America’s need to shake its dependence on foreign oil is one of those issues where people of varied political and philosophical leanings agree: It would be better for the nation if the U.S. imported less oil, particularly from hostile nations. It would stabilize the economy and enhance national security.
And yet, solutions are elusive, and have been for decades. Politicians promise to do something only to be sunk by special interests and the public’s galloping demand for gasoline. Americans torpedo themselves on this matter, driving big cars long after the rest of the world has gone smaller; consuming more oil per capita than any other nationalities.
Speaking at the AREDAY conference in Aspen, Colo., this past weekend, Avatar filmmaker James Cameron addressed a key point on many minds, that with the current vacuum of national leadership, the U.S. appears in danger of slipping behind in the race to a clean energy economy
More importantly, Cameron said we have “just a few years” to begin an aggressive program to mitigate climate change or we risk paying a high price, economically and ecologically, he said, invoking what should be a motivator for everyone: our children’s future.
ASPEN — For four solid days this past week, the historic Hotel Jerome was packed with academics, Forbes list members, Silicon Valley luminaries, government energy leaders and Hollywood activists attending the 7th annual AREDAY conference which brings business, thought leaders and financiers together to wrestle with how the United States can shift to a renewable energy economy.
This brainy jam session at 8,200 feet above sea level takes place far from Washington, and this year, it seemed farther than ever, kicking off just after Congress had split for the summer holiday, with Senate leader Harry Reid announcing that even his scaled down energy bill would not be taken up until after the holiday. This followed the July anti-climatic squelching of the real deal, the once-ambitious Kerry-Lieberman climate/energy bill. So no climate bill, not even a skinny energy bill, and none expected. See ya in September. No, wait, after the election.