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As Election Nears, Polling Shows 82% of Voters Believe 100% Clean Power Should Be Primary US Energy Goal

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/27/election-nears-polling-shows-82-voters-believe-100-clean-power-should-be-primary-us

The fact that “Democrats” like Biden don’t campaign on just this issue - despite polling like what’s being reported in this story - is all the evidence i need to know that they’re simply the Public Relations wing of the neo-Nazi duopoly.

i constantly hammer home to Republican voters that i encounter that - if they love their kids & want them to have a future - they should reconsider what they’re voting for. Can’t say it works on 'em, but…does anything?

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Removing the fossilized grip carbon based energy extraction companies have on the world’s economy and power structures will be a long, painful, and necessary exercise lest said dead liquid dinosaurs kill this planet. However, until the 82% get good at insisting upon clean power at every available opportunity and voting with their money…the fossil fuels mafia will hang on for dear life until they have extracted every bit of the toxic stuff out of the earth and into our ecosystem. We are well past the point of politeness with these sociopaths (not that it ever worked with them anyways), as all they respect is money and power. Do as much as you can and proclaim it at every available opportunity.

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This polling once again proves the study by Professors Gilens and Page is 100% accurate.

(h)ttps://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/04/24/gilens_and_page_find_that_rich_americams_rule_politics_but_dispair_the_fact.html

A race is underway for renewable energy storage. We have many contestants. The question is no longer “if” we can store renewable energy and have 100% renewables to meet peak demand. The question is, which systems will outperform and underprice the other systems.

There will probably always be a place for lithium batteries because of their weight to power ratio. However, for most energy storage we don’t have to worry about weight. Cost is key.

Hydropumping, the storage of water, releasing it through turbines when peak power is needed, works as a baseline energy storage option. However, building a pond on top of a mountain can be a bit expensive and it sometimes has environmental side issues including the release of greenhouse gases from the mud on the new pond’s bottom.

In my opinion, systems that store solar heat will win the race. But that’s just me.

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In addition, I don’t like the problem setup. The amount of energy we produce as electricity as opposed to gasoline will depend on how many BEVs (or plug-in hybrids when driven on electricity) are out there. So if we have two futures, one where our electricity is 90% zero carbon (and the other 10% having say the metric ton CO2/MWh of a typical gas fired plant now) and one where our electricity is 100% zero carbon but we have not replaced (with electricity) nearly as much fossil fuel use in terms of heat/hot water/industrial heat/transportation, then I can’t evaluate those two futures on this percentage alone - I need to know the entire picture. The 90% solution might actually be less in total CO2 emissions and therefore the better path.

If we lived in a country where there was a modest amount of math and science literacy among all people (a highly desirable goal - I think everyone should go to college in fact and everyone should learn enough math and science over the years to grasp some of what is going on in this world), we would be discussing goals as net carbon and methane emissions (with an attempt to factor in the emissions of goods imported and exported). So we should be discussing bounds on the future values of plots such as ~https://www.statista.com/statistics/183943/us-carbon-dioxide-emissions-from-1999/ (and an equivalent one for methane). We are at around 5.25 billion metric tons of C02 emissions per year now - can that be cut by 90% by 2040? 2050? later yet? Can we ever get to zero or negative by carbon capture and/or reforestation/soil building? Let’s see more plots and less buzzwords please.

And does Biden have any math/science literacy? Apparently not as from the last debate, he seems unable to distinguish between actual air pollution (like the oil slick on a windshield he mentioned) and emissions that aren’t a direct cause in hurting human health (the amounts of CO2 and methane in the air don’t do a damn thing to humans) but do end up modifying our environment significantly and to our detriment. I realize the convention is not to announce cabinet positions in advance, but it would help if Biden would let us know he was at least going to pick a decent person for Department of Energy and other positions having to do with this issue.

Cc @KC2669, @Trog @dpearl

That’s not going to happen until after the election. His campaign has already put out a statement saying as much. Campaigns generally try to avoid looking like they are measuring drapes too soon.

~https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.politico.com/amp/news/2020/10/15/biden-transition-team-cabinet-jockeying-429450

Without an all out effort to support research and development for new sources of renewable energy, meanwhile use wind and solar as bridge energy sources, we are doomed. And, so long as we allow our government to keep us fighting endless wars which steal the monetary resources to support new renewable energy research and development we are doomed. If there was ever cause for revolution it faces us now.

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What new sources are you thinking of? Does that mean completely new sources? I don’t think that is possible - science understands all sources of renewable energy which ultimately come from the sun (wind, biomass, solar PV, hydro) or moons orbit (tides) or original heat of the earth (geothermal). Or do you mean new ways of efficiently converting known renewable sources to electricity (or process heat if it can be used)?

Do you consider mostly carbon free sources like fusion or advanced reactor design fission as allowable options or are they not renewable enough? (is 10 thousand years close enough to renewable? 100 thousand? In billions the sun will be gone)

Given this is supposed to be an existential election, you would think any prior conventional wisdom would always need to be reconsidered in the light of todays environment. if the concern is not appearing to be taking a win for granted, I don’t think that is a valid worry after Trump broke the convention with the Supreme Court list. If the concern that the best people for the job themselves wouldn’t want to be identified until the confirmation process could start right away, I guess I hadn’t thought of that possibility, but it seems unlikely. If the concern is that the Republicans can use this info to attack the particulars, I say good - Democrats could certainly attack the particulars of Trump’s supreme court list (another thing candidates don’t normally do) and I’d prefer to know what the hell Biden actually thinks by judging the people he picks given I don’t find him all that coherent.

I was against announcing VP or cabinet ideas for Sanders during the primary, but that seems different enough that I don’t have a problem flipping my opinion now. The problem in the primary is that the same person might serve for more than one of the candidates but if they get mentioned by one, they would be less likely to get mentioned by another. This isn’t an issue in the general as there is no way in hell Trump would every pick anybody good for DOE, EPA, Interior, State, etc., etc. I doubt Biden is going to have many good choices either, but they will for sure be different people. And I’ll be pleasantly surprised if there are few good picks - we’ll see what happens if he wins.

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The polls are encouraging news, but it’s not nearly enough. People have to be educated about the direness of the situation, and about 2050 being far too late. We need to eliminate at least 90% of fossil fuels by 2030, and the rest very soon after. For that, people will also need help dealing with the emotional adjustment. Only universal health care including mental health care will be up to the job. A universal basic income and inviolable maximum income will also be necessary (the closer the 2 are, the better, and having them the same is the only way to preserve democracy long-term), as will free or affordable education for all.

The problem of converting grids to renewable energy, and converting primary energy to electricity, are essentially the same problem, with many interlinked solutions, all of which need to be under the umbrella of a massive emergency climate mobilization, a green new deal coordinated and directed by government.

In the US, for example, when we found out (yesterday) that GM and Ford knew about climate catastrophe in the 1960s, we’re reminded that in the US the market share for EVs is 2%. In Norway, because of government policies, they rely far more on public transit, and the market share of EVs is 65%. Sweden, Iceland 30-35%+, several other European countries 10-11%. And China has 98% of the world’s 450,000 EV buses and 2/3 of the world’s high speed rail, both crucial climate solutions. The US has 300 EV buses and a barely functioning rail system at all (except for carrying lots of coal, which made the rail industry one of the chief funders of climate denial as well as a cheerleader for dismantling the passenger rail system.)

We also have solutions right now to all the problems people pretend are reasons we’ll fail—hocketing the grid, concrete, steel, shipping, flying… Just like Republicans deny climate catastrophe is even real because they don’t like the solutions,[1] Democrats, independents, and others deny we have those solutions because they don’t like them—to the point where they’re not even considered possible, or discussed. They break the rules: 1. that rich people must profit from every action humanity takes, and in ever-greater amounts, since it’s an addiction, and 2. that we must always go faster and faster, and ever deeper into technology that distracts us from reality, including real relationships.

We can eliminate emissions, however, and we don’t need any new sources of energy or technologies, although improvements are always welcome. (We could use a Manhattan Project to speed development in several solar, battery, and floating wind technologies, eg.) Many studies have shown ways to get there, including a recent one with 2035 as the goal; others, along with reality, show we can afford it, and can’t afford not doing it. Biden’s $2 trillion is utterly pathetic; it’s either denial and incompetence or lying, and will likely cost 20 times that. But it will be an investment that will pay off many times over, and will avoid monetary costs estimated at something on the order of 200 times that, although it’s absurd to count the money costs of the end of the world.

Neither half of the corporate duopoly will ever do what’s necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change. Biden will not appoint anyone willing to do any of it, especially at the speed we need, because it will reduce corporate and oligarchic profits and that’s unacceptable to the corporate Democrats’ real constituency—their donors. That’s who selects 99% of US presidents, senators and representatives, and the vast majority of state officials. Given that, and the deadline provided by physics, chemistry, and ecology, it will take a massive peaceful revolution to force any oligarchy-selectable government to do what we need in time to matter.

[1] Inhofe’s Stunning Admission To Maddow on Global Warming: ”I Thought It Must Be True Until I Found Out What It Cost”
The journalist Michael Kinsley famously said, “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.”
~https://thinkprogress.org/inhofes-stunning-admission-to-maddow-on-global-warming-i-thought-it-must-be-true-until-i-found-out-c3c029b40c3a#.91zovox83
~https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdaZ5zIWB-M See 4:11
But as we’ve seen, it’s not the cost that deters them; they’re perfectly willing to spend trillions of public money on themselves and each other, just not on others, especially poor people (aka “losers”) and people of other races.

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I genuinely do not understand your point. Are you criticizing Biden for not announcing a slate of cabinet picks a week before the election? Would that change your vote?

I suppose it could if the picks were amazing. But I’m likely way too far gone for Biden to get me. I’m talking of people closer to the margins who he doesn’t have yet. And yes I agree it’s too late now - if he were willing to do this, it would have to have been a month ago.

Well, most campaigns don’t do this because it looks desperate, like Ted Cruz choosing his Vice President before Trump won the primary in 2016. It also may convey a sense of entitlement that could turn voters off. I mean, we know who some of Biden’s key policy people are, like Stef Feldman, and we know they’ve been working with people like former Jay Inslee adviser, Jamal Raad. The Biden campaign has set up a transition team, but from what I’ve read, it’s only just begun vetting potential candidates for positions.

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I can understand your angst but a one-issue platform is political suicide. Yes, without a doubt Climate Change is the most significant threat we as a planetary civilization has ever faced for what could be worse than the destruction of life as we know it.
However, people need to work and have a living wage and good public schools and safe streets with nonracist law enforcement and safe food not polluted by industrial waste in our rivers and so much more.
Believe me, if we can’t learn to do more than walk and chew gum by January twenty-first we had better get it Together!

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You’re right, you’re right…gotta be practical.

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Can we get BIG water tanks like those used to put some pressure on water in pipes used to deliver water to customers? And put water on the way from big tanks through water turbines to generate some electricity on its way from up high storage to a farm field where it is needed for irrigation?

I wonder if it might be cheaper to both replace fossil fuels with renewable energy and buy fossil fuels as mineral rights at a generous price than to just replace fossil fuels with renewables without any effort to buy out the fossil fuel owners. Fighting about anything is usually expensive.

A brave soul already tried that: look at the Wikipedia entry for Tim DeChristopher.
The fossil fuels mafia is all for the free market until it is used against them, or it means giving up subsidies (some of which date back to the 19th Century).

That’s possible, but to achieve the scale of electricity generation that society wants requires large ponds.

It’s possible to cover the ponds with white sunlight-reflecting floats to reduce pond evaporation, if extra water loss is a problem in arid areas. Cheap floats can be made out of recycled pop bottles but they won’t last long. I have designs for improved floats.