“IOWA CITY — THE wind turbines that rise out of the cornfields here reminded me on a recent drive of one postelection truth, even in the red state of Iowa.As President-elect Donald J. Trump considers whether to break the United States commitment to the Paris climate accord, the rise of clean energy across the heartland is already too well entrenched to be reversed.
By 2020, thanks to MidAmerican Energy’s planned $3.6 billion addition to its enormous wind turbine operations, 85 percent of its Iowa customers will be electrified by clean energy. Meanwhile, Moxie Solar, named the fastest-growing local business by The Corridor Business Journal of Iowa, is installing solar panels on my house, and is part of a solar industry that now employs 200,000 nationwide.
Doomsday scenarios about the climate have abounded in the aftermath of the November election. But responsibility for effectively reining in carbon emissions also rests with business, and with the nation’s cities and states. Those are the battlegrounds. Worldwide, cities produce as much as 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.”
David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval
Great piece, about good works. I feel pessimistic quite often. The real culprit is population growth. The earth just went from 1 to 7.5 billion humans in the last 100 years, and is scheduled to go to 13 billion in the next century or so. The graphs of population growth and carbon dioxide increase are almost identical.
Is Trump going to initiate a tax on CO2, carbon dioxide emissions? Maybe we will have to do it on a state by state level. In the long term, the problem is self healing. The sea levels will rise, there will be billions of climate change refugees, and the wars and massacres will reduce our numbers, as in the past, exacerbated by the decline in water and food. Like a giant algae bloom, the explosive growth of the human population will cause the extermination of our species, and thousands of others species as well. Everyday, I wonder, why is population growth still a mostly taboo subject for world leaders and the press?
David blogs at InconvenientNews.wordpress.com.
Agree 100%. The cities are moving forward. The economics of solar and wind are driving their growth. Even Kansas supports wind power and is a major producer. There is money to be made in energy.
The farmers are beginning to realize that. Corn is booming because of ethanol requirements. Ethanol is barely an energy gainer if at all. Corn sucks the water out of the land, much more than wheat does. The land is drying up from drought. Instead of growing corn, farmers can grow solar. They can rent the land or get a piece of the profits. Ditto for wind.
Individuals can change their behavior and drive electric cars. By 2020 we will have many affordable choices with good range. In the mean time, I bought an electric bike and love it. If its dry, over 40 and less than 7 miles away, I use my bike. It averages a bit over 20 mph with light pedaling.
The autonomous vehicle will make light rail obsolete. Light rail cost $100 million per mile. Cities could buy autonomous vans that seat 6 or 8 people and have them programmed to pick people up and transport them, like a serial taxi, constantly picking up and dropping off, keeping the van full. No more bus stops. If they cost $100K, a city could buy 1000 of them for the cost of one mile of light rail. Imagine thousands of them moving everyone everywhere, constantly in motion. Just order and pay for it with your phone.
Individuals can make this happen. Vote people. Vote with your dollar.