Tantalizing clean energy: Ted Turner and others on keeping the U.S. in the game

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.

GridWise Alliance appeals to Harry Reid to keep smart grid needs in energy bill

Efficiency. It’s much discussed. But will Americans really turn down their AC (or the heat), caulk their windows and put their electronics on power strips?
Experts say yes, they will if they can see that meter ticking away, adding needless dollars to their electricity bills. But the ability to gauge our electricity use with “smart” gadgets around the home depends largely on updating the national grid; creating a smart grid that can feed back information.

Gore’s Earth Day plea: Call your senator!

(Photo: NASA)

Earth (Photo: NASA)

On this 40th Earth Day, many activists are reaching out to their constituents, urging them to make life changes, to reduce energy consumption, rethink paper use, install better light bulbs, donate to climate causes. But mostly they want the American public to snap to attention and call the U.S. Senate. Among those wanting to rattling the cages in D.C. is former Vice President and green evangelist Al Gore. If the Senate “steps up and passes strong legislation, success will be within each,” he told supporters of Repower America in an Earth Day email.