Energy experts are meeting this week at Stanford University for the Global Climate and Energy Program, and the United States' role in a carbon-free world was the hot topic. Nobel laureate physicist Steve Chu says there is 500 to 1,000 years of energy left in the world, but it's fossil energy. Another scientist noted China is building a coal-fired electric plant every week.
"China is a coal economy," said Doug Ogden of the Energy Foundation. "You don't change that overnight."
Two analysts from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory say that putting the rest of the nation on California's low-carbon diet could mean replacing all cars and trucks with hydrogen vehicles, capturing CO2 from all fossil-fuel plants and building 300 nuclear power stations. Other changes include covering North Dakota with wind turbines and installing 500 square feet of solar panels for every person in the country.
While the solutions were debated, there was consensus that action was needed quickly.
[Source: Contra Costa Times]