July 18th, 2008
04:54 PM ET

Gore’s call for carbon-free electricity in 10 years “ridiculous”?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Al Gore says it will be like the challenge of landing a man on the moon.

He's calling on the United States to switch all of this country's electricity production to wind, solar and other carbon-free sources within 10 years.

Gore says our dependence on carbon-based fuels is at the core of our economic, environmental and national security crises. Here's how Gore sums up our dilemma. "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 has to change."

The former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner says the most important policy change will be to tax carbon dioxide pollution. Gore's bipartisan group estimates the 30-year cost of his plan is between $1.5 and $3 trillion.

But some energy experts say Gore's plan moves way too fast, that the country won't be able to go "cold turkey" and get off fossil fuels in a decade.

Others are even more critical. Republican Senator George Voinovich says it's "ridiculous" to think the nation could go carbon-free in 10 years. He says "We could take and put wind mills from the Atlantic to the Pacific and yes, it will increase the amount of carbon-free energy production, but the fact of the matter is, it's not going to get the job done."

Coal supplies about half of the nation's electricity. It's also responsible for more than a third of the country's carbon dioxide pollution, which is most often blamed for global warming.

Here’s my question to you: Is Al Gore’s call for carbon-free electricity in 10 years doable or “ridiculous”?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Kristina writes:
It's not impossible to become energy independent in ten years as long as everyone in Washington and the companies who profit from fossil fuels are on board with the idea. That, however, is impossible.

Ward from Gainesville, Fla. writes:
At least it’s a plan, probably 20 years too late – but it’s a plan. What’s yours?

Brian from Trinidad writes:
Gore's entire global warming, sky-is-falling cry and anything associated with it is the phoniest thing since they told me that I would go to hell if I ate meat on Fridays.

Escobar writes:
It's doable normally, but keep in mind this nation put a man on the moon before we put wheels on luggage. Eventually and gradually things will change, but not for the future. Things will change only when people hurt more in their pocketbooks.

Vinny from Connecticut writes:
Yeah, Al. Let's go back to the stone age, too! The older Gore gets, the weirder and crazier he becomes. Even if we did go "carbon free" in 10 years, what about the rest of the world, Al? Will they also listen to you, the Nobel Prize winner, expert and sage? Give me a break, Al!

Rick from Texas writes:
It is neither doable nor "ridiculous", but it is a goal worth establishing. Like in sports, the goal is to score every time you are on offense, but it doesn’t happen. This goal will not happen either, but we will be much better off if we try to reach it.

Dick writes:
The more Gore talks, the more convinced I am that the Supreme Court got it right.

Filed under: Al Gore • Energy
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. J, Maryland

    Ridiculous! Lets not even try...

    July 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  2. Jed from Redding, CA

    Shoot for the lamppost, land in the gutter. Shoot for the moon, land in the clouds.

    If a president can make a nation come together and send a man to the moon in ten years then we can tak giant leaps towards being carbon neutral in ten years. Even if 'they' say it can't be none, we have done no harm in creating new jobs and investing in new industries that end our dependence on foreign energy sources and create a cleaner, greener earth for our children and grandchildren.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  3. Allen L Wenger

    No, brilliant! Just think of how much better we would all be if the supreme court would have chosen him over Bush in 2000.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  4. Carol c.

    Absolutely not! When a rich oil man like T. Boone Pickens uses his own money to get the attention of the American people that we can't drill ourself out of this mess, we had better pay attention.

    We have so many smart people in this world with wonderful ideas, what might not work in one community would work in another. A dairy farmer is using cow manure with trapped methane gases to power generators for his farm instead of using electricity. If we could harvest all the "crap" from the White House we have been fed for over 7 years we could light up the United States!

    Knoxville, TN

    July 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  5. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Jack, with the Bush "administration" coming to its termination it's time to retire the word ridiculous.

    Once we stop Big Oil's felt pen from blacking out scientific reports, we might be surprised at what science is doing, and what American science is capable of doing.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  6. Ray Kinserlow

    If you check with the experts, you will see that Muslim inspired terrorist activity does not even make the top ten in the United States. All you have to do to know there is an energy crisis is fill up your car.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    July 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  7. Tearched Scott Chicago, IL


    I think that it is very do-able. We have come so far from other forms of energy that moving to carbon-free electric energy is possible. What we need to is take so of that money that we are donating to this stupid war and put it towards things like better forms of energy.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  8. J.D.

    If we can put a man on the moon in 10 years using the primitive technology of that era, there is no reason on earth why we can't generate a good portion of our electricity from carbon-free sources within the same time frame. It would be cheaper and safer, too.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  9. John in San Diego

    In the pre-Spage Age 60s, Kennedy's challenge to put a man on the moon in a decade was also dismissed as ridiculous. Gore's challenge is much more ambitious because it calls for a dramatic shift in human behavior, but it's doable if there develops a collective will.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    Doable, if we put our minds to it. But there are still folks out there that think global warming is a hoax, my sister being one of them. Her view is drill off CA, FL, and ANWR, pristine lands be damned. How can you fight against that kind of ignorance.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  11. leevaughn brown

    Hey Jack
    They laughed at Columbus, the Wright Bros., T Edison and etc. necessity is the mother of invention. Those who think it is ridiculous need a history lesson. constant digging in the earth just may not be the answer, we need people who will think outside the box!
    Cinti, Ohio

    July 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  12. Larry, Ohio

    Jack.of course it's ridiculous,but then look where it came,I can't believe anyone could care what this moron has to say.It's global warming alarmists like Gore and the rest of the far left wing lunatics that have been the main cause of the energy crisis,and now he wants to come riding in on his white horse and save the world.He may have a lot of awards,but he seems to lacking in common sense,or else he is off his medication!

    July 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  13. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    It'sabout time someone that has some clout lays out a goal to reach for and a plan to do it. Now the realy question is have we hurt enough to strive for it? I doubt if we have lost enough to change our ways.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    Who died and made this guy your goal setter? I read somewhere this guys house uses ten times your countries average and you are going to let him tell you your goal? I know what I would tell him and it isn't very nice.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  15. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Let's wait and see what the "Swift-Ecologists" say.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  16. John in San Diego

    Jack, if it is ridiculous it's only because we've squandered a seven year head start under the ridiculous head-in-the-sand Bush administration.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  17. Josh in Sylvania, Ohio

    No, We as a country should consider Al Gore's call for carbon-free electricity in 10 years and make it happen. If we can put a man on the moon, there should be no reason why we can't develop renewable sources for energy in this country.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  18. Frank Canada

    The fact is it can be done. Unfortunately the Conservatives in both Canada & the U.S. will use whatever means possible to sabotage this effort as they just see this as a corporate cost and mostly at the oil end of big business.

    General Motors already has a hydrogen car up and running but won't produce it for another 8 years. WHY?

    July 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  19. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    Al Gore's call for carbon-free electricity is doable. We just have to catch up with Germany and the Netherlands with wind turbines: community sized and individul sized. Geothermal energy has not been harnessed in this country. Atmospheric, tidal, wave, and ocean currents have not been harnessed. Solar displays on signs, highway lights, and emergency phones are just beginning to be used. Heat and gases from grabage, mulch, and manure have not been tapped. We need to manufacture windows that double as solar arrays. The goal is one that could unite the country and interest young people in science, again. Americans come together for the common good whether it is a race for the moon or a race for carbon-free electricity.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  20. Steve Rugel - Decatur, Georgia

    My father was an alternate fuels engineer for Ford Motor Company. Many decades ago he was already driving cars around that were hybrids running on mixtures of two or more fuels, he was driving on alchohol, electricity, natural gas, methanol, ethanol - you name it.

    Wake up, willfully uninformed lazy knuckleheads. The first fleet of taxi cabs in New York City – almost a century ago – were all Electric Cars.

    Clearly, we have chosen to ride the cheap oil as long as we got away with it, but it was never necessary. Yes, a carbon-free environment is possible. The research and engineering was done on this long ago.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  21. Danny McKinney, Texas

    If you believe in Santa Clause then it might be doable. Personally I don't think the guy even has a clue. Lets say we do go carbon neutral on electricity. That is only us 300 million people. What about the other gazillion people around the world that will do nothing. The key to global climate change is in the word GLOBAL. If we are the only players in the global game we will change nothing. Those technologies cost money. Where the hell was Albert Gore at 10 years ago with global climate change? Al gore spends over a thousand dollars a month on his home electricity bill. Does that sound like carbon neutral to you?

    July 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  22. Anna, SW Missouri

    It is doable! Heck, we keep printing money to bail out wall street, why not print some money to make us energy independent within the next ten years, and put Americans to work in the process.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  23. Greg from PA

    It's no more ridiculous than President Kennedy declaring that we would put a man on the moon and bring him safely back to earth. It's that kind of vision that moves us to do great things. I only wish Obama had said it first.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  24. Harvey Jacobs

    Ridiculous is better than delusional which has been our energy policy for decades and theis challenge is far from ridiculous. Our country's energy policy, that includes the behavior of each of us as well as "the politicians," is no different than a moth' to a flame. We are all responsible.

    We know (well maybe the moth doesn't but we do) that sooner or later we are going to get burned, but each time we circle the flame we cite victory because it hasn't happened yet. Keep it up and the alternative to alternative energy will be no energy (well almost no energy unless it is coming from our muscles).

    July 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  25. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    No Jack. It is not ridiculous. We have all the right technology, but for all the wrong reasons. And before we can create carbon-free electricity, we need to do something about natural stupidity.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  26. Ron Mechanicsville, VA

    If everyone would see the trouble we're in, then yes it's doable. It's just like the war, if you're going to fight a war, fight it and and get it over with, not this infinite loss of money for nothing in return called IRAQ!

    Just think what a blow it would send Saudi Arabia and Big Oil, Wow! Yes it's doable and what's more if we are as smart as we think we are, it's the correct course for this country to take. I am astounded that it has taken this long for Toyota to start putting solar film on the Prius. Just think how much potential energy we waste every day our cars sit out in the sunlight for 8 hours or more!

    Or, we're just plain stupid and the species will just die out some day!

    We are moving to San Antonio next month where I will start growing algae and producing oil for my diesel car. It averages out to pennies a gallon! Have you ever tried to keep it out of your pool. Algae produces twice it's weight in oil every 36 hours!

    July 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  27. Terry from North Carolina

    Of course its doable, do we want to do it ? Lets see what did we learn from the long gas lines in the 70s ? Apparently not much, we are in worse shape now than we ever were and the future does not look good. What should our priority be?

    July 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  28. Larry in Florida

    Don't ask me Jack. All I can say is, DO SOMETHING FOR GODS SAKE! Have grandchildren and can't help but wonder how its going to be for them. I know there has to be better ways to save our envirement. Things have changed quite a bit since I was a young man so I'm taking this destroying the planet very seriously. Only thing standing in our way is, what else but people full of greed. It's all about money Jack.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  29. BillD

    Ridiculous? Of course it's not! Bush managed to get us into at least two wars, destroy an economy, turn a budget surplus into a multi-trillion dollar deficit all within 5 years. Why couldn't someone with that "vision thing" do something positive in ten?

    July 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  30. Gigi in Alabama

    It seems to me that many people thought putting a man on the moon in 10 years was riduculous, but it was done in nine. We need to get this country off oil and if we put our minds to it, it can be done. We need to listen to Al Gore and J. Boone Pickens and get started with solar, wind, nuclear and any other renewable source available. Had we started this 30 years ago, we wouldn't even be having this discussion now.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  31. Dan NY

    Was "getting to the moon by the end of this decade.." doable in 1961? Most thought not. And without the leadership and the will to accomplish it, it would not have been doable. The only question now is: do we have the leadership and the will. I suspect not, unfortunately.

    Dan NY

    July 18, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  32. David of Natchez

    They say we put a man on the moon in less time. It can be done but it will take an end to government as we now know it. I liken this to a patient on life support, as long as the insurance is paying why pull the plug.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  33. Jack Blakley

    This idea is silly. It shoud not be carbon-free, it should be electricity that is durable and can be produced here in America, regardless of the carbon-effect, which researchers say is actually GOOD for plants like corn that makes them grow bigger and better (Hello, plants need carbon dixiode). Nobody should take Al Gore seriously with these Earth-protecting ideas that doom every person on this Earth. It's not that I care about the environment, but we should not be sacrificing man-kind for the Earth.

    Jack B.
    Bloomington, MN

    July 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  34. Helemai Hawaii

    Not ridiculous and totally doable as long as there's no oil men in the White House.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  35. Doug from Death Valley

    It may sound far fetched, but it is in America's best interest to accomplish this goal. If we do achieve it, it will be a revolution of unprecedented proportions. We will catapult America both economically and environmentally. Our position as the world's only superpower will be assured both poltically as well as militarily. It is not something we should do, or can do, it is something we MUST do.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  36. Michael in Vegas

    It is doable – but a lot of greed wil have to be overcome by a whole bunch of people.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  37. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Difficult? Yes it is. Impossible? Only if we never try.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  38. Greg in Cabot AR

    Lets hope it is doable.

    The first step to failure is not trying.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  39. Marie Ontario

    Both Canada & the U.S. have Conservative Leaders who have no concern for anything other than money and what they can do for the corporate elite.

    These Donkeys all sing the same song that is if India & China don't do it then why should we. It's this kind of idiotic rhetoric and propaganda that shows their greed and lack of respect for civilization.

    Unfortunately large segments of both our populations tend to eat this bull making it sound reasoning for not trying to do the right thing.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  40. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    The only way that I see this happening is by placing and keeping a Democrat in the White House for all 10 of these years. The Grand Oil Party is too deeply invested with the petroleum industry to fully support the cause.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  41. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    Jack, it would be ridiculous if we don't. Our present administration obviously doe'snt like time tables unless it has to do with oil. We're long overdue for higher expectations, sticking to those, and meeting or exceeding them.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  42. Bea from Texas

    In most cases, the best ideas and opinons were always brushed off as ridiiculos until they materialized.....

    July 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  43. Michelle- Washington, DC

    Why is it that really good ideas are so often mischaracterized as ridiculous? Have a little faith, Jack.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  44. Keith

    Hi Jack,
    I'm an engineer and also a realist. I have read and seen in the short life span that I have lived in the 20th century of what the US is capable of if they pour resources and effort in acheving something great. I think if the US would take the lead in making this possible, I believe that we can and do it well...

    July 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  45. Janet In San Diego

    No Jack it isn't ridiculous and you in the MSM need to stop assuming that it is. We have got to start now if our country is going to survive. Wind, Solar, and Water power are all available, and free. All we have to do is create jobs making the actual components here isn this country, not buy them overseas. That is why people mistakenly think it's so expensive to convert. The idle factories that are over the country can be reborn. After all if other 3rd world countries can do it, why can't we? We can no longer steal other's natural resources.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  46. Jmckenzie

    Face it Carbon free would be nice but we will never be free from a carbonless grid untill all the supporting industries are carbon free. we use all types of construction equipment, vechiles, and avaition to make , support, transport, secure and fix all the problems with the electrical grid even if we went 100% nuclear we would still require this. I do not forsee 100% clena burning coal in the next 10 years and even with solar and wind there is a carbon cost. While I applaude the idea of a greener enviorment lets get real and call it what it is a less carbon approach. I applaud Gore on pushing for a greener world buts let get educated on exactly what we are asking for. We need someone to stand up and say this is the true cost to get us here and this is the payback period. We should be looking foralternative energy and we should sink some money into it but we should also have a realistic timetable and a true account of how green the valley really is.

    JM NY

    July 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  47. Raul, New York

    Our current oil situation reminds me everyday more and more of Silverstein's "The Giving Tree". The more we give them; the more they want. Soon there will be nothing left of our beautiful country.

    Gore has given us a challenge and a vision. As Americans we have always been up for a challenge. Now is the time for our generation to step-up and show our stuff. Who knows, if we play our cards right, they might someday call us "The Generation with Vision".

    We need to try-
    For our Environment
    For our Security
    For our Children

    July 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  48. Brian - Trinidad

    Gore's entire global warming sky-is-falling cry and anything associated with it is the phoniest thing since they told me that I would go to hell if I ate meat on Friday's.What is not phony is that climate changes are happening.What is phony is telling us that we caused the change and we can stop the change.Nature changes and we can't do anything about the change except to adapt.

    July 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  49. Dick B

    The more Gore talks the more convinced I am that the Supreme Court got it right.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  50. Paul

    No it is not ridiculous. I guess no one remembers history. This is still America. During WW 2 the auto industry stopped making autos and made tanks,plans and weapons. If we did it then we can do it now with wind power. solar power, geothermal power, ocean current power and hydrogen power start a new industry for a self powered America. It can be done and 10 years is a long time and if not by 10 years it may just be sooner or just a little longer like 11 years but I believe in America and we can survie no matter who is President and when it gets down to it we can do anything we put our minds to do.
    Round Rock, Texas

    July 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  51. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Many times goals are sent higher than obtainable, but if a good
    portiion of that goal is obtained, then there is success. We
    desperately need solutions for our dependence on oil and
    global warming.
    But nothing will be accomplished if the republicans remain
    in office. We have been their victimns for too many years,
    and it is time to revolt

    July 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  52. Marcus

    Here is the problem! Market goes up, oil goes down! Oil goes up, market goes down! The definition of insanity, "Something so utterly unreasonable or ridiculous." We definitly need to take Gore's words to heart, whether its 10 years or 15 years. The ridiculous thing to do is to do nothing at all.

    P.s. Gore and Obama, two of the most ambitious men in the media, Gotta love them!

    Atlanta, GA

    July 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  53. Bill,Quarryville. PA

    When this country has the right leaders at the right time that can get everyone pointed in the right direction. Then I don't think there is anything that we cannot accomplish. A good example of this is WWII and putting a man on the Moon. But today we seem to spin our wheels when it comes freeing ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil. We need leaders that will get behind this idea and see it through by making sure that we have the funding and things are getting accomplished. If we can accomplish this which I think we can it would become a much happier world for us and our children. We would not have to send our sons and daughters off to fight wars and invade countries for their oil anymore. We might even be able to sell our oil at the price they were selling their oil to us.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  54. Diane Glasser

    No one believed him when he warned them about Global Warming and now everyone is clamoring on the bandwagon to work on preventing more disasters.He is head of his time and we ignorant Homo sapiens were slow in getting it.
    It may take us ten years to realize he was correct again, but by then all the smart ones will have gotten on the ground floor of electric and other carbon free cars and are very rich. Diane from PA

    July 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  55. Jackie in Dallas, TX

    I think it is a call to action, not necessarily a concrete goal. But a lot of scientists are saying that we don't have much more than 10 years to turn things around before we pollute ourselves out of existence, along with more than half of the living species (both plant and animal) on the face of the planet. So if we want a world at all for the next generations, we'd better make serious progress over that 10 years!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  56. sandy in Ohio

    Wringing our hands and saying it is not doable is the way to failure. Working at a pace to meet that goal and more is the answer. Even if we are only at ninety percent realization of the goal in ten years, it is a lot closer than doing nothing will get us.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  57. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I believe having 100% carbon-free electricity in 10 years is probably doable, but not economically feasible. Almost all of the wind and solar energy sources are located in the western half of the country, with the majority of the usage in the east. The industial miracle pulled off in just a few years during World War II proves this country can do about anything when it has to. However, in this case I doubt the American people are willing to make the sacrifices and spend the money necessary.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  58. Real Change

    Jack, your article mentions the estimated cost to the American taxpayer, but fails to point out the cost to the electricity consumer. Is there any estimate as to how much the cost of electricity would rise under such a plan?

    Regardless, I think it is a great goal to strive for. Republican, Democrat or Independent, one can't help but admire Al Gore and T Boone Pickens for putting forth long term plans to solve long term problems. If only our elected politicians had the same foresight.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  59. Betty - AL


    We could already be well on the way, except the oil companies bought the rights to energy efficient vehicles years ago and then trashed them.

    But then, our "oil men in the white house" wouldn't have a big fat retirement if energy efficient vehicles had been kept on the market.


    July 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  60. Chuck in MO

    Maybe we can't get there with just wind & solar but
    aren't these republicans also wanting to get heavily into nuclear power?
    Do they think we can't develop better bio-fuel methods by then?
    We've already had a number of breakthroughs in better battery
    technology in just a few years, and almost every major automaker has
    announced a version of electric car they'll be making in the next 2-3
    years. I guess we're not just a nation of whiners now, we're also a nation of "can't doers".

    July 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  61. Julie from LA

    Of course, Gore's comments about meeting our needs for electricity with renewable energy are doable.

    What's ridiculous? Continuing to base our modern lives and our world economy on an expensive resource that others in the world control–and one that the entire world will INEVITABLY run out of.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  62. Bob Glavine

    This is what leadership is about. Set a goal and go after it. We need leaders like Al Gore looking after our best interests. Not like this clown we have now who's only interest is the oil companies profits and big business. We used to be a great country. Now we are a selfish, greedy one.

    Bob in Paramus, NJ

    July 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  63. Vinny Connecticut

    Yeah, Al; let's go back to the stone age, too! The older Gore gets, the weirder and crazier he becomes. Even if we did go "carbon free" in 10 years, what about the rest of the world, Al? Will they also listen to you, the Nobel Prize winner, expert and sage? Give me a break, Al! It's all the crazy environmentalists who have gotten us into this dilemma- can't drill here, can't drill there, can't use nuclear energy, can't use coal, can't shale mine and on and on. It's time to stop listening and catering to all these loony environmentalists. The American people have had enough of their nonsense!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  64. Lance Premberton from St. Paul, MN

    I don't think this is ridiculous at all. Look, when needed to Americans have been able to forgo somethings for a greater cause. To say that this is impossible is not American. As Americans, we should be always challenged to do better. Yes, this may mean that we as a country may need to make sacrifices, but generations before us have, so why can't we?

    July 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  65. Matt S

    No! It's common sense. Now if we could just get the government to think like Gore. It's really quite frustrating to know we're killing our planet and ourselves, but no one wants to change their ways.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  66. ken, hudson fl

    I think it's very possible, If the government spent as much money on alternative power souces as it does on big oil, then we wouldn't be in the energy crisis that we are now in.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  67. Vermonter

    Certainly doable, if there's the political will. Western Europe is way ahead of us on this, and the economic advantage will be theirs in the coming decades unless we get moving.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  68. David B., College Station, Texas

    It's do-able Jack, and needed, but big business and associated entrenched interests will never let it happen in 10 years, probably not 50 years. Even if we had started on this only recently, think where we would be if we hadn't wasted hundreds of millions and half a decade in Iraq, but invested it in addressing this problem.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  69. steve

    Oh Please.... Wind and Solar farms are the ugliest thing in the entire world. Nothing like looking at 500 acres of barb wire fence and windmills.

    Something tells me Gore stands to profit from all those investments he is making in 'green' energy.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  70. Lance from St. Paul, MN

    I don’t think this is ridiculous at all. To say that this is impossible is not American. As Americans, we should be always challenged to do better. Yes, this may mean that we as a country may need to make sacrifices, but generations before us have, so why can’t we?

    July 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  71. sherrie

    What Al Gore is proposing is ambitious, not ridiculous. We tried the "slower" route in the 70's and look where it got us. The lack of a serious energy policy has severely hindered us economically and politically–both domestically and abroad. It is (past) time to push forward and I, for one, commend Mr. Gore for stepping up in this leadership role.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  72. Tim Williams

    Al Gore took 10 years to change his own home's excessive use of energy. He still flies around in private jets. The hypocrisy of his lifestyle and what he is proposing is ludicrious. Let's listen to people that matter if we really want to make changes.


    July 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  73. Hope M.Madisonville, KY

    Why wouldn't it be doable? We are Americans and we can do anything we set our minds to. If we don't try, we will still be in the
    same mess in 10 years except energy costs will be even higher.
    I say, go for it!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  74. Nathan, IA

    We won't know until we try. A full effort by the country can make major strides and while 10 years may be too short, we could certainly show amazing amounts of progress. Too many neh sayers out there don't think we can do anything in under 50 years......

    July 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  75. alan,miami fl

    of course it's doable . We are american the greatest people on earth. We can acomplish amazing things when we put our collective minds and can do attitude together. New technologies will be invented and we will move to a renewable energy future. We have to stop procrastinating and go for it, we can be the market leader and sell all these new way to the rest of the world... just look at what nasa did. How many inventions came directly from our moon mission...
    So go on america let's roll up our sleeve and show the rest of the world that we really care about this planet.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  76. Mike

    It's visionary. Something sorely missed this past decade. What’s the worst that could come of it? Spawn innovation and new industries. So what if we miss the mark and only produce 50%, or even 5%? What an improvement that would be. Bring it on.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  77. JorgeM

    Do I believe its possible to go carbon-free in 10 years? Probably not. Do I think we should try our hardest to acheive that goal? Absolutely.

    Its so sad that the Republicans are so wedded to the oil industry that they can't see the merit in Gore's challenge.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  78. L.M.

    It's definitely a very difficult task. When it comes down to it, it's really up to all of us to make it work; and make it work in 10 years. All Gore could do is really to motivate and inspire a nation. I certainly think, with his credibility and public status, that his efforts to put visibility on the issue has put this topic on forefront of U.S. domestic and foreign policy and a top agenda on the upcoming Presidential election.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  79. Steve D (NJ)

    Why is it ridiculous? It’s better than law makers setting standard to cut CO2 out put by 2050 or some ridiculous time frame they come up with. Now is the time to make serious changes and become energy efficient and dependant. I would rather suffer a little now with high energy cost, then to start drilling for oil off our coasts. Beside the fact if they started drilling off our coasts when would we see any relief? It would not be in the near future.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  80. Andrew, Chicago

    Worst case scenario is that we try, fail, and are still better off than we are now. People are afraid to attempt things like this because we are set in our ways and don't want to change what we do no matter what the cost. If we shoot for 10 years but don't succeed for 20, won't the country still be better off? The risk of failure and lack of momentum shouldn't stop change. It has unfortunately become the American way to demand change, but refuse to change our own lifestyles. Look where that has gotten us.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  81. Janet

    Worth a try but maybe 15-20 years. There has to be money set aside to develop this carbon free methods and having the necessary manpower and expertise to set all this up....the red tape alone could take years to sort through (sad in and of itself).

    July 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  82. MN Jeff in TX

    Why didn't he bring this up when he VP? It might have gotten him the votes without having to go to court...

    July 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  83. Michael, VA

    I don't dis-agree that we would be better off with solar, and wind power. What I find upsetting is that this man does not do what he preaches. He has millions of dollars yet it has been reported he uses large suv's, and a huge house that users 10x more electrical power than an average American family per year.

    Also you need to take into account to wire a house for solar is like 100k, and wind generator towers are even more expensive. If your not already really rich who can afford that? For that matter if your that rich you probably don't care.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  84. jeff milligan

    Of course his energy goal is possible as long as we keep the big oil people out of it. New leaders and a new philosophy can often make anything happen. We should all hope and pray that Mr. Gore is right in his expectations. Additionally, I hope that when Mr. Obama takes office in January he includes Mr. Gore in some capacity- maybe energy czar?

    July 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  85. Frank

    No, I think we should do what Bush and McCain are suggesting, which is to basically do nothing, cover our eyes, and just hope it goes away! I'm sure that'll work!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  86. Marilyn

    We can accomplish this if we put our minds and our money to work on it. I'd rather spend $2 – $3 trillion on energy independence than on fighting more useless wars in the Middle East.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  87. RealityCheck

    So... we start converting to solar/wind/etc. Demand on oil drops. Price of oil goes down. Price of gas goes down. People buy more SUVs...

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  88. Tim - St. Louis

    Al Gore and his followers are the reason why our economy, and the global economy, is suffering right now. Agriculture and oil now are the most visible under this strangle-hold.

    Unfortunately, if this agenda goes too far we are going to see far more than a recession. Of course, at that point nobody is going to care about Al Gore's agenda anymore because they'll be too concerned about feeding themselves and trying to pay their carbon credit taxes.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  89. Dave, Crofton MD

    The Democrats might be the party of no ideas, and the Republicans might be the party of bad ideas, but Al Gore is just a man with ideas. We need more people like him.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  90. Tom L.

    Why don't we do it and stop talking.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  91. martha robb

    In the history of our nation, and the world, there have been few situations with such dire consequences as global warming. We must move now. Humanity is capable of tremendous change if everyone works together- scientists, politician, citizens. I do believe that we can switch over to different energy souces within 10 years as long as leaders lead the way, and each us is willing to sacrifice.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  92. Edward

    It's a terrific plan, and a civil engineer friend says it is possible. No longer should this country continue to take its cues on what is possible from the oil companies, defense contractors and the GOP.

    As my 6-year-old niece brilliantly said, "What is so conservative about conservatives? They're the ones wasting EVERYTHING!"

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  93. Nate

    In response to Gigi's comment that we should have started on this 30 years ago–WE DID. Carter turned Los Alamos from a nuclear to a solar research facility, and when Reagan took office it was the first thing he cancelled (before Veterans benefits and school lunches), selling off the $2 billion in solar arrays for less than their worth as scrap metal.

    The GOP has been working diligently for a long time to get us where we are; thank your local republicans!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  94. Foley in Idaho

    Do-able, and yet offensive to those who profit from oil based sources of energy. Go figure. We need to stop finding problems with solutions and start finding solutions to problems and implimenting them.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  95. Chris, Denver

    Nope. Continuing to rely on fossil fuels is what's ridiculous. Like the old cliche says, "If they can put a man on the moon..."

    July 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  96. Escobar

    It's doable normally, but keep in mind this nation put a man on the moon before we put wheels on luggage. Eventually and gradually things will change, but not for the future. Things will change only when people hurt more in their pocketbooks.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  97. Dave


    It"s time. We all know it, but don't want to admit it. The goal may be further out than is technically feasible yet, but It's time to change. This could hurt a bit, but we need to do it.


    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  98. Kristina

    It's not impossible to become energy independent in ten years as long as everyone in Washington and the companies who profit from fossil fuels are on board with the idea. That, however, is impossible.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  99. Erin in Kalamazoo

    It's only ridiculous if we continue to live in the style we've become accustomed. Moderation is the key and it begins with the individual.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  100. Tired

    Problem is this is a polictical issue, as long as people like Pelosi are in charge we are screwed either way. If it's not in their political interest it wont happen, not if it is in our best interest!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  101. David, Orlando, FL

    No, it’s not.. It is our only option and we should have started that 30 years ago. If General Motors didn’t crush all the EV1s and instead kept developing better batteries, they would probably own the world by now. And as you know “as GM goes, so goes the nation.” Besides, they were fun to drive.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  102. raul from louisville kentucky

    Of course we can. What is ridiculous is that we have an oil man in the white house, who is allowing big oil to squeeze our country, and yet 40% of the country is considering electing a George Bush like. Shame on us!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  103. matt-Charleston SC

    Gore's ego manipulates his thought process. Find an individual who doesn't need the money, the publicity or the ego boost and you'll find someone who has an honest opinion. Anything is doable especially in this country but I can't agree with him spearheading the brain trust to figure it out.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  104. Greg Lattimore

    We have to do the best we can to move to alterrnative energy projects to reduce our oil addition. It will be tough to make it in 10 years. I think if we all come together we can do it. No politics should be involved. A CAN DO GROUP can get it done.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  105. Paul Crockett

    No it is not ridiculous. What is the worst case scenario for trying – it's to massively reduce both our dependence on fossil fuels AND to reduce the massive transfer of wealth from our country to the coffers of countries who really hate us. Don't forget that these same countries are the ones that have been found to financially support both Islamic extremism and international terror. If we end up not needing their oil then our problems with them will be marginalized.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  106. Tom Berry

    Think how much better off we'd be if the environmentalists hadn't killed nuclear energy. The fossil fuel consumption would be much better, and the air much cleaner.

    Both Sweden and France can be grateful that the environmentalists didn't win out over nuclear energy there.

    Are you still going to believe everything the environmentalists tell you?

    July 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  107. Venkatesh S. Sista

    What a BRILLIANT idea! This will completely break the world Oil Cartels and bring about petro-independence in the US, thereby strengthening the dollar, the economy and thus ultimately our Country while also immunizing it's economy and the stock market against any crises in the Gulf and South America... If Al Gore's dream is even ahalf realized in 10 years, we should give him the presidency, for none will be the more deserving - especially having won the populate vote!!

    July 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  108. Chris

    Is it extremely challenging – yes. Is it impossible – no, but it's very close. But that shouldn't stop us from trying, the same as we didn't not try sending a man to the moon.

    Our energy crisis is a lot more daunting than the space race was back in the day, so I'm stunned our political leaders aren't more for a bold move like this.

    Oh wait, many of the Republican leaders (including Bush) are oil people – maybe that has something to do with it?

    July 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  109. Bob

    Jack , we need to increase Oil production at home, while at the same time start to develop other forms of eco-friendly energy production. The average person can't afford to deal with this cost. The Gore method of convert now or else is economic suicide. The new techs just aren't ready yet.

    Besides that, I want to see Al's face in ten years so he can tell us that CO2 is causing the next Ice Age.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  110. Sally B.

    Of course it's not ridiculous. It is a great goal that we should shoot to achieve, and if we fall short we will have made great headway in any case. Until we start listening to people like Gore and Pickens and remove our heads from the sand we will be courting economic disaster. It is time to stop enjoying the status quo at the expense of the future and make some hard choices. It we had spent half of the money we have spent on Iraq on domestic infrastructure we would be well toward our goals. Why is it that we always have enough money to engage in a foreign adventure, but when it comes to spending money on our own country the "no new taxes" people rear their ugly heads?

    July 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  111. Frank

    Gore is an imbecile. I agree that we should be focused on developing and implementing alternative energy and that it's long overdue. He had 8 years of authority to put us on the right track and did nothing except help to contribute to the current energy crisis.

    If we had a complete, viable solution today it would take more than 20 years to implement it and make the transition. It would also cost a fortune. Statements like, "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 a gallon gasoline," demonstrate that Gore has no concept of economics, the logistics of what it would take to implement a national program of this size or the fact that we function in a global economy.

    Developing and implementing a national program that encompasses every person, product and industry on earth is in no way comparable to a moon shot. Gore should stay home in his energy hog mansion and learn the difference between reality and fair tales.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  112. J. D. in Montana

    It's entirely possible. Given motivation and leadership, finally, we should have nearly free electricity and fuel-cell powered automobiles in ten years. The real question is....will the petroleum and automobile industries and, more importantly, Washington allow it to happen? These power brokers have for decades quashed any technology that might negatively influence their power base or money monopoly. I'd say it's up to individuals to get it done in spite of the obstacles that will be constructed to prevent it.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  113. Holly

    Of course it is possible. Not only that, but we don't have a choice at this point. I was screaming this 20 years ago, but nobody was listening then. Now maybe a third of the population is actually listening. Will it be a major adjustment, of course! Will it be easy, probably not. But we do have the technology to do it and we're only missing the willpower. We're not talking about something that is a lifestyle choice here. We're talking about haulting global earth changes that will affect or kill-off a huge percentage of life, yes, including humans, on this Earth. There is no choice; we just have to make it happen. I have a 6 y.o. daughter and if we don't start now what hope does she have for her generation or her children?

    July 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  114. Kevin Gallagher

    In 10 years, if we can't make Mr. Gore's goal, we can greatly improve our energy situation. Supplemental hydrogen systems are available right now, which can double our mileage and make our vehicles almost emission free. And what is the source of this hydrogen? Water! There are already prototypes of new cars which can run entirely on hydrogen made from H20, but the supplemental hydrogen is available right now.
    Look it up on "the Google" as our president would say.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  115. Dan

    What better way to unite the country then a common goal for energy independence? Almost everyone can agree we have a problem with oil, let's at least make a motion in the right direction.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  116. jman

    Is it doable? At what cost? A 75% tax rate on my wages.

    It is not doable. A balance between fossil fuels and green energy is what we need to strive toward. To think that we could cut out fossil fuels within 10 years in very naive. Being a native of Tennesse, I am able to see what a hypocrite Al Gore is. It's common knowledge that the house he lives in uses 15 to 20 times more energy than that of a normal home. If he's going to talk the talk, he needs to walk the walk. Al Gore has no more of a scentific background than an ordinary rock laying on the ground.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  117. matt

    in reading these comments, i am left wondering this: even if you don't like Gore and even if you think that global warming is a hoax...why is it that setting a goal for carbon free electricity is a bad thing? i mean, do you like pollution SO MUCH that you can't live without it? it makes me sick. If a republican had come up with this idea, well, we'd be in an alternate reality, honestly....but if they HAD come up with it, the Gore bashers that have been responding would be very supportive of the idea. I know there is partisanship on both sides of the aisle, but get over it folks...even a die hard, oil drilling republican has to admit that a clean environment is better than a polluted one. and if you can't admit that, you are beyond hope and reason.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  118. Darrin From Florida

    Carbon free in ten years probably not. There is no harm in trying though. Imagine if we were just 25% less dependent on oil. I can only imagine the money it will save. Plus MIT is in the works developing solar cells that can power whole manufacturing plants for less money than the current cells cost. I say we try but of course nobody making money off of oil is filling up my pockets or whispering in my ears.

    July 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  119. Brad

    It can be done, but not in 10 years. We are too dependent on fossil fuels at this time. One thing could help is boosting nuclear power production, but you'll almost never hear Gore or any other liberal/democrat say that. Another thing is that we need a plan that is endorsed by someone other than Al Gore. Remember this, Al Gore is a loser (of an election) to pretty much half of the nation and you can thank the people of Florida, not the Supreme Court, for giving Bush the Presidency, because in the end they voted how they did.

    Long Beach, CA

    July 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  120. james andrews

    We can do it. We just have to destroy the economy in the process. Whats wrong with incentives to innovation and see what answers become reality. Trust capitalism, and the innovation of a truely free society. If government can mandate this, they can mandate anything, the God help us all.


    July 18, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  121. Dave


    The American people have proven that nothing is impossible, when the will exists to make a substantial change. There is only one reason the Gore Energy Plan cannot be accomplished in 10 years:

    It's called Washington D.C. Representation by the People, for the Special Interests.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  122. Luis

    I think that the plan is very doable. For years, our schools and universities educate and research on alternative sources of energy from biodegradable to carbon-free fuels. It is the stubbornness of industries in America who are more concerned with showing profit in their next quarter report, who refuse to look in the long term and invest in the future.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  123. Ralph in New York

    Jack, it is quite feasable as long as we make an effort to discover and develop alternative sources of energy, and put therse to use throughout our country. We know that energy from wind, etc. will meet our needs, but these must be put to use throughout the United States, fast and extensively. The more these sources are not utilized for our energy supply, the more dependent we will be on carbon-containing sources of energy, such as oil.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  124. Gary - Dallas

    Yes, I don't like Gore jumping on the energy band wagon like an opportunist he is, but there is more than politics here. There is about 10-20 years of conventional oil left in ground. Most of the globe has been explored, and no elephant fields have been found so forget about that. Unconventional oil like shale and tar sands is very expensive to get, even if there is huge amount, and they can not supply at the rate we need. So, unless we start to transition to a renewable source of energy NOW, where are we going to get the oil in 10 years? Think how long you would live without an energy supply. Probably 1 week in the winter (if you live in the cold) and 3 weeks in the summer, unless you have a gun and a good supply of amunition. Secondly. for those countries smart enough to transition now, they get first crack at the resources to build all those wind and solar farms- it going to take 10-20 years of building to do it. Time to get serious. Don't live like a grasshopper.


    July 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm |

    john form california,
    Jack, the fact is, if we start drilling, we won't get anything done. We will continue to chase the oil, like a crack addict, chasing his next high. It's time top stop the madness. We, as a country need to wake up and see that oil is not the way. Solar and wind, has already been developed. If all our electricity came from those two things alone, we could use all our oil for the autos, and if we raise efficiency levels, we will be fine. If we drill, the auto industry will lose any incentive it may have, to fix the problem on thier end, and it must be fixed on all sides, or it won't work.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  126. Joe Barie

    With each generation comes a challenge that seems impossible or unattainable. Roosevelt's call to a highway system, JFK's call to the stars. It is time for this generation to step up to the plate, as I know they can, to make their mark on history and change the country and the planet for the better.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  127. Lynn, Jersey Shore

    No. We need more people who think outside the fuse box!

    July 18, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  128. Geri Britt

    Al Gore's plan probably isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. The real flaw in his plan is he leaves everything else out. He wants to put all of our eggs in one basket and we have pretty much already done that with oil. Research and development should proceed on all fronts if we are going to do this right.

    A note from yesteryear. When I was a youngster I would watch a really interesting program named "One Step Beyond." Allegedly each episode was true. In one of the episodes a man suddenly shows up in an oil research lab. He shows the chemists a tablet that he proceeds to add to water, which once dissolved turns into oil. The oil company chemist's rejected the tablet. The man was never heard from nor seen again.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    July 18, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  129. A Kraft Naples, FL

    what is he smoking...his 100,000 foot mansion, his lincoln running with the a/c on for over 20 minutes waiting for him and Tipper...there are better ways to achieve some of his goals...his ideas are full of gas

    July 18, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  130. Brian

    Not ridiculous at all and I'm not a Gore fan. I had been hoping that one of the 2 presidential candidates would have voiced this plan. This type of goal and results (even if not 100% achieved) is what the U.S. needs to do to lead the world again and take back control of our own country economically. We could once again take pride in the USA.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  131. gburgess

    What I do know is that for the past 8 years any attempt at putting America on a solid path to prosperity through education, freedom from dependencies on other countries for ANYTHING and boosting the quality of life for all Americans, has not been even a second thought by the current administration.
    Gore's energy policy may not be perfect but at least someone is thinking. If we do not start today, any change will be one more day further into the future.
    With skyrocketing prices of home heating fuels, gas, electricity, education, taxes on the rise, numerous banking crisis', home loan defaults and the government bailing out businesses on the backs of the American people , something HAS to change. The American people are the ones who have always carried the burden. Eventually, if you apply enough pressure, even the strongest back will break!!!!

    July 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  132. The BEST political viewer of television -Texas

    Anything is doable. With Pelosi and Reid behind it they could probably get it done in a year, just like they got us out of Iraq and brought gas prices down.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  133. Alan, Buxton, Maine

    If we choose to do it we can. If we don't we will all be dead soon and won't be worring about it.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  134. John D. McCalpin, Ph.D.

    Full conversion of our current electrical generating capacity in 10 years is probably not possible for several reasons, though a concerted effort could have us well into the transition by that point. Each technology has different limiting issues: (1) Wind power is ramping rapidly, but is limited to a fairly small number of areas with strong and consistent winds. The Department of Energy suggests that an aggressive program could lead us to 20% of all electrical generation by wind power by 2030 (22 years, not 10 years). (2) Solar Photovoltaic is still one of the more expensive options, even without including the costs of energy storage for night-time or heavily overcast conditions. Capital costs to supply a significant portion of US electricity usage would be staggering - the current US installed generating capacity of approximately 1 million MegaWatts (MW) would require about $5 TRILLION in capital costs at the current solar photovoltaic costs of about $5/Watt (costs are higher for smaller systems such as residential installations). The 4 million GigaWatt-hours (GWh) of electricity generated in the US in 2007 would require over 9000 square km of solar cells (60 miles by 60 miles). If my calculations are correct this would require all of the silicon wafers generated world-wide for the next 1600 years (at 2007 global production rates). (3) Concentrating Solar Thermal electricity generation is likely to be the technology that is most scalable to the huge capacities required to replace current fossil-fuel-based electrical production. Unfortunately there are only a handful of such systems currently operational, suggesting that there will be many opportunities for negative "surprises" when attempting to scale these technologies into a significant contributor to the US power grid. Siting studies, land acquisition, environmental impact studies, construction, and bring-up testing are likely to require most of 10 years even if we aggressive investment today.

    Research breakthroughs could significantly improve these estimates, but if we want to accomplish something in 10 years we have very little time for research - we would need to start spending huge amounts of capital for projects based on existing technologies starting almost immediately.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  135. RP in Nashville

    Even if we don't accomplish it, we will be doing ourselves and our planet a world of good by trying. Maybe Congress can take some of that tax credit they are giving big oil companies and give it to companies that install solar and wind power to help generate some of their own power needs. Give a tax credit to average Americans for installing solar and wind power. I think this world is worth the effort.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  136. Susan

    It can be done, however, only if Americans can come together as a people, dig in our heels, re-claim our nation, break through the old ways of thinking and lead the way into a bold new world of innovation. Just think into the future of the countries who couldn't pull their heads out of their oil tanks long enough to build a better mousetrap. America has always been a beautiful, shining light in the world and we can keep her that way.

    I don't care if you are a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent or a Right Wing, independent, Liberal Republican closet granola cruncher for cryin' out loud!! STOP pandering political rhetoric!

    We are Americans and we are pissed off at corporate greed and record oil profits. Git 'er done, people!

    We're going green and screw anyone who says we can't.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  137. gary lee, san luis obispo, ca.

    i think its absured / unrealistic.
    i dont think there is anyway we can completely eliminate our use of carbon based or fosil fuels, EVER!. but we can cut our use dramatically. we have to do that!

    July 18, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  138. Will from San Jose, CA

    It's all how we frame the discussion. If we focus on cutting back the use of fossil fuels then this is dead in the water. If we instead talk about revitalizing the economy with a massive job surge in designing and building alternative energy sources then there is potential to make it work.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  139. Nikolas Gough

    Yes it is posiple and could become a huge industry for U.S
    I am from Denmark (Europe)
    We started very early with Wind energy and now it is one of Denmark's fastes growing industry's and making 100,000s new
    Sorry to say but US is getting left behind because of Bush's.


    July 18, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  140. Rob, Arvada, CO

    Oh it's doable, but we need to get those thousands of wind turbines put up, and stop listening to these whiny people who don't like the woosh-woosh-woosh sound. That sound is clean energy "my friends." I've seen how fast they can build wind farms, and 10 years is an acheivable goal. I am a strong advocate of wind energy, and this is the way to go for the power industry. Put 'em up.

    July 18, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  141. Faith, Arkansas

    You want to know what causes global warming/ The answer , The sun. simple as that....Al Gore is a big hyprocrite! He feeds us all this garb, while he lavishes in his big home or should I say homes! and flys around in he private jet making big bucks at his speaking engagments telling us poor little people that we need to conserve our energy. Cut down our thermostats.Buy those expensive light bulbs, that recently we have found out that they are dangerous if broken! He's make 100 million dollars from his speaking fees and investments in his fake stories of global warming! In his Tennessee home he uses 213,210 (wkh) A DAY! Enough power for 2,320 american households for a month! He actually believes he is above all of us little peons!

    July 18, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  142. John

    The world is going end 2012 anyway. Right?

    July 18, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  143. Bob

    Is Gore willing to move to nuclear power? Does Gore understand that 80% of our power today in the US is fossil based (coal or natural gas)? Does he understand the how much power actually needs to be replaced, not only the existing giga-watts but the additional electricity that will be needed 10 years from now? Does GORE really think solar and wind can replace all of the gas and steam turbines that are existing today. Remember that most wind turbines produce about 1.5 MW's a piece (when the wind is blowing) compared to 150MW's for a typical gas turbine, or 500 MW for a typical coal fired steam turbine, and over 1000MW for a typical nuclear steam turbine (or almost 700 wind turbines per nuclear steam turbine).

    If we could build nukes now, then maybe in 10 years we could be close. But with this government and this countries environmentalists, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get nukes built. His goal will never be achieved unless this government, the environmentalists, and GORE accepts nuclear power and gets it started today...

    July 18, 2008 at 4:55 pm |