Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Other Side

Today, I had another mind numbing day with those laggards of society who refuse to accept that the world has changed. These hard core professionals feel they know the realities of the world, and that they know through years of marginalization and outright cavaliar disregard for their ideas that they should always be realistic, and careful not to dream.

I am speaking, of course, of the Renewable Energy Industry.

The group was attempting to adopt a new policy position that called for a 2020 goal of “20% of electric energy" and 10 % of the state's transportation energy , with a greenhouse gas freeze at 2006 levels. For years, they had previously adopted a 20% of total energy by 2020 goal, but this group has matured as they have been brought into the family of respectable energy providers in the vaunted pantheon of energy bohemoths and had thus scaled back their previous lofty goals.

After a bit of discussion, I was able to persuade the group to go back to a state goal which called for “25 % of total energy to be produced by renewables by the year 2025”, with a greenhouse gas rollback to 2000 levels.

Then, I came back to my office and saw this story.

Compact Signed to Raise Renewable Energy
to 25% of Global Energy Supply

MOU Negotiated at Great Wall World Renewable Energy Forum in Beijing

Renewable Energy News
October 25, 2006

Beijing, China - A historic agreement was forged today among four renewable energy organizations to assess the feasibility of increasing the use of renewable energy to 25% of global primary energy supply by the year 2025.

The memorandum of understanding entitled "Joint Assessment of Reaching 25% Renewable Energy by the Year 2025" was negotiated and signed by Michael Eckhart, President of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), Li Junfeng, Executive Director of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA), Arthouros Zervos, President of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), and Wolfgang Palz, Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE).

"The time is right to raise our thinking to the next level," stated Michael Eckhart of ACORE.

"We acknowledge Europe's pledge to increase renewable energies, China's commitment to 15% renewables, and the Renewable Portfolio Standards of many of the US states, and now join together to assess how to take the next step in policy development.

"The memorandum calls for the groups to assess the feasibility and policy requirements needed to move the US, Europe and China to the 25% level in their respective areas, and to merge the results together into a joint report one year from now.

"It is imperative that we do this now," said Wolfgang Palz of WCRE.

"The world cannot wait for such policy thinking.

"The signing took place at the Great Wall World Renewable Energy Forum (GWREF), a world conference and exposition in China that opened this week with leaders from the US, Europe, China and other countries in attendance.” More

As aggressive and laudable as this goal and agreement is,

the truth is,

It is not nearly enough.

As I mentioned in today's meeting, studies in Tony Blair’s environmental ministry are indicating that humankind will need to reduce greenhouse gases by 90 % in the next 40 years, if we are to have a fighting chance of keeping average temperatures from climbing 2 degrees Centigrade.

If we do not act to keep the global temperature from rising over 2 degrees Centigrade, then there is very high likelihood that human culture, as we know it, will be over.

Yes, over.

When you are trying to jump over a dangerous crevice.

It is really not very relevant if you made it a quarter of the way,

Or half the way, or for that matter,

99% of the way.

You need to get to the other side.

What worked in the past,

Won’t work now.

We need to apply our best efforts

And use our resources as wisely as we can,

Or our great grandchildren will hate us.

Had they survived.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Oz for consistently keeping me informed of our collective stumble towards "changing course".I always look forward to your daily posts . Any new developments in the Zero Point Energy field? All the best.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

until i get cable installed i have been limited to watching broadcast television, i have to say that it has been very enlightening. the totally inane garbage that the american public watches and apparently enjoys speaks volumes about the decline of our society. now as i reflect upon this election i am more inclined to believe that this horrible congress and administration is only the symptom and not the cause. the decline of this country can be traced back to its citizens rather than the representatives, this government actually does represent the public. unfortunately we live in a country inhabited by absolute morons. it is too late to hope that a better educational system will resolve our problems, these people have already completed their educational process, the only hope is to round up everyone living in the mid-west, west, south and Florida (plus all evangelical christians from the other areas) and take them to gitmo - there the processes used on the war detainees needs to be applied to determine if any one of them has the ability to think. should there be anyone discovered to have a brain, or portion there of, they can be rehabilitated and eventually returned to society, the remainder should be kept caged for the rest of their lives without voting privileges to protect them from themselves. there is a big difference between the nazis and the neocons, hitler and nazi germany were maniacal proponents of building a super race, bush and the neocons revere a nation of trailer trash.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill McKibben a writer says that we really need to reform society and our way of thinking in his book "The End of Nature"
Global warming will cause millions of environmental refugees. And as Oz says the movement is just now starting but it isn't nearly big enough and strong enough to handle global warming. We have to rethink everything. Fossil fules are the heart and soul of the economy of modern life. We need drastic changes in technology, economy, behavior and as McKibben says, "In the very idea of who we are." abd adds
"The United States isn't even the caboose on the train of environmental prograss"

And add to that we may even strave to death if we don't get our act together.

5:10 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

I made a change Friday morning in the post, changing 20 years to 40.
Still looking for the link on the cite.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OZ, thank you for your leadership and insight that TREIA and the world desperately need. CHF

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oz, I'll add my thanks for your solid research, great writing, and inspired thinking. I honestly can't think of anyone else in Austin (or Texas for that matter) writing so well about the mess we are in and the necessity for creative and comprehensive action.

9:04 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

thanks BB and CF, I can't find the cite for the need for a 90% reduction, so I will go with the 60% in 40 years for now, even though I know I saw the story last week.

9:43 AM  

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