In response to our May 7 special issue, “Surviving the Climate Crisis,” readers suggested remedies like installing solar panels in the median strips of all Interstates, requiring a “green” roof on every flat-topped building, investigating “artificial photosynthesis,” dumping the combustion engine and opening up debate on nuclear power. Several complained that we did not cite overpopulation as the main threat to the planet and that the Nation cruise is not a green endeavor.
Kudos to The Nation for pointing out how timid industry and government have been in responding to the green power challenge. California, Oregon, Montana and Massachusetts are struggling to take back the power by establishing publicly owned utilities. Pacific Gas and Electric spent more than $15 million on elections to kill the effort of the Coalition for Local Power to annex 70,000 electric meters from PG&E to the publicly owned Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The latter charges 30 percent less than PG&E and has installed twice as much wind capacity per capita. Here in Davis, more than 60 percent voted to support our public power revolution, a testimony to the ten years of grassroots organizing that inoculated the electorate against PG&E’s Big Lies.
The Iowa Farmers Union has pointed out that C-BED (Community-Based Economic Development) laws can support community and local ownership of wind energy resources. C-BED has generated nearly $1 billion in proposed economic development in Minnesota, where it is now law. C-BED is a way to help keep renewable energy profits in our rural areas rather than letting outside investors extract resources and profits. And it will help provide long-term, reasonably priced electricity. Big energy firms and utilities will likely be pressuring legislators to kill C-BED in states that don’t have it. We should not let them do this. Renewable energy’s benefits should go to rural communities.
James Hansen correctly points out that we need new building energy-efficiency standards because buildings, particularly residences, are responsible for nearly 50 percent of US CO