, so WE NEED TO START DEMANDING THIS ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL in order to facilitate any change.

Some of the best things you can do as a consumer are to investigate personal renewable energy alternatives like solar panels, wind turbines, and natural daylighting, as well as signing up for and demanding renewable energy from your electricity provider. If we all work together this goal really is achievable and we will all be better off (economically, politically and environmentally) in the long run.

Via SFGate

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8 Comments

  1. jwgorman July 31, 2008 at 12:39 am

    off-grid is ok, but what about grid-displacement, if you can’t do that:

    http://www.solarnetwork.net/

  2. thepostman July 30, 2008 at 3:24 am

    I challenge Al Gore to go Carbon Free in 10 years! And I don\’t mean buying his way out of it either, I mean the good ole fashion way, reducing your footprint as much as possible and use renewable energy.

    As for the comments by \”antkm1\”, I\’m sorry, but I run a business and I\’ve cut my travel by forcing my clients to use Video Chat saving thousands of miles by not flying. We write ebooks for people to read online, we do all kinds of things that reduce our foot print. If we can do it I am sure our friend Al Gore can to.

  3. benajbennett July 23, 2008 at 9:12 am

    It’s honestly not that hard to live off the grid… I’ve been researching it for years. At this point all you need is money.

  4. benajbennett July 23, 2008 at 9:10 am

    If he’s going to issue the challenge he ought to be leading by example!
    The wealthy truly have the means to be “off the grid.” It’s pretty clear Al Gore is power hungry. He found the issue that would bring him the most power outside the white house.

  5. antkm1 July 22, 2008 at 11:06 am

    One aspect to Al Gore that most people forget about is that he is an ex-vice-president. Like many former high-up polititians, he requires a lot of support from the government (i.e. Secret Service).

    Given the enourage of people being a former VP needs to have makes it very difficult to live completely “off-the-grid”. He does speaking tours around the globe, he speaks with officials of large corporations and Universities trying to promote his cause; all on a very tight schedule. Given this, it would be close to impossible to fly on commercial airlines, or book events with hybrid cars, granted the Government should proved hybrid vehicles for every government worker but that’s a separate issue.

    Yes, I agree that he should practice what he preaches but given who he is and the requirements he has in order to do his job, it would be very difficult. The infrastructure is not there yet, and i think this is what he’s tyring to promote, amongst all the other Green things he’s pushing.

    So give the guy a break…i’d like to see what all the ney-sayers are doing to be/promote saving the planet.

  6. AUG July 21, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    There is an interview with Al and Tipper Gore by Barbara Walters. In the interview the Gores show how they are retrofitting their house with sustainable energy techologies, such as solar panels. They also talk about how Gore is converting his parents\’ horse farm into a demonstration ground for renewable energy technologies. I believe this interview can be found on his WE campaign website. So after seeing this I believe the man is not only talking the talk but walking the walk. Much kudos to the Gores!

  7. bsabin July 21, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    If only we were all multi-millionaires, we could all live in mansions and buy renewable credits like Gore does.

  8. edustinc July 21, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    i live in Nashville and have seen one of his houses he owns here. It is a little beyond carbon free. lets talk minimalism Al. practice what you preach. I would love to know his carbon footprint- before it buys it off…

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