Signs of progress despite political gridlock in Washington

by Mike Gaworecki

August 28, 2008

While many of our politicians are busy debating false solutions like drilling the OCS, nuclear energy, and carbon capture and sequestration, global warming is already wreaking havoc on planet Earth. For instance, five infectious diseases that have been virtually eradicated in the developed world are thriving as temperatures rise across the globe.

Our federal politicians may be delaying action, but several state governments and businesses are moving forward on their own. Here are some of the most promising developments from just the past couple weeks:

  • Construction has begun on New Mexico’s first geothermal power plant, which is expected to be generating 10 megawatts of power by next year.
  • Two California businesses announced they are building the world’s largest solar power arrays, which will be capable of producing up to 800 megawatts on a sunny day. This is not only a boon to California’s energy mix but also “the latest indication that solar energy is starting to achieve a significant scale,” according to the New York Times.
  • Google announced it was investing $10 million in a “breakthrough” geothermal technology as part of its plan to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into sustainable energy development.
  • Even global warming-denying federal legislators may soon be treading on recycled carpet when they report to work in our nation’s capitol thanks to new legislation that would make Washington D.C. the first major American city to require new construction projects to follow the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • In Colorado, a local power company met their goal of providing 10% of the state’s power through sustainable sources eight years ahead of schedule, prompting them to double the target to 20%. In the past 18 months alone, Colorado’s wind energy capacity has quadrupled.

A frequent argument against making the switch to sustainable energy sources is that the technology is not there yet, or that it would be prohibitively expensive to make the switch. Not only do they greatly underestimate the engenuity and industriousness of the American people, but these arguments are just plain wrong, as these projects demonstrate. Renewable energy technologies are ready to go, and citizens and industry leaders alike are ready to start seriously combating global warming. All that’s lacking is the political will in Washington.

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