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Heroes and Villains of the Renewable Energy Debate

HEROES&VILLAINS OF THE RENEWABLE ENERGY DEBATE Every hero needs a villain; every villain needs a hero. And they both need a cause that demands great, superhuman feats. They're not just found in comic books and movies, though. Real heroes are trying to save our planet, with real adversaries fighting against them along the way. Somewhere in the middle, one will emerge - either to lead or betray us. Our villains fight with money, greed, politics, and ignorance. Hope, truth, and science are the battle cry of those fighting the good fight. Here are just a few of the people to watch in this epic battle for survival. RENEWABLE ENERGY DEFINED 13.1% Deriving from natural processes and replenishing faster than it's consumed, the various natural types of renewable energy include: Amount of the world's main energy supply originating from renewable energy sources in 2009*, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) HYDRO SOLAR WIND (Most recent data available) THE HEROES NEW YORK CITY MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG Assembled a task force to assess NYC's vulnerabilities and When Hurricane Sandy unleashed her fury on the great city of New York, Bloomberg watched in horror as his people endured power loss, flooding, and destruction. He vowed it would never happen again. announced plans for a $20 billion flood-barrier system to protect low-lying areas from storms Signed PlaNYC:A Greener, Greater New York-legislation aimed to fight global warming, protect the environment, and prepare New York City for the estimated 1 million-plus citizens to come by 2030 Contributed $50 million through Bloomberg Philanthropies to the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, committed to reducing the number of coal-fired power plants in the United States TOM STEYER, AKA "DADDY GREENBUCKS" Fearless fighter and billionaire Steyer, who made his fortune in finance, vowed to spend any amount of his $1.4 billion net worth to pressure politicians to take climate change seriously Created the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and has gone head-to-head against incumbent dirty energy players, including Keystone XL pipeline's emerging threat. All he's missing is a bat cave. at Stanford University with $40 million of his own fortune to focus on developing affordable renewable energy technologies, such as finding ways to overcome major barriers to the development of large-scale solar power installations Came to California's rescue, donating $5 million to the campaign against Prop 23 to roll back the state's prized environmental laws, which was soundly defeated in the public vote Joined the contingent of billionaires in the Giving Pledge to donate half their fortunes to charity. He's also on the board of Next Generation nonprofit to tackle environmental and children's welfare issues. SOLAR IMPULSE: BERTRAND PICCARD & ANDRE BORSCHBERG It's a bird! It's a plane! It's .. a Swiss-engineered, long-range, solar-powered aircraft?! In an awe-inspiring feat of greatness, Piccard and Borschberg fly around the world in their solar-powered plane to "encourage each and every one of us to become pioneers in our own lives, in our ways of thinking and behaving." And, boy, have they. Take to their soapboxes time and again, frequently stopping to talk with anyone and everyone to preach the benefits of solar energy A simple businessman (Borschberg) and Proud purveyors of the fully sun-powered aircraft, which gains speeds of up to 50 mph, a psychiatrist and aeronaut (Piccard) by day, their combined passions for aviation weighs about the same as a medium-sized and clean energy has produced one of the car, and is covered by about 12,000 PV cells greatest contributions to mankind powering 400kg-worth of batteries THE VILLAINS CHARLES & DAVID KOCH (KOCH INDUSTRIES) The Koch Brothers are no strangers to the villain moniker. Political leanings aside, their contributions to the destruction of our planet-under the mantel of the free market-can't reasonably be overlooked. PROP Spent millions of dollars on oil and energy lobby efforts and anti-environmental legislation, including California's Prop 23, going toe-to-toe with our hero Daddy Run Koch Industries: the second-largest Responsible for more than 300 oil spills at Koch-owned and -operated pipelines from 1995 to 1997, causing 3 million gallons of oil private company, which manufactures, refines, and distributes petroleum, chemicals, energy, fiber, chemical technology equipment, and more leakage into lakes and streams in 6 states Greenbucks NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE Oh, Governor Christie. We thought you'd forsworn the dark side after you watched Sandy wreak havoc on your Garden State. Alas, the pull of the easier Initially claimed climate change "is real" and caused by human negligence in 2011, then later denied that Hurricane Sandy road (to re-election) was too great for this poor Governor. was caused by climate change Diverted $400 million in clean-energy funds to balance the state budget-money originally intended to pay for green workers to install insulation at hospitals and town halls across the state Killed a proposed $8.7 billion commuter-rail tunnel project planned to run under the Hudson River, which would have taken 22,000 cars off the roads every day and eliminated nearly 70,000 tons of greenhouse gases KENTUCKY SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL Led a failed effort to stop the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions-aimed to debunk its finding that climate change harms public health In a quixotic quest for relevance, Senator McConnell continues to undermine our clean air laws. A climate- change detractor, his efforts against renewable energy Fought to block the renewable electricity standard and green tax package from the 2007 energy bill, which sought to reduce dependence on imported oil and develop clean-energy technologies TAX and those who'd benefit from it have extended so far as to even try preventing the 2007 Live Earth concert in Voted in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline Washington, D.C. Dastardly! project, claiming the project is shovel-ready and will create jobs and bring energy resources to the country. HERO, VILLAIN, OR SOMEWHERE IN THE SHADOWS? PRESIDENT Legislative Attempts: In 2009, his stimulus package included a sizable chunk to be used toward renewable energy. When he proposed cap-and-trade legislation, however, it was quickly shut down in the Senate. BARACK OBAMA Obama came into office with promises of leading the fight against climate change. Since Energy Efficiency: Vowing to double U.S. energy efficiency by 2030, Obama has pushed efficiency for both regular citizens and government sectors. Even the military has joined in conservation, investing nearly $1 billion in clean energy technology. then, he hasn't so much found a middle ground as just treaded lightly. Keystone XL Pipeline: In June 2013, Obama delivered his long-awaited plan to fight climate change. To environmentalists' chagrin, he didn't shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, the project that his chief scientist said would mean "game over" for the climate, particularly since it'd produce 12-17% higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil methods. It also violates the country's commitment to a clean energy economy. BE A HERO, NOT A VILLAIN According to a June 2013 poll conducted by CNN, only 40% of Americans think climate change will impact them. All of these heroes and villains are nothing compared to the power of the people. So, pick out a cape and give yourself a clever nickname because, if we're going to win this fight for our planet, we need you! SOURCES: INTERNATIONAL ENE RGY AGENCY, ROLLINGSTONE.COM, WASHINGTON POST, BUSINESSGREEN.COM, MOTHER JONES, USA TODAY, NEW YORK TIMES PUre OFF THE GRID ONE BLOCK energieS APure Energies Group company

Heroes and Villains of the Renewable Energy Debate

shared by dude.sustainable on Aug 22
Learn who the villains and heroes of the renewable energy debate happen to be! Who makes the cut?


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