"Few things threaten America’s future prosperity more than climate change."

The title of this post is the beginning of a more extensive comment, as follows:

Few things threaten America’s future prosperity more than climate change.

But there is growing hope. Every 2.5 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is helping to fight this battle by flipping the switch on another completed solar project.

According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the United States installed an estimated 7.4 gigawatts (GW) of solar last year — a 42 percent increase over 2013 — making it the best year ever for solar installations in America. What’s more, solar accounted for a record 53 percent of all new electric generation capacity installed in the first half of 2014, pushing solar to the front as the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America.

Today, the U.S. has an estimated 20.2 GW of installed solar capacity, enough to effectively power nearly 4 million homes in the United States — or every single home in a state the size of Massachusetts or New Jersey — with another 20 GW in the pipeline for 2015-2016.

Additionally, innovative solar heating and cooling systems (SHC) are offering American consumers cost-efficient, effective options for meeting their energy needs, while lowering their utility bills. In fact, a report prepared for SEIA outlines an aggressive plan to install 100 million SHC panels in the United States by 2050. This action alone would create 50,250 new American jobs and save more than $61 billion in future energy costs.

Where do we find this quote? In a rather unexpected place. It is from a 2015 report by The AmericanPetroleum Institute.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s innovation-driven
oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members — including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, marine shipping and support businesses, and service and supply firms — provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing
grassroots movement of more than 27 million Americans. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government and, since 2000, has invested more than $3 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy.

The report (PDF) is here.

I had never realized the link between that Bob Dylan song and ... sea level rise!

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I would retitle this post:

“Few things threaten America’s future prosperity more than attempts to quickly change our energy sources in a vain hope of controlling global change.”

By Tom Harris (not verified) on 20 Jan 2015 #permalink

@Tom Harris: Tell it to the American Petroleum Institute.

Of course you would. Why don't you tell us what schedule of change you would find acceptable?

Very few participants in the fossil-fuel industries you represent (even if there's no formal relationship) talk about any sort of phaseout of their plants. Instead, what I see is any suggestion of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, on any time frame, being derided as a demand to stop fossil-fuel use immediately or in a short time, thus derailing the economy.

What's the lifetime of a coal-fired power plant — forty years? Climate change was identified as a potential problem in 1965. Absent steady opposition, we might have begun replacing aging plants with cleaner energy around the end of the twentieth century.

But the U.S. had no coherent energy policy for most of that time, which suited industry just fine, as it let them keep relying on the cheapest sources of energy.

By Christopher Winter (not verified) on 20 Jan 2015 #permalink

And here you are, 25 years after Hansen's testimony, still spreading BS instead of doing something constructive to deal with this massive problem that affects all of us. Pathetic.

By climatehawk1 (not verified) on 20 Jan 2015 #permalink