Tag Archives: solar

Breaking Global Climate Action

by Suzanne Maxx

The movement for global transformation, is building around the world.  Everyone is needed— as it’s our common future, in our one common home, so we all are being called to take action.

Join  an aerial art piece in Washington DC 4:00-6:00 AM, meeting at  7th and Jefferson.  This human font Aerial Art masterpiece will be created by artist John Quigley of Spectral Q and is sponsored by the Franciscan Action Network, with Earth Day on the Mall— as Pope Francis addresses the US Congress at 10:00 AM you can watch the speech with a transcript  here. A schedule of the pope’s visit to the US is here.

NYC Barbara's roof top sunset20150923_193258We’ll be  in New York to “Light the Way”, “Under One Sky” in the evening across the street from the United Nations at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza 47th and 1st Avenue 4:30-5:30 a multi-faith Festival of Prayer and Music. You can participate wherever you are in the world tomorrow check to see if there is an event near you here.

Wherever you are you can watch New York’s leading conference, Reforming the Energy Vision, live. Tune in Thursday September 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. Click here to see the live panel presentations.World Team Now’s renewable energy microgrid continues, but that is for another blog.  Here is a valuable article Power to the People

UN 2014 edit 20140922_132518Tomorrow, the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), has the Sustainability Summit through September 25th, you can watch it all on UN.TV here live.  We are optimistic that all world leaders will sign on to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals.  The deadline if adopted will be 2030, and although we need it to happen sooner, the first step is to tell everybody about the goals—spread the word to 7 billion in 7 days is the 1st goal.

Watch this fabulous video

Learn more about the 17 goals we like this video here.

Click for Global Goals herewww.globalgoals.org

See what Steven Hawkins has to say about the Global Goals here:

http://https://youtu.be/RTRdtrsL9jg

Global transformation does take everyone… So we need you. The Global Goals are something we all can get behind as a critical “to do list” to sustain our future.  What is your favorite goal?

Join the Global Citizens’ Festival and Concert: Great Lawn, Central Park, NYC Saturday the 26th https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/festival/2015/

It certainly helps that a team of individuals each with a big following are taking action, augmenting the efforts of the United Nations. Bill McGibben leader of the divest from fossil fuel movement and invest in renewable energy has specific measurable results to date over 2.6 trillion dollars of victory.  Leonardo Di Caprio made the news when he divested his organizations funds yesterday celebrity power in the movement helps, but what will change the game is all of us together. Although creative master minds like Richard Curtis can orchestrate global game changing efforts on many fronts.

What we are creating is a global conversation through a multi-media platform that connects people, projects and the world.  What we’re building a consciousness about change.  And we can do that by showcasing socially and environmentally responsible projects that demonstrate how people can work together and play to transform the world.

UN takes on “Climate Neutrality” check out what you can do right now in your home or business to offset; Check out this resourceful website Climate Neutral Now.  For more read the Press Release

IRENA puts out Global Atlas for renewable energy in your pocket, real time planning for solar, wind, geothermal, tidal and more!  We are so eager to test this one out with World Team. They have launched a contest;

Participation is easy.

  1. Download the Global Atlas pocket app (from Google play, Blackberry world, ITunes, Windows Phone stores)
  2. Open the app, navigate to the Main Menu search
  3. Add a layer of a renewable energy technology of your choice
  4. Share the map on Twitter
  5. Hashtag your country or region, the energy source, and add to the existing text in the share window. (Example: Mapping renewable energy potential around the world through @IRENA’s #GlobalAtlas #solar #mycountry

If you are in NYC this is Climate Week, check out the events here.

Here are some great articles, campaigns, events and related links we aggregated:

If you are wondering about the seriousness of the climate situation, and the timing of action– here is another article Why Waterworld Will Exist

On the Defense:  One way to change up the game; Youth under the age of 21 sue the state and federal governments for not taking action on Climate Change read more here;

For John Lennon’s Birthday in October; Yoko Ono is hosting one of the largest aerial art pieces in history.”Imagine Peace: GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® attempt Largest human peace sign”.  See you there? RSVP

 Want to go to COP21? Win a Trip to Paris?  Read more about  how your musical gift can get you there!

Remember World Team is Casting— read more here 

The Solar Impulse— Living Dreams of Transformation

Across America 2013:Final leg from Washington DC. to New-York City. Final Approach © Solar Impulse |Revillard| Rezo.ch

Across America 2013:Final leg from Washington DC. to New-York City. Final Approach © Solar Impulse |Revillard| Rezo.ch

Pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the pilots for the all-solar plane, had the dream for The Solar Impulse— the first manned flight to fly both day and night. When we first met, it was a model plane and now it has made history.  There are few people who choose to live their lives by pioneering inspirational projects that prioritize the global dream of transformation; in that spirit we are united.  In this way, even when I met Bertrand Piccard and André Roschberg for the first time in Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 at the United Nation’s conference COP15, they shined the light through their eyes, with words and ultimately deeds of inspiration.

Bertrand Piccard and André' Roschberg of the SolarImpulse at The United Nation's Conference COP15 Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 when the SolarImpulse was a model and a dream.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg of the Solar Impulse at The United Nation’s Conference COP15 Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 when the Solar Impulse was a model and a dream.

The Solar Impulse when it was a model at COP15 in 2009.

The Solar Impulse when it was just a model at COP15 in 2009. Now its mission has been accomplished — to demonstrate that flight can be done in a totally sustainable way. Now on to the second Solar Impulse airplane, the HB-S1B, in 2015!

Betrand would say, “Life is not governed by chance, but by encounters”.  We shared about realizing dreams against seemingly impossible challenges; we shared visions, and together laughed louder than the chorus’ that sang songs of cynicism and doubt, and knew this was an important time for our planet.  A time where human’s challenge to live in balance with our natural resources needed demonstration. The Across America journey was then a distant dream.  From San Francisco to Texas to Arizonia to St. Louis to Washington DC and ultimately to New York.

The Solar Impulse the all-solar airplane follows in a rich tradition of risky aviation demonstrations from the Wright Brothers to Lindberg’s hop over the Atlantic. These pioneers used their flights to push the dream into reality, launching new industries by piloting courageous first flights for the public to witness.  Bertrand’s family has a lineage of this type of pioneering legacy as well, with a message. But it is more than the technology, it is a model for a path that is needed—and each major step, is a metaphor not just for realizing aviation dreams but also for a demonstration project about renewable energy to combat climate change. It’s more than teaming-up unique pioneers like Bertrand and André. Herein, this project is a marriage of innovative technology and sustainability, both needed to come together for real change at a rapid rate with public adoption, for global transformation.

We at World Team Now watched from afar as the plane became a reality, as it was tested and flown in different parts of the world—following, promoting to the public, sharing, blogging, tweeting and holding the light that we would unite, and all of our dreams would indeed be realized. We watched and followed the stream in real time through the pilot’s journeys watching one major step after another.

In the tone of realizing dreams, and being an inspiration for the Wall Street financial world at REFF Wall Street our friends André and Bertrand, the Pilot's of the Solar Impulse airplane teamed-up for a game changing keynote speech.

In the tone of realizing dreams, and being an inspiration for the Wall Street financial world at REFF Wall Street our friends André and Bertrand, the Pilot’s of the Solar Impulse airplane teamed-up for a game changing keynote speech.

What a surprise to learn that both Bertrand and André Borschberg who I just followed virtually from St. Louis to Washington DC, would be the key note speakers for Renewable Energy Financing Forum (REFF) -Wall Street. REFF-Wall Street, an event World Team Now participated in as a supporting organization is held in New York City, and they, us, and the event would all be in New York.  Their key note’s message to the extremely traditional Wall Street financial brokers was that “green” was not just good for the ecology; it was also good for the economy, stimulating new industries, and many green jobs.  The Solar Impulse’s approach to financing going beyond traditional methods was indeed an entrepreneurial approach with integrated marketing partners, branded with their technology and services within the Solar Impulse, patrons, angels, and other fundraising mechanisms. This all hit home harder when President Obama  gave a speech on his plan to fight climate change which echoed similar sentiments that were spoken by the innovators of the Solar Impulse team. When we connected after the key note, I learned of the challenges of the last leg to New York with what was then an exact unknown departure date and time; there were still formidable obstacles. To top it off, it was a surprise to see Bertrand and André again in the same day during NY Clean Energy Week’s event at the Tesla showroom celebrating along with other innovators.

We at World Team Now worked diligently to find a way to support the last leg’s landing of the Across America from Washington to New York, and through our contacts at the Governor’s office were able to team-up people and bring in the Port Authority to participate and contribute to help overcome some of the obstacles.

Visit our gallery of the Solar Impulse JFK Landing by clicking on the picture.

Visit our gallery of the Solar Impulse JFK Landing by clicking on the picture.

We were honored to participate in a slice of history and be present for the successful landing of the Solar Impulse at JFK on Saturday July 6th 2013 at 11:09 pm. This “dream come true” moment was ineffable. To be in the presence of all who made the living dream of transformation a true reality, to share in the moment of completion of the Across America Journey with them and be there to see with one’s own eyes is an indelible moment that lives in many lives, besides mine. There was only a small group of us VIPs, journalists, and 50 lucky contest winners allowed to this special historic event. Not only was aviation history written in New York, but it was such a victorious event, as the plane continued to fly even after a rip in the fabric about 8 feet occurred in flight, forcing the plane to land early and modify their originally intended route and landing time.

Had the plane crashed, instead of the one in San Francisco, of course all eyes would have been on the Solar Impulse (a commentary about our society’s present values).  Those of us that bore witness to this historical moment were so elated; a spirit that was contagious with looks of awe in the silence and lack of noise, with clean fresh breathable air free of burned jet fuel, with a wing span (208 ft / 63.4m)  a bit larger than a 747 ‘s  (195 ft 8 in / 59.6 m) when it landed a few feet in front of us on the tarmac where we waited.  We met others who were equally blown away by this moment and also captured it here in Roland Pabst’s blog.  The media impressions surpassed expectations with  8.3  billion thus far—which is significant, especially given the poor presence of traditional media sources at the New York landing.

The public at large has had a hard time of truly understanding the full potential of solar energy and other renewables as well as the importance of the change to a more balanced energy source.  So when people can see that the all-solar plane flies at night they begin to really understand the battery storage concept— the choice to be able to feed energy back into the electrical grid and/or store energy, and even sell it back to the grid or use it.  As Bertand explained, “Our plane, Solar Impulse, was never designed to carry passengers, but to carry a message”.

We learned more about the message at the press conference on Monday; events continued reaching the public like the opening of NASDAQ where Tom Werner from SunPower rang the bell with Bertrand and André.  Then the meeting at the U.N. where the Clean Tech flag was planted—hopefully this will further inspire the U.N. towards a binding climate treaty— finally (especially after the horror of Copenhagen) —  we are long overdue for global action for collective energy and for our one environment, our one world.  The people of New York got other opportunities to share in the gift of the Solar Impulse at the various other community events hosted by sponsors, such as Schindler at the Intrepid.  We hope this inspires you to see for yourself and take advantage of the Solar Impulse’s Public Day.  If you miss the Solar Impulse this time, keep it on your radar, as in they will return during their World Tour in 2015.  Say good-bye to this airplane yourself— it is for all people to see here in the USA at JFK now for the public, click here to find out more. Be an ambassador for our future, and go and see the beauty and possibility the Solar Impulse represents.

Earth’s Day? Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill/ Fukushima Nuclear Radiation

 It’s Earth Month (EPA’s is celebrating) and this Friday, April 22nd is Earth Day.  At the one year mark of the Deep Water Horizon  Oil Spill –I remember the grief process that caused devastation, the loss of our resources, the harm done to the ocean, the air, the  biodiversity and all of us in the surrounding habitat. Last year I became inactive and silent.  This year, we hadn’t yet recovered when three more disasters in Japan have left radiation spreading from Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. I have taken baby steps this time, to write this blog, to join Facebook and Twittter and producing a small  local event; please join us.  Please share this link!  http://www.worldteamnow.org/energy-future-earth.html   

Local Event to Raise Awareness during Global Catastrophy

It is for the article on “Energy and Our Future with Earth” click here.  

When you view the first images of the Fukushima nuclear power plant’s explosion of the Japanese coverage  or the German coverage, it is understandable why it did not get wide visibility in traditional media outlets, as it would have cause public panic. How many people realize that these explosions at the nuclear power plant included the classic mushroom cloud?  It is also important for us to have the courage to look at the reality of the tragic situation, authentically with courage.  If the dark part of humanity can be embraced we have a chance at moving on to the Light.  This process is a path to true lasting change, looking deeply inside ourselves and within our world, and asking; “Is this what I choose?”

What is surprising is that I have heard this response when Fukushima is mentioned, “I thought that was done?”  No, like the Deep Horizon Water Oil Spill we really all need to watch this situation closely as it affects that status of not only Japan as a country but all of homes, the earth.

The story through videos;

Live coverage of Tsunami arising http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk1ESJ78zWs&feature=related

Live coverage of Tsunami hitting Sendai CNN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj-8Lhgv3nk

The crippling first images of Fukushima nuclear power plant’s destruction

Mushroom Cloud Reactor #3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsJT88jX2SA&feature=related

The explanation of what happened at the nuclear power plant CNN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdbitRlbLDc&feature=player_embedded

The present situation thoroughly explained from a scientific perspective by nuclear expert Arnold Gunderson. We recommend viewing the past entries too, for a detailed understanding of what is happening see these sites.

Lewis Arms Control

GRS.de

Japan Atomic Industrial Forum

Tokyo Electric Power Company Tepco.co.jp


Freedom, Choice – Independence Day

Independence, Freedom, & Choice

"The Statue of Liberty"- photo by Suzanne Maxx

By Suzanne Maxx

I love celebrating “The Declaration of Independence” and this year, Independence has great meaning on 4th of July in NYC.  True independence is within our vision, now evidenced by the sweeping changes abound;

We have a new Energy Bill thanks to representatives Waxman & Markey’s; American Energy and Security Act (ACES). It  just made it through the House of Representatives(HR2454). This bill is a step towards the first law of its kind for the USA, which could help us on the path towards Energy Independence and allow the alternative sources like solar; wind, tidal, geothermal to grow.  Obama  seems to be in favor of it, although there werelast minute controversial changes.

Independence from Oil, now that would merit a big celebration, and fireworks.

With “Copenhagen” in December there is a true possibility of the first ever Global Environmental Treaty ratified for our world.  We have more countries than ever before attempting to work together to take on the Climate Crisis, that is significant.

The USA is manufacturing electric vehicles and the automotive industry is transforming.

Serve.gov is one example of how Service, Contribution, Integrity and Environmental Responsibility are being valued as a commodity and the world of business is being reformed.

The Web, social networks, streaming media, multiple channels of TV:  withviewer “Independence” and so much choice, the entertainment industry is transformed.

EPA declares Greenhouse Gases pose threat to public health–and a greater accountability from polluters is born.

The ARRA creates green jobs, and funds the kind of projects that will insure our independent future, and asks for a smarter electrical grid, and Utilities are being transformed.   Solutions are born.

Let us celebrate our greatest gift we have in this country-freedom.  It is so exciting to live in a time of change, where the possibility of creating a future independent from the past is real.

World Team’s green building (that intends to have the option to function independent of the electrical grid is closer to reality)—and a new for profit Delaware corporation ;  “World Team –Building LLC” that will contribute to World Team Now, is born.

In truth we are all dependent on the love that we need from one another and more that is ineffable: the air we breathe, water, food and something bigger and beyond each us— some call it “nature,” I say “God” (call it what you will, but let’s answer the call with reverence and respect).

May you realize the greatest gift that grows from Independence; Freedom

Freedom gives choice—how do you choose to use your resources; Time, Energy, Action and Money?

A twist of irony–to celebrate independence at a time where there is “dependence” on the Team of people who are all working on our growing World Team Now.    Thank you All— and we welcome All!

Stimulus for Transformation?

What do you love for Valentine’s Day?  How about a possibility for the USA to move towards transformation?  It is hard to believe we may see some governmental support for Alternative and Renewable Energy & Technology: Green Building, Solar, Wind, Plug in Electric Vehicles, a Smart Grid, the fact that these are finally being recognized is a demonstration of love of our earth and humanity, consciousness growing– on Valentine’s Day in the USA. Here is what appears to be in the box of candy, but one never knows when you bite into it, what is on the inside….

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan (H.R.1), passed by Congress today is expected to be forwarded, and signed into law shortly.
Highlights from the Stimulus Package are:

Renewable Energy Incentives

$20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency over 10 years, including: extending tax credits for energy produced from wind, geothermal, hydropower and landfill gas; (This is very exciting!)
grants to build renewable energy facilities ;(
hope many can benefit, this is great especially if policy comes into play to inspire people towards transformation)
tax credits for purchases of energy-efficient furnaces, windows and doors, or insulation;(NYSERDA co-generation, heat coolant geothermal?)
tax credit for families that purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles (finally incentives, the Electric Vehicle will indeed be resurrected, and with better batteries: A123 )

Energy
About $50 billion for energy programs, focused chiefly on efficiency and renewable energy, (ok, this gets us going!) including
$5 billion to weatherize modest-income homes;
$6.4 billion to clean up nuclear weapons production sites; (this merits further discussion later)
$11 billion toward a so-called “smart electricity grid” —Yes, it is so anitquated our Grid, it’s time to reduce waste;
$13.9 billion to subsidize loans for renewable energy projects (Elation!  World Team -Dream to Reality);
$6.3 billion in state energy efficiency and clean energy grants(NYSERDA’s deserves support for their programs)
$4.5 billion make federal buildings more energy efficient (“Got to be the change ….”)

Elated about most of this but,  we will discuss the nuclear waste issue when we are not in a mode of gratitude…

Science
$3 billion for the National Science Foundation for basic science and engineering research; (Yes, hopefully explore the ocean and more with Tidal Energy)
$1 billion for NASA;
$1.6 billion research in areas such as climate science, biofuels, high-energy physics and nuclear physics. .

Infrastructure
$46 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair;
$8.4 billion for mass transit;
$8 billion for construction of high-speed railways and $1.3 billion for Amtrak;
$4.6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers;
$4 billion for public housing improvements;
$6.4 billion for clean and drinking water projects;
$7 billion to bring broadband Internet service to underserved areas.

Expanded college credit
About $13 billion to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.

It will be interesting to see what legislation actually goes into effect and becomes solid. We focused on the legislation that aligned with the core competencies of the work we have been focused on developing with World Team for almost two decades.  The other issues are significant as well but, and like cells of our body all contribute to the whole of this will become emergent.

Solar Energy: Here Comes the Sun

Our path for World Team Now is to create change, show it through the journey of teams of people, as they take on environmental and social projects.

 

Our pilot World Team project is the Malibu Solar Roof on “The Sunset Restaurant,” in 2009. Team World Corps'(“World Team Now’s”) first gala dinner event was held in December 2, 2007 at The Sunset. To learn more about the event and the Sunset Restaurant, click here:

 

http://worldteamnow.org/events/twcgala.html

 

Policy & Politics: Shining the Light on Solar Energy

 

A good for beginning real change in politics is to know that Congress passed an 8-Year Extension of Solar Investment Tax Credit

 

This historic legislation extends the 30-percent federal investment tax credit for both residential and commercial solar installations for 8 more years.

 

This legislation will:

 

  • Extend for 8 years the 30-percent tax credit for both residential and commercial solar installations;

 

  • Eliminate the $2,000 monetary cap for residential solar electric installations, creating a true 30-percent credit;

 

  • Eliminate the prohibition on utilities from benefiting from the credit;

 

  • Allow Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) filers, both businesses and families, to take the credit; and

 

  • Authorize $800 million for clean energy bonds for renewable energy generating facilities, including solar.

 

The energy presented with the Inauguration of President Obama is historical and represents the best of what can be united within us: unity within the possibility of freedom, and change for ALL.

Alternative Energy

The possibilities present at this time with alternative energies are exciting. This cross roads for humanity now, as we become more conscious of resources by being deliberate in how we use them, is certainly a balancing challenge. But this is an unprecedented time as there are more people taking action, and joining together to find solutions. That is what we at Team World Corps (TWC) are about– growing that environmental/social “movement,” thanks for joining us.

Over a year ago some of you remember we were in a dialog with VP Al Gore regarding the World Team project and his participation in sending the World Team on their “mission”. Last week he sent the world on a mission, with a powerful speech where he challenged the world to make a change to alternative energy within the next 10 year.

This is may be one of those history-making speeches, and may it only come close to the influence and an action of Rev. Martin Luther King’s, Nelson Mandela’s and Kennedy’s as Gore references below:

Al Gore: A Generational Challenge to Repower America
“Ladies and gentlemen:

There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more – if more should be required – the future of human civilization is at stake.

I don’t remember a time in our country when so many things seemed to be going so wrong simultaneously. Our economy is in terrible shape and getting worse, gasoline prices are increasing dramatically, and so are electricity rates. Jobs are being outsourced. Home mortgages are in trouble. Banks, automobile companies and other institutions we depend upon are under growing pressure. Distinguished senior business leaders are telling us that this is just the beginning unless we find the courage to make some major changes quickly.

The climate crisis, in particular, is getting a lot worse – much more quickly than predicted. Scientists with access to data from Navy submarines traversing underneath the North polar ice cap have warned that there is now a 75 percent chance that within five years the entire ice cap will completely disappear during the summer months. This will further increase the melting pressure on Greenland. According to experts, the Jakobshavn glacier, one of Greenland’s largest, is moving at a faster rate than ever before, losing 20 million tons of ice every day, equivalent to the amount of water used every year by the residents of New York City.

Two major studies from military intelligence experts have warned our leaders about the dangerous national security implications of the climate crisis, including the possibility of hundreds of millions of climate refugees destabilizing nations around the world.

Just two days ago, 27 senior statesmen and retired military leaders warned of the national security threat from an “energy tsunami” that would be triggered by a loss of our access to foreign oil. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq continues, and now the war in Afghanistan appears to be getting worse.

And by the way, our weather sure is getting strange, isn’t it? There seem to be more tornadoes than in living memory, longer droughts, bigger downpours and record floods. Unprecedented fires are burning in California and elsewhere in the American West. Higher temperatures lead to drier vegetation that makes kindling for mega-fires of the kind that have been raging in Canada, Greece, Russia, China, South America, Australia and Africa. Scientists in the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Science at Tel Aviv University tell us that for every one degree increase in temperature, lightning strikes will go up another 10 percent. And it is lightning, after all, that is principally responsible for igniting the conflagration in California today.

Like a lot of people, it seems to me that all these problems are bigger than any of the solutions that have thus far been proposed for them, and that’s been worrying me.

I’m convinced that one reason we’ve seemed paralyzed in the face of these crises is our tendency to offer old solutions to each crisis separately – without taking the others into account. And these outdated proposals have not only been ineffective – they almost always make the other crises even worse.

Yet when we look at all three of these seemingly intractable challenges at the same time, we can see the common thread running through them, deeply ironic in its simplicity: our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels is at the core of all three of these challenges – the economic, environmental and national security crises.

We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that’s got to change.

But if we grab hold of that common thread and pull it hard, all of these complex problems begin to unravel and we will find that we’re holding the answer to all of them right in our hand.
The answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels.

In my search for genuinely effective answers to the climate crisis, I have held a series of “solutions summits” with engineers, scientists, and CEOs. In those discussions, one thing has become abundantly clear: when you connect the dots, it turns out that the real solutions to the climate crisis are the very same measures needed to renew our economy and escape the trap of ever-rising energy prices. Moreover, they are also the very same solutions we need to guarantee our national security without having to go to war in the Persian Gulf.

What if we could use fuels that are not expensive, don’t cause pollution and are abundantly available right here at home?

We have such fuels. 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.

The quickest, cheapest and best way to start using all this renewable energy is in the production of electricity. In fact, we can start right now using solar power, wind power and geothermal power to make electricity for our homes and businesses.

But to make this exciting potential a reality, and truly solve our nation’s problems, we need a new start.

That’s why I’m proposing today a strategic initiative designed to free us from the crises that are holding us down and to regain control of our own destiny. It’s not the only thing we need to do. But this strategic challenge is the lynchpin of a bold new strategy needed to re-power America.

Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.

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

A few years ago, it would not have been possible to issue such a challenge. But here’s what’s changed: the sharp cost reductions now beginning to take place in solar, wind, and geothermal power – coupled with the recent dramatic price increases for oil and coal – have radically changed the economics of energy.

When I first went to Congress 32 years ago, I listened to experts testify that if oil ever got to $35 a barrel, then renewable sources of energy would become competitive. Well, today, the price of oil is over $135 per barrel. And sure enough, billions of dollars of new investment are flowing into the development of concentrated solar thermal, photovoltaics, windmills, geothermal plants, and a variety of ingenious new ways to improve our efficiency and conserve presently wasted energy.

And as the demand for renewable energy grows, the costs will continue to fall. Let me give you one revealing example: the price of the specialized silicon used to make solar cells was recently as high as $300 per kilogram. But the newest contracts have prices as low as $50 a kilogram.

You know, the same thing happened with computer chips – also made out of silicon. The price paid for the same performance came down by 50 percent every 18 months – year after year, and that’s what’s happened for 40 years in a row.

To those who argue that we do not yet have the technology to accomplish these results with renewable energy: I ask them to come with me to meet the entrepreneurs who will drive this revolution. I’ve seen what they are doing and I have no doubt that we can meet this challenge.

To those who say the costs are still too high: I ask them to consider whether the costs of oil and coal will ever stop increasing if we keep relying on quickly depleting energy sources to feed a rapidly growing demand all around the world. When demand for oil and coal increases, their price goes up. When demand for solar cells increases, the price often comes down.

When we send money to foreign countries to buy nearly 70 percent of the oil we use every day, they build new skyscrapers and we lose jobs. When we spend that money building solar arrays and windmills, we build competitive industries and gain jobs here at home.

Of course there are those who will tell us this can’t be done. Some of the voices we hear are the defenders of the status quo – the ones with a vested interest in perpetuating the current system, no matter how high a price the rest of us will have to pay. But even those who reap the profits of the carbon age have to recognize the inevitability of its demise. As one OPEC oil minister observed, “The Stone Age didn’t end because of a shortage of stones.”

To those who say 10 years is not enough time, I respectfully ask them to consider what the world’s scientists are telling us about the risks we face if we don’t act in 10 years. The leading experts predict that we have less than 10 years to make dramatic changes in our global warming pollution lest we lose our ability to ever recover from this environmental crisis. When the use of oil and coal goes up, pollution goes up. When the use of solar, wind and geothermal increases, pollution comes down.

To those who say the challenge is not politically viable: I suggest they go before the American people and try to defend the status quo. Then bear witness to the people’s appetite for change.

I for one do not believe our country can withstand 10 more years of the status quo. Our families cannot stand 10 more years of gas price increases. Our workers cannot stand 10 more years of job losses and outsourcing of factories. Our economy cannot stand 10 more years of sending $2 billion every 24 hours to foreign countries for oil. And our soldiers and their families cannot take another 10 years of repeated troop deployments to dangerous regions that just happen to have large oil supplies.

What could we do instead for the next 10 years? What should we do during the next 10 years? Some of our greatest accomplishments as a nation have resulted from commitments to reach a goal that fell well beyond the next election: the Marshall Plan, Social Security, the interstate highway system. But a political promise to do something 40 years from now is universally ignored because everyone knows that it’s meaningless. Ten years is about the maximum time that we as a nation can hold a steady aim and hit our target.

When President John F. Kennedy challenged our nation to land a man on the moon and bring him back safely in 10 years, many people doubted we could accomplish that goal. But 8 years and 2 months later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon.

To be sure, reaching the goal of 100 percent renewable and truly clean electricity within 10 years will require us to overcome many obstacles. At present, for example, we do not have a unified national grid that is sufficiently advanced to link the areas where the sun shines and the wind blows to the cities in the East and the West that need the electricity. Our national electric grid is critical infrastructure, as vital to the health and security of our economy as our highways and telecommunication networks. Today, our grids are antiquated, fragile, and vulnerable to cascading failure. Power outages and defects in the current grid system cost US businesses more than $120 billion dollars a year. It has to be upgraded anyway.

We could further increase the value and efficiency of a Unified National Grid by helping our struggling auto giants switch to the manufacture of plug-in electric cars. An electric vehicle fleet would sharply reduce the cost of driving a car, reduce pollution, and increase the flexibility of our electricity grid.

At the same time, of course, we need to greatly improve our commitment to efficiency and conservation. That’s the best investment we can make.

America’s transition to renewable energy sources must also include adequate provisions to assist those Americans who would unfairly face hardship. For example, we must recognize those who have toiled in dangerous conditions to bring us our present energy supply. We should guarantee good jobs in the fresh air and sunshine for any coal miner displaced by impacts on the coal industry. Every single one of them.

Of course, we could and should speed up this transition by insisting that the price of carbon-based energy include the costs of the environmental damage it causes. I have long supported a sharp reduction in payroll taxes with the difference made up in CO2 taxes. We should tax what we burn, not what we earn. This is the single most important policy change we can make.

In order to foster international cooperation, it is also essential that the United States rejoin the global community and lead efforts to secure an international treaty at Copenhagen in December of next year that includes a cap on CO2 emissions and a global partnership that recognizes the necessity of addressing the threats of extreme poverty and disease as part of the world’s agenda for solving the climate crisis.

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.

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.

Am I the only one who finds it strange that our government so often adopts a so-called solution that has absolutely nothing to do with the problem it is supposed to address? When people rightly complain about higher gasoline prices, we propose to give more money to the oil companies and pretend that they’re going to bring gasoline prices down. It will do nothing of the sort, and everyone knows it. If we keep going back to the same policies that have never ever worked in the past and have served only to produce the highest gasoline prices in history alongside the greatest oil company profits in history, nobody should be surprised if we get the same result over and over again. But the Congress may be poised to move in that direction anyway because some of them are being stampeded by lobbyists for special interests that know how to make the system work for them instead of the American people.

If you want to know the truth about gasoline prices, here it is: the exploding demand for oil, especially in places like China, is overwhelming the rate of new discoveries by so much that oil prices are almost certain to continue upward over time no matter what the oil companies promise. And politicians cannot bring gasoline prices down in the short term.

However, there actually is one extremely effective way to bring the costs of driving a car way down within a few short years. The way to bring gas prices down is to end our dependence on oil and use the renewable sources that can give us the equivalent of $1 per gallon gasoline.

Many Americans have begun to wonder whether or not we’ve simply lost our appetite for bold policy solutions. And folks who claim to know how our system works these days have told us we might as well forget about our political system doing anything bold, especially if it is contrary to the wishes of special interests. And I’ve got to admit, that sure seems to be the way things have been going. But I’ve begun to hear different voices in this country from people who are not only tired of baby steps and special interest politics, but are hungry for a new, different and bold approach.

We are on the eve of a presidential election. We are in the midst of an international climate treaty process that will conclude its work before the end of the first year of the new president’s term. It is a great error to say that the United States must wait for others to join us in this matter. In fact, we must move first, because that is the key to getting others to follow; and because moving first is in our own national interest.

So I ask you to join with me to call on every candidate, at every level, to accept this challenge – for America to be running on 100 percent zero-carbon electricity in 10 years. It’s time for us to move beyond empty rhetoric. We need to act now.

This is a generational moment. A moment when we decide our own path and our collective fate. I’m asking you – each of you – to join me and build this future. Please join the WE campaign at wecansolveit.org.We need you. And we need you now. We’re committed to changing not just light bulbs, but laws. And laws will only change with leadership.

On July 16, 1969, the United States of America was finally ready to meet President Kennedy’s challenge of landing Americans on the moon. I will never forget standing beside my father a few miles from the launch site, waiting for the giant Saturn 5 rocket to lift Apollo 11 into the sky. I was a young man, 21 years old, who had graduated from college a month before and was enlisting in the United States Army three weeks later.

I will never forget the inspiration of those minutes. The power and the vibration of the giant rocket’s engines shook my entire body. As I watched the rocket rise, slowly at first and then with great speed, the sound was deafening. We craned our necks to follow its path until we were looking straight up into the air. And then four days later, I watched along with hundreds of millions of others around the world as Neil Armstrong took one small step to the surface of the moon and changed the history of the human race.

We must now lift our nation to reach another goal that will change history. Our entire civilization depends upon us now embarking on a new journey of exploration and discovery. Our success depends on our willingness as a people to undertake this journey and to complete it within 10 years. Once again, we have an opportunity to take a giant leap for humankind.”

These words further validate our cause with Team World Corps and World Team and our focus now on energy.

Let’s hold that vision, eloquently expressed by VP Gore–as a team, and take that challenge!