I take a personal interest in Barack Obama‘s new plan to increase investment in renewable energy technologies, as I think and hope my long-term plan of working on renewable energies will come to fruition.
Skip to 9:38 to hear about his plans for renewable energy
I don’t seek to point out any political messages other than to focus on his determination to make renewables a viable part of the American economy, much like Thomas Friedman points out in Hot, Flat & Crowded. A green revolution or economy will help to return America as an arbiter of international issues by once again showing our leadership and innovation abilities (not to mention our economic strength). While I will point out that John McCain has also shown some initiatives for renewable energy (not to mention he does not believe that drilling for oil is the only solution), I feel that his focus on nuclear as the only true long term solution in his administration would not put enough money into the hands of people that will drive the “green revolution”. Given the possibility of recession in this country (or is it already here?), I believe that direct government investment in renewables will help to jump start the economy by driving job growth. And it won’t just come from the presidential administration either; people in the house and senate all need to push these new green energy agendas to really allow for new legislation. Great examples of this are Alice Kryzan, running for the 26th congressional district in New York and Dan Maffei who is running for the 25th district, also in New York.
Probably the point that I would like to point out most in this video is his call upon the American people to reduce their consumption AND take personal responsibility in their lives (i.e. childhood education). Sure, we could use our innovative techniques to create energy at the cost of the environment ad nauseum. But why not instead work on power saving techniques? Why not inflate your car tires to increase gas mileage, instead of pushing for faster ramp ups of offshore drilling? Why not tell people to turn off their lights, recycle their garbage, stop watering their lawns and driving gas-guzzling cars? Because it’s tough telling people that stuff. It’s not going to work at first, but it will over time, and that’s why I thought this was a good video.
I always welcome comments on renewable energy, but given the touchiness of politics, please be extra gentle when commenting. What do you think of the renewable energy plan? Is it a pipe dream? Do you think there are pieces that both candidates are missing?
Strictly speaking, it’s having your cars properly inflated, not just adding air to them. Overinflated tires will wear out prematurely and then you’re throwing away rubber, which is doubly bad. While I’m on the subject, if you ever see those adds for putting nitrogen in your tires to increase fuel mileage, don’t do it, or at least don’t pay for it. Air is 67% nitrogen already. Air has an average molecular mass of about 27, yielding a density of about 1.2 kg/m^3. Nitrogen has a molecular mass of 24, yielding a density of about 1.07 kg/m^3. That’s the essence of the argument. You shave off 10% of the rotating mass of gas in your tire (which accounts for some tiny fraction of the mass of your tire/gas/wheel assembly) and so you spend less energy accelerating and decelerating that gas while you drive. Congrats, you saved a tablespoon of fuel over the life of your vehicle.