Since we have such gridlock in Congress these days, it seems that the only way we’re going to convert from dirty fossil fuels to green energy is on a state- by- state basis. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, in 2008, published a series of studies that half the states could meet their energy needs entirely within their borders. They say that 81 percent of New York’s power could be provided with wind turbines and solar panels. As for transportation, Amtrak is becoming more affordable and as the price of gasoline continues to climb, we’ll have no other choice but to carpool or ride the bus.
It’s imperative that we all be prepared for the climate change that lies ahead of us and that we realize what’s really causing it. The oil and gas industry would have us believe that global warming is the result of planetary trends, but the IPCC has stated in no uncertain terms that the warming trend is mainly caused by human activity: agriculture, power plants, and using mainly fossil fuels for transportation. Climate change is here to stay, but how dramatic that change will be depends on us and our willingness to change the way we live. The more apocalyptic scenarios---flooding, rising sea levels, tornadoes, tide surges—may be unavoidable if we don’t start to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions by 2015.