This story was published initially on Planetsave. Reprinted with permission.
There’s an old saying that goes like this: “If you fail to plan, you have a plan to fail.” When it comes to global warming and carbon emissions, thousands of well meaning people have written millions of words about how dire the situation is and how we have to set some real goals. But what we need, more than words, is a real plan to get the US off fossil fuels and soon.
The Solutions Project is a real plan that says precisely what steps need to be taken to get the US off fossil fuels by 2050. It is the result of intense research by several universities and led by scientists at Stanford. These researchers have studied the problems, evaluated the alternatives, and come up with a plan for every state in America. It details the precise steps each one needs to take in order to be powered by electricity from 100% renewable sources no later than 2050. Click on the interactive map at the Project’s website to see what your state needs to do.
It doesn’t call for federal action. We all know the US Congress can’t agree whether it’s day or night. And we have buffoons like Senator Snowball, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who brought a snowball on the floor of the Senate this winter to prove that climate change was a hoax because it was really, really cold outside.
Instead, it calls upon each each individual state to take control of its own destiny so we can all enjoy this beautiful planet for a while longer, instead of letting a few hundred of the wealthiest citizens go live in space colonies built by Elon Musk on Mars while the rest of us inhabit what’s left of a dying planet.
The best news is The Solutions Project shows how all this can be done while creating tens of thousands of new jobs and saving us nearly 40% on our energy bills — forever. Putting it another way, this plan creates a new, more robust economy that all can share in. It disproves the naysayers who say transitioning away from fossil fuels will bankrupt the US and the rest of the world financially.
Mark Jacobson, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy, says the plan uses only existing technology. It does not rely on future scientific breakthroughs to pull humanity’s chestnuts out of the fire, both figuratively and literally.
He says the researchers first investigated the current energy needs of all 50 states and made reasonable assumptions about how those needs would increase between now and 2050. The researchers then divided those needs into four categories: commercial, industrial, residential, and transportation.
Next, they determined how much power each category would need if all its energy needs were switched over to electricity. “This is a significantly challenging step. It assumes that all the cars on the road become electric and that homes and industry convert to fully electrified heating and cooling systems,” says Jacobson. He claims, “The energy savings would be significant.”
But energy savings are only part of the good news. “When you account for the health and climate costs – as well as the rising price of fossil fuels – wind, water and solar are half the cost of conventional systems,” Jacobson stated. “A conversion of this scale would also create jobs, stabilize fuel prices, reduce pollution related health problems and eliminate emissions from the United States. There is very little downside to a conversion, at least based on this science.”
There are things you can do to promote The Solutions Project Plan in your own state. You can share this story with your elected officials from the governor on down. You can write to your local newspaper and tell you friends. You can share The Solutions Project on Facebook and Twitter. This story began with one time tested saying. Here’s another one: “If the people will lead, their leaders will follow.” Start today. There’s no time to lose.
Photo Credit: The Solutions Project