« GM and the New Plug-In Infrastructure | Main | California Puts Green Chemistry Under the Microscope »

August 02, 2008


Bill Dunnington

I completely agree, Joel....what seems needed is the path to action.

What would it take, for example, to mobilize and fund "demonstration projects" that put all the pieces together in grass roots community initiatives (workforce development + technology demonstration projects like a municipal solar utility, or wind, or whatver combo is locally desirable + a public/private alliance and leadership model, + funding mechanisms, pehaps using the innovative new L3C business design.

Instead of funding the piece parts on a large scale, fund well-integrated initiatives in a focused manner to help communities move ahead....then help them learn from each other as they scale county to county, state to state.

Maybe a combination of ideas from the GI Bill, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the VC world....with a little help from forward thinking leaders.

Keen to hear where people may already be doing this - and how it's working - or who would like to try to start something....

Bill Dunnington


Right on, Joel. It's so important - think of all the home energy audits that need doing, non-outsourceable jobs. Local growth. Customers save money. Environment improves. That's so crazy, it just might work!
I had hoped Gore's 2000 campaign would focus on such issues, "new thinking for a new millennium" kind of thing, but alas...

Michelle Smith

I would venture a guess that the Obama campaign is keeping a laser focus on Obama solutions as part of the elections strategy and trying to avoid giving the opposition anything to latch onto that would dilute the Obama message. I bet that after the election victory (yes!) collaborations, especially obvious ones like this one, will arise.


It seems to me that the two programs do not necessarily have synergies, in fact, are at odds with each other in many ways. The costs of changing the nation over to Gore's energy vision will drain resources from what could be used to implement Edwards' anti-poverty vision. It's no wonder no one has made the connection as the economics of the two programs are vastly different.

Kathy Callan


I have heard Gore speak of Edwards in glowing terms...and I have heard
Edwards do the same of Gore...I know they met during the campaign...probably
on several occasions.

I have to disagree with you on a major point: Edwards does get it...In fact, one of the reasons I supported Edwards was the fact that he wove all the issues together...halting global warming and strengthening the middle class/ending
poverty/strenthening rural economies were all woven together in his energy/global warming plan, entitled: "Ending Global Warming Through a New Energy Economy":


Edwards was the only Democratic candidate endorsed by a major environmental organization, Friends of the Earth Action, during the primary campaign, for his strong stands on the environment, and he got rave reviews for his platform on grist.org Edwards, much to his credit, mentioned global warming as a "crisis" during nearly every speaking engagement he had.

You can see for yourself how Edwards wove all the planks of his platform together by going toEdwards's "Plan to Build One America" on http://jre.gigliwood.com/issues/index.html

As recently as his interview on NOW with David Brancaccio, John Edwards said that we
can't put all the issues in little individual silos....they're all
connected: http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/429/index.html

The idea of Edwards and Gore joining forces would be great...I'm sure they would welcome the suggestion...Implementing it with their already-tight schedules might be
a bit of a challenge right now, though...

Jim Leemann

Edwards joining Gore - it will never happen after Edwards adulterous Love Child revelation this week. Gore will distance himself from Edwards much like he did from Clinton after Monica. Edwards credibility is completely destroyed. By the way, Gore is a Loon who is in it for nothing more than his PROFIT.

David Biddle

Great piece! Makes the case that needs to be made succinctly. The entire structure of the progressive movement has so far demonstrated a very limited creative capacity to see that past modes of thought cannot get us to the future we desire. Vision into action is not such an easy task...especially when your vision is not so good. Keep plugging away.

I'm beginning to think we need (a movement?)something that might be called Creative Global Community Development. Pondering the global warming/energy problem, I keep coming back to the fact that solutions that will work are mostly going to be community-based. It is also clear to me that social scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and educators are the ones with the talent and know-how to really create lasting change.


I have been put in charge of finding a solution to get our 22 unit condo off the grid. My research is getting frustrating with solar companies wanting up front fees, and companies that do not seem interested.
I live in a community that has 400 condo's and 600 homes on a 12 mile canal system that are only under electricity, with no gas available.
I have found out that our lagoon system does not have a outlet back into the lake, and I thought maybe even a water turbine system might work if I knew how to get it done?
If any person can help with my research I would greatly appreciate it.

Jay Rosenberg

The case for renewable energy (RE) is actually understated. Firstly, the cost/kWh for properly designed RE systems/ farms is less than fossil fuel and less than Nuclear. We could revitalize the US economy with cheap, copious, carbon free electricity. The $700B or more annual reduction in fossil fuel purchases, refining, logistics, etc., is like an annual $700B reduction in taxes, and/or additional investment in our country infrastructure, populous, healthcare,... our leaders can make. Cheap power also means desalinization, growing produce where/ when it does not now grow economically, and the economic justification to scrub toxins from our industrial processes. My company is engaged in commercializing $.05 or less/kWh RE systems. Sannerwind@gmail.com

The comments to this entry are closed.