should provide parallel incentives to the innovative start-ups like Tesla, Modec, Think,
Aptera and a couple of dozen other companies with the guts and vision to challenge Detroit with electric and hybrid cars. It would be
tragic if our tax dollars were used to kill these
agents of change.
Build Electrified Railways for Busy Corridors. America is virtually the only industrial
power without high-speed electrified rail — a
super-efficient mode of intercity travel that
can be carbon-free. If Spain and Italy can do it,
America can, too.
Establish Tough National Building Energy Standards. We can make all new buildings carbon-neutral by 2025. The astonishing
rate at which architects and developers nationwide have adopted the voluntary LEED
building standards suggests a deep desire to
build structures that will make sense throughout their 50-year lifetimes. We need to build
on that momentum to create a new generation
of energy-efficient “living buildings.”
We can make all new buildings carbon-neutral
by 2025. We need to build on the momentum of
LEED building standards to create a new generation of energy-efficient “living buildings.”
PERKINS + WILL
years. Forty billion dollars per year is hardly
chump change, but remember that the government has invested $123 billion over the last six
months in one large insurance company, AIG,
with no chance of the benefits a national smart
grid would provide.
Get Serious About Auto Mileage. During
World War II, Detroit was ordered to stop
making cars and start making tanks. Today,
Develop the Green-Collar Workforce.
Reversing climate change has enormous potential to put disenfranchised America back
to work. The greatest employment opportunities are for those who will install and maintain
photovoltaic and solar thermal-electric facilities, build and maintain wind farms and geothermal plants, and construct and operate the
high-speed rail system and smart grid.
We need a national commitment to solar and renewable
energy comparable to our mobilization for World War II.
We need to increase by a hundredfold the
programs, mostly at community colleges,
to teach these new skills. Special emphasis
should be placed on retraining those who
were displaced in the energy transition (such
as workers in coal mines) and the inner-city
poor who have seen their job prospects disappear in the globalized economy.
Detroit needs to be ordered to stop making
civilian tanks and start making cars. Manufacturers should be free to use any technology
that can get at least 50 mpg by 2020 and 100
mpg by 2030 — though a preference should
be given to electric and plug-in hybrid cars
that can also provide distributed back-up storage for the electrical grid. And if Washington
awards $50 billion or so to Detroit to help it
get back on its feet and achieve these goals, it
But How Will We Pay for All This?
The initial stimulus — to ward off recession
and boost employment — will inevitably be
paid for with deficit financing. It must begin
immediately. I write as a true deficit hawk —
appalled to be acknowledging the need to add
perhaps another trillion dollars to our national
debt. But withdrawing the money from the
economy (e.g., in taxes) in order to redirect it
to government expenditures would negate the
effect of the stimulus.
However, in two years or less President