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Al Gore, Founder of The Alliance for Climate Protection Al Gore, Founder of The Alliance for Climate Protection
LA smog, a product of fossil fuel pollution.The devastating effects of an oil spill.Gore giving a speech on global warming in 2006

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Energy Independence in Ten Years: Can We Live Al Gore's Dream?

United States

Time for a Change...

Ordinary People Feeling the Squeeze

If you live in any part of the world with access to oil, then you surely know the woes of gas prices. Filling up used to be a pain, now it's closer to a heart attack every time we drive up to the pump. But people aren't just upset about the major costs of fueling vehicles and propane tanks anymore, many of them have far deeper concerns. Oil isn't just about economic woes anymore, it also affects US foreign policy and our environment as well. Many people now believe that troops remain in the Middle East only to safeguard oil, which every school child knows pushes our planet further into deadly climate change daily. Indeed, one has to wonder how long our finite oil supplies will last? Considering many developing countries are rapidly consuming more oil (China, India and Mexico) due to increased standards of living, how long will our supply last until completely dry. I doubt we have several million years to wait while natural processes brew up more petroleum.

Draining Money From the Struggling Economy

$2 billion sounds like a lot of money right? Now, think about the fact that the US alone sends roughly this much money to foreign countries every day.  That's right, every 24 hours we send funds that could be better used in our own countries to foreign lands, many of whom we have severe quarrels with. What would happen if we were to become too outspoken and these countries were to cut our oil supply off? It is this very concern which has prompted former Vice President Al Gore to demand energy independence for America within the next ten years. We can no longer stand the loss of money, much of which is borrowed from other foreign lands like China, to spend in lands where US troops are sent to war. The situation has reached the breaking point, and it's not just activists but everyday people who are now calling for change.

But What Can We Do?

Shaping the Future in Ten Years

According to Gore, there is much we can do and no excuse why we can't get started right now. He has set the mark at ten years, because it's a possible time frame without stretching on so long that people will forget about the goal or deem it impossible. Imagine, in ten years having no dependence on oil. Imagine focusing that money on creating energy right here, and using that money to create jobs centered around sustainable energy. No longer would the interests of big oil companies shape our futures, and no longer would smog be just another part of life.

Viable Technologies and Research

In Gore's speech he suggests we start immediately with viable technologies and continue to research other energy alternatives. We have the resources right in front of us for clean energy now, in the form of solar and wind energy which we can use to replace dirty forms of electricity like coal. Gore suggests that we have to restructure our antiquated power grid anyway, so why not do so with technologies that are clean and sustainable? Even now the price of solar power cells is falling, and like other technologies will continue to fall as demand rises. Oil on the other hand is just the opposite, rising in answer to higher demand.

Gore asks that we use wind and sun to fuel our lives, and he is not alone. Just look around you, ask neighbors and friends how they feel about the oil crisis. Soon our governments will no longer be able to avoid our demands, which is exactly what Gore is counting on in order to get the job done.

Visit here to watch the speech and read the transcript.

Submitted by SuperGreenMe on Nov 1, 2008