Open Letter to Al Gore Concerning Live Earth

Dear Former Vice President Gore,

As a fellow American and resident of this planet, I would like to ask you some questions concerning your Live Earth concerts. As an avid concert-goer, I have often seen what is required in order for such an event to take place. I believe that our environment is very important and I’d like to address how your concerts have affected it.

First, how much fuel was used to make Live Earth possible? It’s obvious that flying in various artists, along with their entourages, road crews, and gear all over the globe requires a great deal of fuel and I’d like to see an approximate figure of how much was actually consumed. Did all ground crews use hybrid, hydrogen or electric vehicles?

Second, your concerts required power, right? After all, unless these shows were all acoustic, a great deal of power must be generated for P.A. Systems, amplifiers, and lighting. And that doesn’t even take into account the power that various vendors might have required for selling food, beverages, t-shirts, etc. It would interest me to know if solar, wind, or any other non-petroleum-based energy source was used to make electricity for this concert possible.

Third, concerts unfortunately generate a great deal of waste. Will all this waste be recycled? If not, wouldn’t such waste contribute to the pollution of our environment?

Fourth, what has Live Earth actually accomplished for the environment? Were trees planted to compensate for deforestation? Were cleaner sources of energy found or furthered? Did the artists refuse to accept payment or donate their payments to an organization that combats global warming?

Finally, based on all the previous questions, is it not true that Live Earth did potentially more harm for the environment than good?

Mr. Gore, if it is in fact true that this event has done more harm to the planet than good, are you not a hypocrite?

However, if in fact the measures that were taken to put on Live Earth did not damage the environment, then why should we be concerned about global warming? Evidentally if such is the case, there is no need to be concerned about our “oil-crazed” culture. We can continue to use non-renewable energy sources without fear of perpetuating global warming. Also, wasn’t there supposed to be a Live Earth concert on Antarctica? I guess that fell through.

Please reconcile these discrepancies for me, Mr. Gore. Earth is in the balance.

Sincerely,

Braden

P.S. Are you sure you aren’t running for President?

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25 Responses to Open Letter to Al Gore Concerning Live Earth

  1. Laurie says:

    Dear Braden:

    Not everything done by Democrats needs to change the world. Sometimes we can have fun and send a message. The change in the world starts Monday. :)

    Best,
    Laurie

    PS – I hope he does run so I don’t have to defend another Clinton. No one looks forward to that…

  2. Braden says:

    Well Republicans have fun and send messages too, but not always in the name of changing the world like Live Earth. I’d just like to see a little bit of consistency with Al Gore’s environmentalist stance. Besides, what kind of message is he sending when he pollutes continents all over the world for the cause of the exact opposite?

  3. practicalreasoning says:

    I would feel much worse about live earth if someone would have actually seen it. From all of the reviews I’ve read today, the ratings (and attendance) were abysmal. The concert in Johannesburg was nearly empty – because it was snowing. Irony at its finest.

  4. jens says:

    Worth a look.

    http://www.liveearth.org/?p=13

    This answers many of your questions about the event. Here are the highlights. I’d say it did very well as being sustainable considering the size of the event. I certianly have never seen any public event that was this sustainable.

    *All power for the event was provided from renewable sources.
    *Travel for artists was offset.
    *Lighting was LED and Compact Flourecent thoughtout.
    *Waste streams were recycled or composted and biodegrabeable plastic was used for vendors where it was available.

    The concert did happen on antarctica.

    http://entimg.msn.com/i/ExperienceData/p1-7/us/x.htm?sh=LiveEarth&ep=le_other

    Are they good…no, not really…but to Gore’s credit they decided not to do a real concert there since the cost would be too high and nobody would come.

    The band “Nanatuk” is a collection of researchers at the base on the Antarctic Peninsula. To their credit they did get a sellout crowd. All 17 of the other people on the base watched the show.

    Was the rest of the concert OK? I didn’t watch it, I had other things to do, like watch my little one jump on the couch cushions.

  5. Braden says:

    It’s my understanding that only a third of the waste could be recycled. And I didn’t see much about Antarctica. How was travel for the artists offset? They didn’t use fossil fuel-based planes? It’s also my understanding that besides the Antarctica show you mentioned, a lot of the shows did not sell out. I wouldn’t say it was a failure as far as concerts go. I just don’t see how they could have pulled off this thing without “damaging” the environment.

  6. jens says:

    Do you undrestand the idea behind carbon neutrality and carbon offsets? The idea is that if you must use something the emits carbon you then must balance it out by doing something which decreases atmospheric carbon by the same amount. Then, in the end your carbon footprint is the same. Take a look at the Wikipedia article on it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset#Renewable_energy_and_energy_conservation

    It isn’t perfect and there have been some high profile scams related to it, as well as some serious failures. Still, it is far better than doing nothing.

    I don’t think the concerts did all that well, unfortunately. The comment about selling out on Antarctica was more a joke than anything else.

    Could the effort have hurt the environment more than it helped? Possibly in the short run. However, even recycling 1/3 of the trash is far more than the average for the typical american family, FAR MORE. Can you think of anything that could be done in our world that would reach as many people and would be completely carbon neutral? I can’t.

    10 million watched on the internet. I have not idea how many watched on TV, watched in person, or heard about the effort but I am certain it is at least double that, probably triple. You must change peoples minds somehow and get them to change their actions. If it means you cannot live completely carbon neutral I think the effect is positive in the long run.

    If nobody did anything to change our attitudes towards our consuption of fossil fuel we would not be able to change. Would you rather that they did all they could or would you rather that they did nothing at all?

    Or, do you believe that global warming, species destruction, and fisheries collapse are just figments of our imagination? I am trained as an ecologist and have spent time in Brazil, India, the Pacific Northwest and Minnesota. I can’t say that I am trained in global warming but human consumption is killing off species I used to see frequently as a kid. Fisheries are on the verge of collapse in all the places I have lived due to fishing pressure. If population follows the trend it will take only 48 years for the world to go from 6 billion poeple to 9 billion. Even if climate change is a hoax don’t you think something better be done to slow down our consumption of energy and resources?

    That is why I think initiatives like Live Earth are important. I’ve seen, on the ground, what we are doing to the world and I want to make sure that my children will have the opportunities that I had growing up.

  7. Thunderbird says:

    Aaaagh! Everybody, the most important environmental legislation in YEARS is in the House RIGHT NOW — energy legislation that would actually do what Live Earth talked about — and nobody talks about it because we’re all asking now much jet fuel Al Gore used up!

    There’s plenty we can do, but plenty that only Congress will do. Turning on the lights or picking up the kids shouldn’t be a moral dilemma. So….

    Call Your CongressPerson! You Want 35 mpg, AND 20% of all electricity from wind & solar — both by the year 2020! Attention is good; concern is better; action is best!

  8. Scott says:

    I wondered the same things, Braden. The answers by Jens are impressive. I think she did a good job of answering your question on behalf of Gore.

    Now, what if Global Warming was truly caused by greenhouse gases and not just caused by solar flares? We can’t trust meteorologists for accurate weather predictions, so how can we trust them with predicting global warming and the weather that it produces? Strangely, the earth warmed the most in the last century between 1910-1945 according to NCDC, which have only produce higher lows in the winter. While, it is odd that 1940-1970 are credited for Global Warming. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has shown that the earth was 2-4 degrees hotter in years 800-1300 than it is now, which was followed by the little ice age for which the earth has not recovered from. How do we explain these climate changes of the past? What about the Global Cooling warning of the 1970s presented by the NOAA?

  9. sauer kraut says:

    Considering Live Earth was just a couple of days ago, I’d say it’s a bit too early to judge the worth or affect of the concerts.

    If the concerts raise the level of awareness and results in additional educational efforts with respect to what we might be doing to the planet then the answer is, yes, it was worth the effort.

    Indeed, just today, and partly in keeping with a local effort, I planted 18 arbovitae and a dozen shrubs. I expect all to contribute to the global effort to reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

    Unfortunately, the effort in planting those buggers caused me to drink more than a 6-pack of soda, so I released some amount of carbonation into the atmosphere. As you know, soda gives a body gas, soooooo… well, let’s not go there.

  10. mdvp says:

    I might have a problem with all of this if I actually believed that global warming was caused by humans.

  11. jens says:

    mdvp,

    Even if it isn’t, doesn’t it make sense to conserve anyway? Oil supplies aren’t infinite, nor are trees or fish if they are managed unsustainably as they currently are. Why must the question always be set in black and white. Even if global warming is a hoax doesn’t it make sense to conserve? Why must conservation always be tied to global warming even though we know that our consumption is wreaking havoc on other resources.

  12. mdvp says:

    I think we should be fine for a long time if we just achieve independence and start working on nuclear power. I’ve heard there’s a lot more oil in Texas than you’d think from the fear monerers to start with, and with ANWAR and the Gulf, we’d be okay for a long time until we can find alternative sources or something different without the setbacks of ethanol, etc.

  13. jens says:

    The projected total output at full capacity for ANWAR is a drop in the bucket.

    According to the congressional research service there is a 50% chance that there is as much as 10.3 Billion barrels of oil under ANWAR and a 5% chance that there might be 16 billion barrels of oil.

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-0028-01/fs-0028-01.htm

    Current US oil consumption is 20.9 million barrels per day. Multiply that by 365 and US oil consuption is 7.6 billion barrels per year.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html#US_Petroleum_Markets

    Thus, ANWAR would provide less than one years worth of oil on the middle projection. If the highest pojection were true we would get 2.1 years worth of oil from ANWAR.

    There hasn’t been a new oil field tapped in Texas for many years. And ANWAR is seen as the largest oil field around.

    Do the math! we don’t have tons of oil out there and ANWAR is not a solution.

    Before you decide to defame the citations I gave you based on politically motivated intentions rember that these figures were released from non-partisan government sources, the USGS and the EIA. If you can’t trust them we have much bigger problems on our hands. I found this info in ten minutes of seraching on the internet. I am appalled that people don’t even take the time to read before spouting off on something they know nothing about.

  14. jens says:

    I guess my point is, do you see the way toward energy independence through stretching what we have by using less, or through more domestic drilling? I’m afraid that we can’t make up the difference without significant reductions in use. Look up the figures on eia.gov. There would have to be a heck of a lot of oil in Texas and the Gulf to make up the difference.

    One interesting way to look at it is that conserving is basically equal to drilling more oil. Every barrel of oil conserved is a barrel of oil that can be used for another purpose and can then be seen as a “new” source of oil. If we could cut oil usage by 50% it would have the same effect as finding 50% more oil on our own soil withough the environmental headaches, national security problems of defending new supply routes, etc.

    I agree with you on ethanol. The only countries who can use that are tropical. Sugarcane ethanol is produced at a net energy profit while corn ethanol is basically a wash. I’m not sold on nuclear yet, but I’d say it’s a heck of a lot better than oil if we can decide on a safe storage solution for waste. I’d sure like to see more wind power and lots of government grants going to improve solar power technology though.

  15. Braden says:

    I suggest a comprehensive strategy when it comes to energy. The government should encourage the development of ethanol from sugarcane and sugarbeets. They used to pay farmers NOT to grow corn and now that we “need” it for ethanol and everything else corn is used for, corn is now inflated. So instead, find other sources for ethanol.

    Oil is not necessarily the problem in and of itself, but we’re overly dependent on foreign sources. If we drill in ANWR and other places within U.S. Territory, we can make ourselves self-sufficient on oil. Of course we want to be completely free from oil someday, but we have to face the fact that it’s a long way down the road.

    The government must work with automobile manufacturers and the oil companies to produce products that consume less gasoline. If somehow every auto manufacturer started producing hybrid versions of the cars they already have and reduce production of they gas guzzlers they currently make, demand for gasoline would decrease, thus decreasing the price of gas. If the government just decides to legislate it’s way out of it and force oil companies to do things their way, the cost will be distributed to the average citizen, placing the burden on them. Encouragement is the key, not force.

    Solar and wind energy must be improved and expanded as well. I wonder how far away “hybrid houses” are. They may already be here. If so, I’d be extremely interested.

    Even Bush is talking about stuff like this. He was propping up hydrogen cars yesterday.

    These things are logical, reasonable, feasible, and hopefully inevitable. But we must be patient.

  16. mdvp says:

    Well, I’ve just heard that there’s quite a lot of oil left in Texas as far as they know.

  17. jens says:

    Do you think we can make ourselves independent of foreign oil just by drilling, before we implement alternative energy? I’m not so sure based on the facts I’ve seen.

    My rough calculations below show that if we stopped importing oil tomorrow and all the reserves in Texas, ANWR, and the deep Gulf were available we would have 13 years worth of oil at our current consumption rate. We would have to conserve our consuption by 75% to even extend this to 39 years. That, my friend, is not Energy independence.

    This calculation includes increases in the size of the reserves based on a five year average of new oil discoveries each year. I even spotted 2 extra years of oil reserves assuming oil discoveries are MUCH higher than expected.

    The EIA states 22.5 billion barrels of proved reserves within the U.S. in 2005 (this includes the upward revisions further down in the table)

    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_pres_dcu_NUS_a.htm

    The average amount of new oil discovered each year between 2000 and 2005, both in new fields and old fields, is 0.65 billion barrels.

    This means that at the current pace we would exhaust our current reserves in 3 years if we consumed at the current rate and did not import. Assuming that the reserve grows by 0.65 billion barrels each year on average (EIA chart) we could stretch the oil reserves out for another 4 months. This assumes we are eating oil at our current rate and that the oil fields are already tapped and delivering at a pace to sustain deliveries, which they currently are not.

    Lets add in ANWR just for fun. That stretches the number of years to 5 years, 4 months assuming ANWR would be up and producing within 3 years, even though the estimates are that it would take up to 10 years to tap and begin producing. This assumes the maximum possible projections come true for how much oil is there.

    They say that 40 billion barrels might be in the deep water gulf of Mexico.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/business/worldbusiness/08gulf.html?ex=1320642000&en=5009f767ae1819ea&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    This would add another 5 years on to the total. Assume that new discoveries increase this by the same percentage that oil is found in Texas each year and it would add 1.15 billion barrels of oil total. This would increase the total to 11 years. I’ll spot on an extra 2 years since these reserves are new and thus new discoveries would come in faster than Texas which has been explored to death. So, we’re up to 13 years of oil.

    To increase this to 26 years we would have to conserve our oil consumption by 50%. To extend this to 39 years we would need to conserve by 75%. 39 years doesn’t even cover my son’s lifetime. The government is talking about conserving 10%, at most, in the next 20 years. We need a much bigger push towards conservation and alternate energy sources than any candidate, from either party, has brought forth. And these figures don’t include the growth of our population and economy which will grow our need for oil each year.

    From these figures it sounds like lunacy to assume, as both Braden and mdvp have stated, that we could become self sufficient before implementing other energy sources. We need those other sources NOW and begin serious phasing in. I think we need to be somewhere around 20% alternative power in the next ten years to be safe and ramp that up to 50% in the next 15. I doubt that will happen but it could. Too many people discount the number of jobs that would be created as these new industries come online and need to be integrated into the economy.

    I agree, Braden, that any push needs to be comprehensive. I have not heard what the energy gain is through sugarbeet production of ethonal. I would be interested to hear more. Corn is a waste, nearly as much oil energy is used for diesel fuel and fertilizer as is created through the ethanol, even by the best projections. You need at least a 50% split between energy input and output to really start making a dent in our oil consumption with ethanol.

    Hydrogen is not much better since breaking water apart is very energy intensive and solar power is not feasible yet on a large scale. We would be using oil to split the water, so the oil input for energy output would be pretty poor.

    Using methane converted to hydrogen from composting of waste or sewage is a good option though, which is slightly more efficient. We need fuel cells to really make hydrogen worth it though.

    This is where I think the Left and the Right could come together. It is obvious that it needs to happen. Why not bite the bullet, come together, and make it happen. Sure, we would lose jobs in the traditional energy sector but numerous jobs would be created in putting these things into practice.

    How many blue collar jobs could be created if we decided to roll out a nationwide hydrogen fueling network. The jobs in manufacturing the machinery and installing it would be huge. Every town in the country would need them so it would spread the wealth over the whole country. This is not even to mention the R&D, engineering, and management jobs that would need to be created to support such a move. Taxes don’t need to rise much, if at all. Tax incentives to companies and increased scientific grants would start it out. The tax incentives would need to be large enough to spur serious effort though.

    I think we need to act boldly, as we did to get out of the Depression. Create jobs and get it done rather than relying on first becoming self sufficient on oil. The numbers show that by the time we achieved oil independence we would have a decade more or less to switch our economy over entirely to alternative energy or start importing oil again. Doesn’t it make sense to start now in pushing alternative energy solutions rather than chasing a finite resource with oil?

    Finally, we need a president and congress who will make a bold call for a plan of action just as JFK decided we would be on the moon in 10 years. Now, were are they?

  18. Braden says:

    I think 13 years would provide plenty of time for us to catch up. Keep in mind that during that time, we’d be developing and implementing alternative sources like ethanol, wind, solar, hydrogen, etc. You’re assuming that we wouldn’t. On the contrary, we’d be phasing in alternative energy sources as the technology and capability became available. Keep in mind that WWII played a major role in getting us out of the Depression, not just FDR’s programs.

    By the way, when I said I wanted the government to work with auto manufacturers and oil companies, that’s what I meant: using tax incentives and grants to encourage growth in alternative fuel sources.

    You’re saying the same things I am when it comes to implementation. But I’d like to see use American oil to sustain us. You and I both know that we can’t just drop our oil usage by 25% or 50% immediately and switch to alternative fuel sources. They must be phased in.

    We have to avoid even higher gas prices, increasing foreign dependency, higher taxes, and more government control. Private organizations need to be encouraged or coaxed into developing these foreign sources of energy, not forced. This can all be done in a reasonable, economical, and feasible manner. But going to extremes like the Democrats want, or maintaining the status quo like some Republicans want is not the answer.

  19. jens says:

    I think we agree on most of this. My only sticking point is that you are both assuming that we have the domestic oil reserves to cut out importation if we want.

    mdvp – “I’ve heard there’s a lot more oil in Texas than you’d think from the fear monerers to start with, and with ANWAR and the Gulf, we’d be okay for a long time until we can find alternative sources”

    Braden – ” If we drill in ANWR and other places within U.S. Territory, we can make ourselves self-sufficient on oil.”

    This is what I was going off of from your comments. So I think it was reasonable to assume that mdvp feels we will be self sufficient for a long time and Braden, you feel that we can first become self sufficient in oil and then move to other alternatives.

    13 years is a blink of the eye and highly optimistic. Remember that it will take years to scout the oil in the Gulf (it hasn’t actually been physically located yet, it is just thought to be there)and ANWR will take time to produce. Even then the Oil doesn’t pour out of the ground in amounts able to sustain our demand.

    Projections put ANWR to start producing oil in 8-10 years and the pipeline could never pump enough oil to soley supply the entire US, probably not even half. We have just drilled the first few deep Gulf wells so getting the entire 40 billion out would take an insane amount of effort. We don’t even know where most of it is, it is just projected from geological theory at this point. It takes years to scout a well before it is drilled.

    The idea that we could just switch over to domestic supply is ludicrous. I do agree that we can’t just conserve 50% and switch to alternatives but we don’t have the luxury of just switching on the domestic oil tap. We would waste resources by first promoting huge manpower to drill all the oil out of our reserves, only to then have to put the same effort into developing alternatives. We would be putting in double the work for no gain. Instead we should concentrate on conservation and development of alternative resources. In 13 years I am confident we could develop as much alternative energy as we could get out of domestic oil supplies with the same amount of manpower in development and scouting wells.

    Yes, WWII was a major factor which I neglected to mention. However, the point is the same. We had an optimistic and challenging national goal of defeating the Nazi’s and we met it. We don’t currently have any optimistic national goals. 10% reduction in carbon in 25 years is not challenging. We need to set our sights much higher.

    We can do it if we decide to, we are America for God’s sake. We just need to get over the desire to put off the inevitable oil drought and dive right into developing alternatives and rolling them out.

    Although I think it would be OK to increase domestic production some for short term domestic security I think we could get to the same place just as fast by focusing on alternatives rather than pouring money into exploring and drilling oil reserves that have yet to actually be found and proved in the Gulf and ANWAR. I believe Shell is the only oil company to have a drilled well in the super deep, off the continental shelf, oil pockets were we would find the majority of the oil. The technology to extract it is still in it’s infancy.

    There isn’t enough oil, available in a short enough timespan, to offset imports without a serious amount of effort and money input. I think relying on that before putting significant effort into alternatives is a Red Herring. Putting tons of money and man hours into exploring oil we don’t already have located is wasting man hours, money and time we could be putting into rolling out alternatives faster.

  20. jens says:

    We already have proven wind energy that can be rolled out. Garbage incinerators are proven and can be used to create energy safely nowadays. 13 years, with a sustained national effort, would allow these to be implemented on a large scale and would easily cover 10%. Real, committed legislation in the form of tax incentives for energy efficient applliances, lightbulbs, and cars could easlity cut another 10%.

    If every family changed just one edison bulb to Compact Flourecent we would save enough oil energy to light a city of 7 million homes for a year. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/14/eveningnews/eyeontech/main2571126.shtml

    Multiply that by the number of bulbs in each house in the US and you get? My house has about 20 bulbs. 20 X 7,000,000 = 14 million houses.

    The US has 125 million housing units according to the census http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/housing/007331.html

    So changing all of our lighbulbs to CFL would save 11% of the lighting costs in the US. With a concerted effort to update insulation, furnaces, AC units, and better power usage by electronics etc… we could easily see a 10% decrease in oil used for heat and electricity.

    The opportunities for conservation are clear and doing the work would create jobs. We just need to have the gall to move ahead. Ladies gave away silk undies for parachute material and everyone gave aluminum to the war effort. Why can’t we convince anyone to change a lightbulb for the cause. I think it is because many of us are still trapped in the hope that we can sustain ourselves on oil and still be secure. Getting over that antiquated thinking would be good for us all.

    I don’t think we need draconian government mandates to do it, we just need to government to make a commitment in money and rhetoric. Right now there are neither.

  21. Braden says:

    My point is that not that we should become self-sufficient BEFORE we switch to alternative energy sources but that we should become self-sufficient WHILE we switch to alternative energy sources. We don’t need to keep buying oil from the Middle East. We’ve got the oil here, why not drill and use it? It just makes more sense to get it here than importing it from other countries. I’m all for lightbulb changing and all that good stuff. I believe conserving energy IS important. But we don’t need to go about it in an overzealous and destructive manner.

  22. jens says:

    I think we pretty much agree then on the principle. The question then becomes should we drill? Do you believe global warming is real and scary enough that mabye we should put more energy into conservation and alternative energies now in order to keep that carbon in the ground and out of the atmosphere? Even if there were only a 50% chance humans are causing global warming wouldn’t it be good to be on the safe side. After all, you don’t play Russian Roulette with half the cylinders full.

    I agree, overzealous and destructive would be a bad way to go about conservation efforts. But zealous and driven would be my goal. Make it a priority with a lofty goal and push for it.

    Do you think that conservatives and liberals could agree that conservation is important enough for National Security to make it a priority on the level of the New Deal or WWII programs? It seems like common ground. All we need is a sufficiently ambitious goal. 25% reduction in energy use in 10 years mabye? Don’t forget we switched most of the factories in the U.S. to producing wra goods in 2 years or so during WWII, so lofty goals are attainable and there is plenty of cheap, low hanging fruit when it comes to conservation solutions.

    We could split the difference, Republicans could get theirs with tax breaks for energy conservation initiatives for business and homeowners. Targeted tax breaks for changing your furnace or greening your roof to bring costs down to the level of more tradional methods of heating an cooling. Tax incentives to companies if they can be the first to market with a plug in electric car, etc.

    Liberals could get theirs by creation of a civil service organization for unemployed Americans in line with the old CCC programs of the 30′s. Unemployed people could recieve slightly more in unemployment benefits for working on teams to complete civil service energy conservation programs. Doing things like greening roofs on government buildings or other jobs that don’t take much training but need warm bodies to get it done. Unemployment benefits would still come from the same source as before, the government would just supplement the unemployment tax businesses pay into by 15-20% in order to subsidize raises for those who volunteer to serve during unemployment.

    Both sides could probably agree on expanding Americorp and other domestic volunteer programs. We already pay off $2,500/year of student loans for graduates who serve in Americorp. We could expand the program and focus it on conservation initiatives. It would be a great source of bright, educated, and motivated volunteers. President Bush has already proposed an expansion of Americorp type programs so finding a comprimise across the aisle would be easy.

    How does that strike you?

  23. jens says:

    Heck, to offset increases in taxes we could start selling “Conservation Bonds” similar to WWII war bonds. It would be a good gauge of public willingness to support conservation and would offset increases in taxes.

  24. Braden says:

    I absolutely think we should drill. I don’t think it would really do that much harm for us to drill in ANWR or in any other untapped area. Oil is something we know that works. It will be able to keep us going if progress on alternative sources is slower than expected. 25% reduction in 10 years may be possible. That’s still quite a large chunk though.

  25. Braden says:

    The conservation bonds are a good idea. I’m not so sure that the CCC idea is all that liberal. Actually, I’ve always thought that was an excellent plan that Roosevelt had. If the unemployed can’t find work, give them a job working for the rest of us. But I don’t think we’ve got too many Roosevelt/JFK liberals as much as we do Ted Kennedy/John Kerry/Al Gore liberals. I’d have to say that Bush talks a good line on energy. But his record doesn’t seem to back it up too terribly much. I want to see America become almost completely self-sufficient in everything. Energy, food, raw materials, domestic production, etc. We can do it. We have the capability. But at this point, we’re in major debt to other countries and that has to change. If we could free ourselves from debt and foreign dependency, then we would truly become a superpower and the city on a hill that Reagan talked about.

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