Written By: Mike Straub
You make all the right moves to live a “green” life, but does anyone notice? If you ask the New York Times, and Gernot Wagner, an economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, the answer is a firm ‘NO.’ In an op-ed called ‘Going Green but Going Nowhere’, Wagner makes some strong statements.
YOU reduce, reuse and recycle. You turn down plastic and paper. You avoid out-of-season grapes. You do all the right things. – Good. – Just know that it won’t save the tuna, protect the rain forest or stop global warming. The changes necessary are so large and profound that they are beyond the reach of individual action.”
Wagner argues that the average American produces 20 tons of carbon dioxide a year and that the real answer to fixing carbon output issues and environmental problems lies in forward thinking economic policies. After all, Mr. Wagner makes a living as an economist.
What Mr. Wagner and others like him fail to realize is the need for big changes is not lost on everyone. Organizations lead the charge for massive energy changes today and are willing to take on our greatest environmental offenders: the power plants. Huge sections of the world still run on coal-burning power, making up most of the 20 pounds of carbon dioxide per human. If a plant functions without carbon emissions, carbon output per person in the plant’s area reduces drastically.
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion creates power doing just that. OTEC runs emission-free, burning nothing. Its base-load, 24/7 power runs endlessly thanks to the temperature difference in cold, deep ocean water and warm surface ocean water. OTEC can cut carbon dioxide output by millions of tons.
If you follow Mr. Wagner’s advice, continue recycling just to make yourself feel better. Then, wait for policy makers to create an economic plan to improve our energy output.