Climate Files 18 / TERAWATTS OF POWER

FN18LogowebIn this episode: News and a speaker from CIT on Powering the Planet and what it will take.


The stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones . . . . people got smarter.    We need to get smarter and move on to renewable energy.  Where are we going to get terawatts of new renewable power?

We have at most 10 years to put into place new renewable forms of energy to replace the ones we have.  Fossil fuel use has to end. The energy problem is so serious, “business as usual” is already in our rear-view mirrors. It’s more than a problem of political will.  It’s what is physically and scientifically possible. This is where research and development and technology come in.

News covered:  Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann reports that Republicans have come up with a new energy plan that is just like their old energy plan.  It includes lots and lots of fossil fuels, so it’s completely unacceptable and inappropriate. 

Biofuel is the fuel that won’t die. Read more about different kinds of new biofuels here on the Futurism Now news blog. There are several articles about new forms of biofuels that are being researched this year and late last year that sound somewhat promising.

Steven Chu was featured in last week’s Rolling Stone magazine — a very revealing interview.  It’s called The Secretary of Saving the Planet — try to find it online (not available without a subscription).  This episode discusses the article.   Steven Chu is a big fan of cap and trade legislation, unfortunately.  He also makes some revealing statements in this article.

New report:  Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. Download the report in full or in segments on this page.

Jane Lubchenco, the Undersecretary of Commerce makes a statement that is played in this episode, announcing the report.  (The entire press conference will be a separate podcast to come.)   She is also the head of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Coal broadcast from   ABC Environment  — Australian Broadcast Corp., Environmental show

Oil Shale is being pushed by Republicans.  Here’s how bad it is for the environment.
The final speaker played in this episode is  Nate Lewis of the California Institute of Technology describes the greatest problem of our time – energy use and production, and the prospects for addressing it.   This talk first aired on 5/13/2009 from UCTV.

The average total energy consumption rate is 13 trillion watts in 2001, last year it was well over 14 trillion watts.  You have to solve this problem, not just get a few cars off the road.   The U.S. consumes 96 quadrillion British thermal units in a year or 3.2 terawatts.  85% of it is fossil fuels. How can renewable energies make up for this?

The speaker, Nate Lewis, points out the challenges we are facing, and it is extremely daunting, but he also offers solutions.

Download this episode here or subscribe on the right.

Music by Afrocelt Soundsystem, Issa Bagayogo, and Kasabian on the end.