"If you like buying oil from the Saudis, you'll love buying solar from the Chinese!"— Thomas Friedman
Renewables too expensive? Navy Secy. Mabus: "Every new technology is more expensive. What if we hadn’t started using computers because they were more expensive than typewriters? What if we hadn't started using cell phones because they were more expensive than land lines? Where would we be?"
We're like the overweight patient that goes to the doctor and learns his cholesterol is too high. He doesn't die immediately—but until he changes his lifestyle and gets back down to the safe zone, he's at more risk from heart attack or stroke. If we're already past 350 [ppm CO2], are we all doomed? No.
Banks, insurers and big investors are beginning to price climate risk into their decisions. This will accelerate the shift to low carbon energy. Are they the fire-breathers of economic change?
"Our children and grandchildren are going to be mad at us for burning all this oil. It took the Earth 500 million years to create the stuff we're burning in 200 years. Renewable energy sources are where we need to be headed." -- Prof. Jack Edwards
“Is heart surgery preferable to a good diet? Of course not. Let’s go for the good diet.”—Bill Gates, on geoengineering.
What could be more futuristic than when the world listened with baited breath as astronauts talked to NASA control in Houston? Well, the future has arrived again in Houston, with electric car charging stations proliferating throughout the city.
"What do jet engines, computers, transistors, the internet, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) have in common? They all owe their existence to early stage investment by the U.S. government."
In 2010, 37 governments spent $409bn on artificially lowering the price of fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency. This makes fossil fuels cheaper and slows down the transition to low-emission alternatives.
A car with airbags costs more than a car without. Society decides how valuable those airbags are. Society can decide the value of renewable fuels.
"I have nothing more to do with oil. I am producing my own energy -- solar energy," Larry Hagman (the actor who played oil baron J.R. Ewing on TV show Dallas) said in a television advertisement for SolarWorld, a Bonn, Germany-based solar system producer.
"This past month, I spent more beer & pistachios than I did on gas & electric. And I am not a big drinker. It’s amazing how much (solar) cuts down on your bills and how economical it is to install.” – Jim Stroup, St. Louis, Missouri area resident who recently installed solar panels on his house.
“While fossil-based prices are on a cost curve that goes up, renewable prices are on this march downward,” said Rick Needham, Google Director of Energy and Sustainability.
Coal seems cheap only if you ignore the social costs.
"Our goal to be supplied 100% by renewable energy is the right goal and marrying up renewables with energy efficiency is especially powerful." — Wal Mart President & CEO Mike Duke
"My granddaddy used to say , 'if we could sell the wind, we'd be wealthy.' Well, who ever thought we would be selling the wind!' — Tim Alexander, resident of Roscoe, Texas.
‘Clean energy and energy efficiency companies are growing faster than any other sector. They are job creators. I cannot emphasize that strongly enough.’ – John Kerry, Secretary of State.