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Building a Renewable Energy Future


Building a Renewable Energy Future

Ralph Nader

The U.S. has some big problems that require bold solutions. Unfortunately, books about solutions to our society’s problems are often given short shrift by reviewers or languish on our bookshelves. As I often say, this country has more problems than it deserves and more solutions than it uses. Now comes S. David Freeman.


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Thank you Ralph Nader. Also David Freeman.
January is just around the corner. I can feel it in my bones: 2016 is going to be the year Renewable Energy really takes off .


You are correct, even so, Ralph is not saying we can continue with consumption driven corporatism. He knows as well as you do that all advanced countries reach the point of gradual population decline, even China is below replacement and is now declining in population along with other successful countries like Germany and Japan.

Imagine the US abandoning barbaric endless terrorism and war and going with 100% renewables. Imagine Europe exporting schools and solar power for students in rural countries to study at night, instead of exporting European weapons of mass destruction and regime changes.

Imagine a fully educated world population that uses less and less per capita as the population slowly declines. Earth heals and rebounds to former bounty for all life forms. Ralph is telling us about a new way of living that reduces consumption, increases health and grows to infinity qualitatively. He is kind enough to inform us of a new book and I'm going to get it.


Maybe you need to check out your sources in support of your questions on sustainability. This book sounds like a reasonable place to hear about the sustainability side of renewables. These books contain new research and new technological innovations but five years later they become dated by new developments. At the moment this book sounds like a fresh update on the situation.

Yay Bernie in any case! :wink:


We need to build a renewable energy future. Reducing our dependence on oil would be a great step in the right direction.


I think techically we could do it but just a 3% reduction annually in emissions is probably not enough, and certainly not enough to stay below 1.5C. So even if we achieved this we are still likely to be in disastrous situation. The main obstacles are political. What is suggested here would require a price on carbon and all 50 states fully participating. This can't happen with so many many Republican members of Congress and governors denying climate change and many millions of voters agreeing with these Republican politicians.. So this renewable energy future requires political change and it does not appear to evident when this will take place soon enough if it does at all.


Fear drives the war machine that runs on oil. No fear no oil no wars no trillion $ Pentagon budget


"this country has more problems than it deserves"

And every single one of them is self-inflicted. The problem is that these problems have been inflicted on the ROTW as well.


"while the price of oil fluctuates with an upward trend."

I'm all for renewable energy once we figure out how we can generate it constantly i.e when the wind's not blowing or sun's not shining, but with statement like the one above they are not working helping their credibility.


"As I often say, this country has more problems than it deserves..."

Ralph, you have always been on my Most Appreciated List,
however, this country GETS EXACTLY WHAT IT DESERVES.

Our problems derive from a broken & corrupt political system,
which is virtually impossible to fix.

Article-V of the U.S. Constitution cannot accomplish anything
because the corrupt Congress will not propose an Amendment, and
the corrupted state legislatures will not call for a State's

I know from watching all your interviews -- that you keep saying
it's easier to change the government than we think -- but if the
2008 crash and the Occupy Movement couldn't accomplish anything,
then it can't really be that ''easy.''

So, imho, it will take another 1930's Great Depression for there
to be enough available, unemployed folks to turn out in mass
to force the government to reform itself -- that is if we are
lucky enough to have a President as competent as FDR.


"Rapid progress toward an all-renewables future is being stymied not by lack of technology, or even by cost or market demand, but by lack of vision on the part of our political and business leaders, and lobbying and persuasive advertising by the oil, gas, coal, and nuclear industries."

The above statement is the bottom line. And that's why these corporations fund think tanks that pay poseurs to man comment threads so that in the place of this self-evident truth, they can instead posit the following Talking Points each one designed to blur the issue:

  1. Population numbers
  2. (In response to opposition to nuclear power) Push the idea that people are anti-science
  3. Make it about individual choice--particularly with respect to the individual's mode of transportation and/or whether he/she eats meat
  4. Allude to public apathy
  5. Play down the efforts of persons like Kumi Naidoo (head of Green Peace), Bill McKibben, and Naomi Klein and others.
  6. Insist that it's human nature to destroy the earth
  7. Send in the doomsday types who insist--it's too late. Nothing can be done.

For disinformation to work effectively, it must contain a kernel of truth. However, it's used to purposely offset the crucial dynamics.


"Nuclear power is a poor economic risk, requiring full government (taxpayer) loan guarantees, and also because no private insurance is available for an accident that causes billions of dollars of damage."

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Never yet to be resolved is what to do with all the radioactive spent waste.

Also, with climate changes sending major flood waters to areas that previously didn't experience that threat, while drying up areas accustomed to decent rainfall... the water sources that nuclear power plants rely upon can no longer be guaranteed for a decade or more.

These plants are way too dangerous regardless of who insures them... or doesn't.

The best insurance is not to execute the thing that is known to do harm... in the first place!


The U.S. has the unique title of holding most of the world's weapon suppliers. Nice try putting THAT on Europe.


Yes Arby, my friends on the right are afraid the lefties will take away their guns, and my friends on the left think the right-wing will take their away pro-choice, etc.
So both sides are fearful of a ''runaway convention.''

So if the States Convention was ever actually convened, I am certain
that both sides would tie it up in the courts for years and years
because of mucho technicalities.

Beyond that, what is the remedy if the Congress refuses to call the
States Convention? An example, from ''The Article-V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress''
by Thomas H. Neale, Specialist in American National Government
of the Congressional Research Service, April 11, 2014:

''The issue thus becomes increasingly complex depending on these two factors: whether applications expire or are valid indefinitely, and whether rescission is permissible under the Constitution. For instance:

''Ohio and Michigan could be counted as the 33rd and 34th states to apply for an Article-V Convention to propose a balanced federal budget amendment IF state applications are valid indefinitely AND rescission of applications is unconstitutional.

''They could be counted as the 22nd and 23rd applications IF state applications are valid indefinitely AND rescission is constitutional.

''Finally, Ohio and Michigan could be the sixth and seventh applications for a convention to consider a balanced federal budget amendment IF state applications have a limited, seven-year lifespan.

''To summarize, IF applications are valid indefinitely AND rescission is unconstitutional, THEN THE CONSTITUTIONAL THRESHOLD FOR AN ARTICLE-V CONVENTION HAS ARGUABLY BEEN REACHED. IF applications have a limited life span AND/OR rescission is constitutional, then THE THRESHOLD HAS NOT BEEN ATTAINED.''

To date, Congress has done nothing to sort through the above.

So, imho, the only effective approach will be for Congress to propose
an Amendment for the states to vote on.

AND, I agree with ''Move to Amend'' that the ''Nolan Amendment'' is the
most effective one of the dozen or so in Congress.

However, in 2014, before turning the Senate over to the Republicans,
Harry Reid allowed the Senate to vote on one of the watered down
versions of the Nolan Amendment -- which failed to achieve the Super-majority
needed to pass the Senate Republican filibuster.

BUT NOTICE that the Dem Party didn't bother to throw us this bone until
they lost both houses of Congress to the Republicans.
Had this been a priority when Obama took office, he could have used his
political capital to champion the cause.

The Constitution is rigged against us (electoral college, no venue for the people to directly propose a Constitutional Amendment, the Congress and President ignore the Constitution at will, the SCOTUS does not enforce liberty and justice for ALL);
The political system is bought and paid for by the plutocracy, and the two-party dictatorship both feed at the same trough; and half the voters are either brain-washed, ignorant, apathetic, or only care about the next big sale at Sears or the next Super-Bowl.

So there's a hard wind a blowing, -- for humanity, mother nature, and our precious planet.

''I tell you that if they keep silent, the very stones will cry out.''
And as he approached and saw the city, he wept and said, ''Jerusalem!, if only you could have seen on this very day, what would have brought you peace! — but now it is hidden from your eyes.'' Luke 19:40-42

P.S. Another interesting resource on is ''Proposing Constitutional Amendments by a Convention of the States'' by Robert G. Natelson, -- published by the right-wing ALEC.


Notice that Germany is selling missile subs to Israel and France is selling troop transport ships to Egypt.

Also notice that Europe destroyed democracy in Greece just like the US did in Honduras, etc.

If everyone lived like europeans, the world would need three planets for pollution recycling and resources.

Yes, the US is the worst example of barbaric behavior but others are not far behind. The world economy currently uses 1.5 Earths for resources and pollution recycling and if everybody lived like the US, humanity would require four Earths.


I find it helps to understand the opposition (i.e. ALEC et.al.) so I know what I'm up against. Also, I agree with Ralph Nader that we have to find some common ground with populists on the right-wing in order to force the political system to take us seriously. My friends in the Tea Party are against ''crony capitalism,'' which my friends on the left call ''corporate welfare'' -- so we populists, left & right, have common ground there.
I am neither for nor against an Article-V States' Convention.
The Nolan Amendment in Congress is our best hope, -- but no guarantee.

According to the political writings of Zapatista Marcos,
The "Cold War" was the "Third World War" between capitalism and Stalinism. We are now in the "Fourth World War" -- in which corporate multi-nationalism, neo-liberalism and globalization wage a financial war against the working class, the working poor, the marginalized populations, and the planet itself.

This current manifestation of unbridled, predatory capitalism, and its war against the have-nots ( justified for the sake of profits ) will wreck havoc on our planet and our fellow citizens.

But regardless of the odds against us, we fight on.
In Zapatista schools, the history of colonialism is taught, and the capitalist emphasis on individualism, competition, consumerism, and profits-before-people is exposed and replaced with the humanitarian values of communalism, solidarity, and responsible stewardship of nature and our planet.

Stay Vigilant Arby.


"Internal Combustion" tells how GM conspired to acquire all public rail and destroy it to make people rely on cars and trucks.

I want reparations.


What A disgusting, paranoid remark to A well written post- You are so small, in so many ways....You're petty little accusations take from you any good that you may accomplish-