SharpGIS

#GIS from a .NET developer's perspective

Vote for a future Earth Day

So it's Earth Day today, and there are all sorts of blog posts out there on saving energy like saving a few watts with a new and better lightbulb, or pissing a lot of people of by driving a little slower on the highways. All these honorable initiatives are great and admirable, but I don't think they have much effect, because there are just way too few does these things (maybe we are just too stupid and/or lazy), and what we do is far from enough. What we really need is the politicians to set tough goals and invest heavy in technologies that really can make a change.

So what can you really do? Well you can vote for the politicians you think will do the most to make that happen. Currently the American Presidential election is still on-going, so judge from yourself. All 3 candidates have a page dedicated to environmental issues, so I pulled some bullets from their campain websites (but go read the full thing on the links before you decide), so you can judge from yourself. Of course there are many other important issues to look at, but given the current state of the world and that the United States wastes more energy than anyone else, I personally think it's of the highest importance. We had a great run the last century, but I'm afraid we have to start paying the bills...

Hillary Clinton - http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/energy/

  • Reduce electricity consumption 20 percent from projected levels by 2020.
  • A $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund, paid for in part by oil companies, to fund investments in alternative energy.
  • Doubling of federal investment in basic energy research.
  • Aggressive action to transition our economy toward renewable energy sources, with renewables generating 25 percent of electricity by 2025 and with 60 billion gallons of home-grown biofuels available for cars and trucks by 2030.
  • 10 "Smart Grid City" partnerships to prove the advanced capabilities of smart grid and other advanced demand-reduction technologies, as well as new investment in plug-in hybrid vehicle technologies.
  • An increase in fuel efficiency standards to 55 miles per gallon by 2030, and $20 billion of "Green Vehicle Bonds" to help U.S. automakers retool their plants to meet the standards.
  • A plan to catalyze a thriving green building industry by investing in green collar jobs and helping to modernize and retrofit 20 million low-income homes to make them more energy efficient.
  • A new "Connie Mae" program to make it easier for low and middle-income Americans to buy green homes and invest in green home improvements.
  • A requirement that all federal buildings designed after January 20, 2009 will be zero emissions buildings.

Barack Obama - http://www.barackobama.com/issues/energy/

  • Reduce Carbon Emissions 80 Percent below 1990 levels by 2050
  • Invest $150 billion in a Clean Energy Future, double energy research, 25% renewable energy by 2025 and develop clean coal energy.
  • Support Next Generation Biofuels Two billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol by 2013, require fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon their fuel emits by ten percent by 2020, 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be included in the fuel supply by 2022 and will increase that to at least 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol by 2030-
  • Set America on Path to Oil Independence, by reducing oil consumption by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels per day, by 2030.
  • Improve Energy Efficiency 50 Percent by 2030. Make all new buildings carbon neutral, or produce zero emissions, by 2030. He'll also establish a national goal of improving new building efficiency by 50 percent and existing building efficiency by 25 percent over the next decade to help us meet the 2030 goal.
  • Restore U.S. Leadership on Climate Change

Johm McCain - http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/65bd0fbe-737b-4851-a7e7-d9a37cb278db.htm

No bullets to pull from his website.  Generally very vague plans (especially compared to many of his other important issues, like the right to bear arms):
 “Along with his commitment to clean air and water, and to conserving open space, he has been a leader on the issue of global warming with the courage to call the nation to action on an issue we can no longer afford to ignore. [...] By addressing this problem responsibly, John McCain believes we can meet our obligation to be proper caretakers of creation, in a manner of which we can be proud - by protecting our country, strengthening our economy, and addressing the challenges of our time, rather than leaving a much worse problem for our children”.

So what am I going to vote you may ask? Well unfortunately I'm caught in the legal void between two countries and therefore not allowed to perform my democratic responsibility, but hopefully I made one or two people change their mind for the better with this blogpost.

And sorry for the off-topic post.