Seeing Green In November: The Energy Crisis On All Ballots This Year

It’s the middle of October and election day is fast   approaching. With November 4th comes one of the most highly anticipated and unprecedented presidential elections this country has ever seen. This year perhaps more than any other year before it, environmental issues–the idea of a nation learning daily how to go green and greener still–will play a significant role in choosing candidacy, as no doubt our nation’s leadership will help propel or hinder our forward motion in the areas of eco-friendly living and preservation on a global scale.

Feeling strongly that you should make the decision for yourself–and hopefully you already have–I am not here to sway you to one candidate’s side or the other; nor am I here to debate along partisan lines.

I am simply strong in my belief that knowing truly is half the battle, and as such wanted to talk about the key environmental issue that will be resting in the forefront of the candidates’ and the voters’ minds come November 4th, in the hopes that we can all come together as a country to protect that which–regardless of political, religious or socioeconomic affiliations–is central and essential to us all: our planet earth.

The Call for Clean Energy

It’s no secret we are at an important impasse when it comes to our country’s energy needs compared to our country’s energy production. There is a stark imbalance in those afore-mentioned percentages, and it will be the incoming Administrations’ job to create and direct our country closer and closer toward greener, cleaner, more renewable energy sources.

Former Vice President Al Gore has been one of the most outspoken advocates with regard to our country’s need to heed green energy practices and solutions. Specifically he’s challenged the United States as a whole to shift its entire electricity sector to carbon-free wind, solar and geothermal power within 10 years, and to use that power to fuel increasingly energy-efficient electric vehicles.

The goal is the most ambitious energy plan yet proposed by a major U.S. political figure, and one many herald as over-ambitious and unrealistic. Gore insists the only real obstacle is the reluctance of America’s leaders to seek bold solutions to high energy prices and global warming.

During Gore’s July 17th speech that doubled as a challenge to re-power America as we know it, he said, “Scientists have confirmed that enough solar energy falls on the surface of the earth every 40 minutes to meet 100 percent of the entire world’s energy needs for a full year. Tapping just a small portion of this solar energy could provide all of the electricity America uses. And enough wind power blows through the Midwest corridor every day to also meet 100 percent of US electricity demand. Geothermal energy, similarly, is capable of providing enormous supplies of electricity for America.”

“This goal is achievable, affordable and transformative,” Gore goes on to say. “It represents a challenge to all Americans in every walk of life: to our political leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers and to every citizen.”

More than time, myriad changes that need to be wrought to infrastructure and the United States’ electrical grid system, Gore asserts the greatest obstacle may in fact be our current political system, and the parties’ inability to functionally work together toward a greater, greener good:

“Of course the greatest obstacle to meeting the challenge of 100 percent renewable electricity in 10 years may be the deep dysfunction of our politics and our self-governing system as it exists today. In recent years, our politics has tended toward incremental proposals made up of small policies designed to avoid offending special interests, alternating with occasional baby steps in the right direction. Our democracy has become sclerotic at a time when these crises require boldness.”

President Bush is eager to move in a direction, though many have been vehemently opposed to his recent proposal in June of this year to overturn decades-old bans on off-shore drilling, and in the yet untouched Alaskan wilderness.

“There’s no excuse for delay,” the president told a White House press conference. “Congress must face a hard reality: unless members are willing to accept gas prices at today’s painful levels, or even higher, our nation must produce more oil. And we must start now,” he said.

Gore, and many environmentalists and citizens alike, strongly disagree.

“It is only a truly dysfunctional system that would buy into the perverse logic that the short-term answer to high gasoline prices is drilling for more oil ten years from now,” Gore stated in his challenge speech.

Clearly and without question or refute, something must be done to curb our country’s utter dependence on foreign oil. Cleaner energy exists and we must be willing and motivated to find and harness it.

The question remains: which candidate will best serve the global climate agenda, and will all parties be willing and able to reach across partisan lines to put the green agenda first?

I, for one, really hope so.

“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?”
-Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985


More information about Gore’s plan to “re-power America with 100% clean energy in 10 years” can be found at Gore is also the man behind the curtain for projects like Current T.V., Live Earth, The Climate Project, and the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary on the earth’s current climate crisis, and a global call to action.

To learn more about where presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain stand on the climate crisis and clean energy visit here and here, respectively.


An original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. Read more about all things Kerri Anne, including her renewed commitment to green living at

2 Responses to Seeing Green In November: The Energy Crisis On All Ballots This Year
  1. Mimi
    October 16, 2008 | 11:51 am

    Did you watch GI Joe?!?! Sorry, the knowing is half the battle line got me. I really hope people don’t vote with party lines in mind and vote for our futures instead.

  2. Matt D.
    October 16, 2008 | 5:20 pm

    As a country we need to start following Al Gore’s plan for completely renewable energy sources. I think it might be a little ambitious to believe that we can rely on wind and solar power in 10 years, but by working to achieve that goal we can at least see where the technology needs to be approved.