Saturday, November 17, 2007

What If?

What would life in the United States be like if all carbon-based fuels were rationed, not on the basis of available supply, but on the basis of carbon emissions?

What if power plants were held to a cap on carbon emissions and shut down when they used up their cap?

What if gasoline were rationed not by price but by carbon per gallon?

What if American business and citizens were thus forced to use non-carbon based fuels for power generation, transportation, construction, and heating?

Is it any more equitable to ration by price instead of by carbon pollution?

There might be…

** rolling blackouts by power plants as they reached their carbon limit…
** public health consequences, economic disruption, and social dislocation if there is no public transit and limited carbon fuels available for transportation of food and consumer goods
** the price of clean energy fuels would rise as demand rises, making another stress on the economy

How fast could local and regional governments build public transit that would replace less efficient family cars?

How would industry ship its products using carbon-neutral transportation?

The "Locavore" movement would take off like a shot! Farms, CSA, “victory gardens” all over America – we would all need to learn to grow new crops as climate warms and precipitation changes

How many years will it take to shift to a system of carbon credits to protect the atmosphere?

If, in 2008, we pass laws that would force a reduction in carbon pollution from all sources by 15% within FIVE YEARS – or 20% in 10 years - and announced the future carbon cap enforcement plan, what would start happening?

*** Automakers would build engines that use flex fuels or plug-in electrics in vehicles that are designed to be efficient from inside out… trucks and truck engines must be held to equally tough standards…
*** All possible trains switch to electric, with improvements made in diesel engines as all transportation needs to shift to cleaner mix of carbon fuels…
*** Nuclear power plants might regain favor, raising all of the existing issues about long term nuclear waste security, fuel transportation, etc.
*** Wind farms would become more profitable and face fewer hurdles if they promise a clean, non-rationed power supply to the residents and businesses in the immediate vicinity…
*** New buildings and existing factories would attempt to generate their own power on site
*** Solar generation projects (local and large scale) would start up
*** Incentives to create new Hydro power stations would put further stress on rivers and streams where fish passage is already threatened. New hydro projects must include fish passage that is designed for future climate change impacts to allow species to adapt
*** Energy efficiency would be implemented across the board: manufacturing, transportation, construction industries
*** Owners of forests would be given credit for carbon sequestration

How many years do we have to decide?

What is the alternative?

Rationing by price… in a dirty world… with massive climate changes altering daily life around the globe

Why is no one talking about it? Scientists and we in the green movement need the support of elected officials and industry leaders… advocates of "change now" cannot be too far on the fringe if we want to be effective.

This is about saving the Earth… our world… everything in it and on it… not just the American economy, jobs, the shoreline, property values, animal life… people all over the world and life on Earth.

check out:
Saturday, March 29th, 2008
8:00-9:00 p.m. nationwide

No comments: