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They were covering this on Morning Edition when I got up this morning.  I thought, yes, entirely unrealistic.  But something about "shoot for the moon and hope you make it over the trees."  It is my opinion that America's been suffering from lowered expectations for some time now, and that this is one of the primary culprits of our current problems.  Back the day, if someone said "You can't put a man on the moon," America would respond, "Wanna make a bet?"  Now, we look for a million excuses why we just shouldn't be doing that right now.  We used to roll up our sleeves and rise to a challenge.  Or, that is how we saw ourselves.  

I wish there were some way to tap into that latent desire to be superior at everything in the American psyche, and use it to our advantage.  I wish we could mobilize people to rid the world of carbon emissions the same way we used to mobilize people to rid the world of communists...

(Totally off-topic, the 2 minute Russia hate segment was back on Morning Edition.  Whew.  I was concerned they might be falling for Medvedev's charms there for a moment.)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jul 17th, 2008 at 03:33:59 PM EST
"Shoot for the Moon, and hope you make it over the trees" is the right attitude.  Yes, I quite agree that what harms us more than anything on issues such as energy is sickeningly low expectations.  Too much caution.  Nobody willing to stand up and try to rally the country to something other than killing Muslims.

I think, or at least hope, we can, and I'm glad to see Al and others making a big push suddenly.

Hell, even guys like Bob Barr have apparently got religion.  A consensus seems to be slowly building.

So can America get it up anymore?  I suppose we're going to find out.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jul 17th, 2008 at 03:48:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the NY Times article J linked above, there's a commentary on the speech, which includes this:

The (Annotated) Gore Energy Speech - Dot Earth - Climate Change and Sustainability - New York Times Blog

[ Andy Revkin - There's no reason not to think big, although it might be harder for Mr. Gore to make this kind of statement if already in office, or seeking one, because it would be hard to find experts immersed in the challenges of generating, storing and distributing electricity at large scale who could chart an achievable or affordable 10-year path to doing this. Joe Romm at ClimateProgress.org said a more realistic ambitious goal would be 50-percent renewable electricity sources by 2020. And of course "affordable" is a word dependent entirely on public attitudes, so if the public can be energized sufficiently by leadership or circumstances, theoretically anything is possible. That remains a big "if." Here's some recent coverage of the limits and promise of wind power and solar power and ways of storing electricity for sunless, windless stretches.]

What J spelled out in his analysis is surrounded by experts who not only could chart out the necessary path, but already have the experience of putting it in place.  Let's not forget that a half dozen companies, primarily European, have already built turbine assembly facilities in the US these past few years.  They have established rotor blade and other component manfuacturing facilities as well.

It is just this type of investment which allowed the US to go from 2400 Megawatts in both 2005 and 2006, to 5200 Megawatts in 2007, and the projected 7-8,000 MWs this year.  Because of the industry's phenomenal growth, the kind of supply chain issues which would form the basis of an industrial plan are already being worked for the past four years.

Europe has already built the first generation infrastructure necessary to make an Apollo like program.  We already have the statistics of how many jobs the industry can provide with such a program.

At least a half dozen community colleges in windy areas from Oregon to Iowa have begun or accelerated wind technician programs, and more are coming online.  One wind company has a working agreement with a steelworkers union to use thier wrkforce to assemble turbines.  These will begin to provide the US with a level of service infrastructure now found only in Europe.

Watching the video, i didn't hear one thing that hadn't been said by many of us through the decades, including his key points.  But it certainly carries more weight coming from him.  Especially knowing that Wall Street is already onboard.

Aside to J:  many of the midwest resource areas have higher capacity factors than you ascribe in your diary, so to get the same TWhs you probably can drop your capacity estimates, perhaps even by 15-20%.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jul 17th, 2008 at 04:55:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The key is figuring out how to disconnect the narcotizing IV drip that has been installed into the body politic by the self interested, aided and abetted by the misled.  The only real solution is for enough of the population to realize that what they have been led to believe is what is destroying their lives.  Just that.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jul 17th, 2008 at 04:21:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wish there were some way to tap into that latent desire to be superior at everything in the American psyche, and use it to our advantage.  I wish we could mobilize people to rid the world of carbon emissions the same way we used to mobilize people to rid the world of communists...

music to the ears!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 20th, 2008 at 08:38:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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