Friday, May 1, 2009

Think Green Thursday: Who Will Inherit the Wind?

Yes I know it’s really Friday. I can’t live by your calendar!

My friend Pagan Sphinx has started a wonderful, relevant project called THINK GREEN THURSDAY.

Last week I posted a photo but this week I wanted to get a little deeper.

According to …

By the end of the year, China will be the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines.1 The U.S. government's investment in wind is tiny compared to China's, and that means American workers are missing out on millions of new jobs.

U.S. investment in wind power lags far behind, but when it comes to solar power, the story is even more infuriating: In the 1990s, the U.S. actually led the world in solar cell manufacturing. But in the Bush-Cheney years, China, Japan, and Europe all zoomed ahead of us in solar production.

Obama's plan would aggressively scale up American wind and solar production—creating millions of new jobs and tackling climate change in one fell swoop.

But the latest ads from dirty-energy companies are scaring away key Democrats in Congress.

I know there are those who roll their eyes at anything from but facts are facts regardless of who presents them.

At THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS leading experts in the field summarized the issue.

Indeed, when it comes to preparing our country to compete in the new energy economy of the future and create millions of new jobs, we lag behind most of our competitors in the rest of the world in a four key ways.

 We have no national energy portfolio standard that encourages clean, renewable power and shifts away from dirty and dangerous energy.

 We have an outdated electrical grid unsuited for the task of carrying energy from regions rich in wind, solar, and geothermal potential to the people who need the energy.

 We don’t make dirty energy companies pay for the pollution they pump into the air; in fact, we give them billions every year in tax breaks.

 And we don’t invest enough in research, development, and deployment to inspire our entrepreneurs and leverage their discoveries by helping bring their bold new technologies to market.

The NY Times has THIS ARTICLE that talks about how some are trying to derail Obama’s innovative plan.

For a tour of how wind power works – check THIS out. From the Danish Wind Industry.

The photo above came from GREEN THINKERS.ORG. A wonderful site where smart, talented people offer solutions to help our planet. In this case the wind from passing traffic is being harnessed.

The President spent part of Earth Day HERE. A small but important step in creating green jobs.


Schmoop said...

Screw the wind power. Oil and coal will be burning clean forevah. ; ) Zoves, Baby. Cheers Di!!

Kaylia Metcalfe said...

Great post! Lots of info there.

I know in CA there is a battle over land in the south... the oil people want it, the wind people want it, and some group wants no one to have it because of a type of snake or something.


Daryl said...

Those smart enough to go with those windmill things ..

Dianne said...

Matt-man - ahhhhhh matty, you're so right! coal especially is so clean that I bathe in it every day - care to join me? ;)

kay - in a nutshell - screw the oil people and I would hope the wind people could manage to not kill the wildlife. I have to do research on that - I think constructing wind turbines has a minimal impact. and those highway turbines! the entire infrastructure is already there!!

Dianne said...

daryl - I hope so

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

I have great concerns that we need to keep America "moving" and not do anything that will hinder business whenever possible. I like having a house and food and stuff, and that's not going to happen too well if my husband is out of work.

That said, Elf used to be asthmatic. And the thought of what the coal plants are putting into the air is more than a little scary.

You know, even in our Bob Jones history books, it discusses the way the mining happened in California and the destruction of natural resources. Um, Bob Jones is not exactly It is a Christian idea, too, that we should be good stewards of our land and environment.

We just need to be very careful not to worship the environment or think that animals are MORE important than people. But they're still important!

Balance. Mmm. :]

Dianne said...

mrs c - my son has the very same concern you and your husband have. some changes good for the planet could hurt his livelihood IF they are put into place without thought and without the involvement of the industries that are killing our planet. This is a perfect time for reason and research and, as you said, balance.
What irks me is the greed of many corporations - they don't care about the planet and they don't care about their workers, if going green made them billions today they'd do it in a second or, if they had to give up a small % of huge profits in the short term to help our children's future they'd just lay off workers and blame the govt. - in those cases someone needs to step in and I think a govt sponsored plan is the only alternative.

Nessa said...

We could power the whole country just with the wind generated by politians.

bobbie said...

I get angry every time I hear one of those commercials telling us in such a reasonable voice about how "everyone knows" we need oil and gas. They keep telling me what I believe, only I don't.

I wish I could be as thorough and present it so rationally as you do.

Dianne said...

nessa - a hot air machine!!! you could make billions!

bobbie - and it's getting uglier. I got an e-mail telling me that "green legislation" is a "threat to your freedom" and should be "feared"

Jeff B said...

Laughing a Nessa's comment!

I really hope at least one president can resist the urge to succumb to big oil's deep pockets. Obama is the only one of late who just might be the one. Let's hope so.

A. said...

Where was that photo taken? Those turbines are beautiful! I've seen wind farms on the border between PA and NY, and I think they're lovely too. That said, there seems to be good reason to keep them out of residential areas. I read a NY Times (I think) article from a year or so ago where homeowners who lived close to the turbines reported migraines from the constant hum.

Otherwise, I really don't know too much about environmental matters, but it seems kinda obvious to me that wind is cleaner and cheaper than something like coal. Thanks for the education!


OldLady Of The Hills said...

I don't understand what is wrong with the people of our country that they don't GET IT! HELLO???
That we are so far behind on all these important essential things, IS Appalling! I find it all deeply deeply depressing.

Dianne said...

jeff - Nessa often boils it down to a good one liner! Most Repubs and many, many weak Dems are buckling under, that's part of what the NY Times article covers and it's so discouraging.

allison - the site didn't make it clear or I missed it. The idea itself comes from a young man in Canada so perhaps that's where it is? Sad to say but most innovations these days are coming from other countries.

oldoldady of the hills - what kills me is people with young children or grandchildren - how can they not want their kids to be able to breathe!

Linda Reeder said...

It's discouraging to me that so called moderates and conservative Democrats want to lower the standards and expectations, as stated in the NY Times article. It's all about economics, of course, but this resistance is causing us to lose in the race for new technology.
This reminds me of what's going on in education, but in reverse. As teachers we were told we must raise the bar, set higher standards, and have high expectations for ourselves and our students. If we didn't meet the new high standards, we were subject to "take overs" and loss of funding. The business world said we must raise better workers.
But when it comes to higher standards for those same businesses, they say "Oh, no, you'll break us."

the walking man said...

Synchronicity...Thursday poetry The Bill Owed Now was eco-oriented.

It is not surprising that other nations are far advanced in actual production of the tools of wind and solar power seeing as we have decimated our manufacturing base.

Remember how in WWII we were able to rapidly convert from peace to war time production? Now the plants that have been idled have been stripped of the tools of production and those tools sent or sold to overseas facilities.

Chrysler is closing * plants in America...why not push to convert them to wind and solar tool production?

Ken said...

Those windmilly thingys would do better standing up so "no matter which way the wind blows" they will spin.

maryt/theteach said...

I really wondered about those turbines above the traffic. Thanks for explaining! What a great idea! Great Think Green post! :)

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Dianne, I know you are an animal lover and I'm pretty sure there are even environmental concerns with these wind farms. But... compared to coal...

I'm with you on the greedy corporation bit. I guess I just see the government as even WORSE than the greedy corporations because they can put me in jail for not "buying" their product. :p

Nessa is right, and maybe if we just rounded up those political ads at election time, we could have a "renewable" energy source LOL!

Dianne said...

linda - many Dems have been disappointing me for a long time now, ever since they gave up and in to Bush over WMDs and invading Iraq.

walking man - I love the idea of ever being in sync with you! I still maintain that you're way smarter than I am although I know you'll argue with me ;)
I want so much for us to get back to a place where we actually make things, not pass funny money around for less 1% of us to get rich

micky - I wonder if they could make them standing up on those highway poles?

mary - I'm not sure if those turbines actually exist or if that is just a prototype - the green thinkers site had lots of ideas submitted by regular people

mrs c - I know there are concerns for birds but I believe there are ways around that
your last sentence got me thinking about another pet peeve of mine - the way elections are financed. that needs a major overhaul - I think more decent, regular folks would enter public serive of it didn't cost millions to get their message out

Unknown said...

This is excellent, Di. Just what I had in mind. Information can really change things around.