Green Energy Economy, Vision for a Healthier, Happier Future

Baby Sally, when you graduate from college in 2032, the world will be different than it is today.

You will have a comfortable home, so well insulated and ventilated that it will need very little heat or cooling, and may get these from geothermal. Your electricity will be mainly from clean energy sources, wind and solar, powering highly efficient appliances and lighting. You may have a car or scooter, and its battery will add to your home’s electric storage.

For most of your transportation, you will be able to use transit, frequent electric mini-buses and high speed trains and buses, giving you a relaxing ride to work, stores or recreation without traffic delays. You may live close enough to schools, community centers and parks so that you can walk or bike to them on tree lined paths, and use a shared car for longer trips.

You may work in the booming clean energy industry. American inventors and entrepreneurs will be manufacturing green technologies such as solar, wind, wave, geothermal, battery, algae fuel, smart grids, and charging stations. They will be hiring people with skills in engineering, software, marketing and international sales to serve these vibrant new domestic businesses. Sustainability policies will have become normal, – zero pollution, recycling and composting, preservation of sources of clean water, and methane and heat recovery, and protection against pollution of air, soil and food supplies.

We will be encouraged by our success in slowing the warming of the Earth with conservation, efficiency and clean energy. Around the world people will be farming in new ways that conserve water and topsoil, planting trees, restoring wetlands, and meeting many of their needs with local resources and efficient methods informed by high tech information services.

The carbon pollution already in the atmosphere will probably have melted so much of Greenland and West Antarctic ice that the oceans will flood many seacoast cities. We will have to make painful decisions to stop trying to protect or rebuild some areas and instead move homes, businesses, schools, airports and port facilities inland. Hopefully our patriotism and democracy will help us work together for the needs of our communities.

Money to finance these changes will be available from consumers who previously paid fossil fuel companies for oil, coal or natural gas. Our government will not have to pay to protect foreign sources and shipments of oil. Investments in efficiency measures in buildings and transportation will be paying back with lower energy costs. American made green technology will bring increased export earnings and spur markets for other products. Corporations that had accumulated trillions in savings while they waited for relief from volatile fuel costs will enjoy the steady energy rates and profitably invest in the new clean energy markets.

Will we get everything we want? No. We will still be consumers, greedy for toys and pretty things. However, we can rein in our indulgence in wasteful luxuries. We can courageously listen to and follow the treatment plan advised the climate scientists, specialists in the health of the world. We can heed the dire warnings of the consequences of continuing to release warming emissions and make carbon free policies and lifestyle our first priority.

It will not be easy, but the alternative is to fail to protect you from the worst outcomes of uncontrolled weather disruption. I promise to do everything I can to save, for you, a world with butterflies, that can feed the children, and educate them to take care of their children. We can do this; we can change from a fossil fuel based economy to sustainability in a green economy, stabilizing the climate and living healthier lives.

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