I do like Tulsi Gabbard, so this blog is about one detail of one policy, in which I totally agree with her in the main. Among her stated goals, she lists “complete change to renewable energy by 2035.” I like the ‘complete change to renewable energy’ part. That should be the policy of everybody in the world by now. The research has been done. Every serious, not-employed-by-an-oil-company scientist in the world agrees. We need to clean up our atmosphere and that means we need to stop pumping greenhouse gasses into it, and that means we need to switch from oil and coal 100%, just like she’s saying.
But 2035 is way too slow. We’ve been told 12 years, and I suspect it might actually be less because we seem to be still accelerating the pace instead of slowing it down, but 2035 is 17 years from now. So, if we haven’t converted to clean energy by then, it will be 5 years too late. At the most optimistic assessment.
I don’t think it will be economically or technologically different to do it well before that date. For the most part, we have the technology. Solar and wind energy could replace the current power grid, and many countries around the world are moving fast in that direction. Germany and Denmark are both near supplying 100% of their daily energy needs through windmills, and China’s putting up solar panels faster than the U.S. is putting up strip malls. High speed trains will run on electricity, or magnets which are run on electricity, or down vacuum tubes which would be super fast and awesome, but none of those would require oil. Electric cars exist, and as soon as gas burning vehicles are banned, they will be produced in large enough numbers that the price will come down and all gas stations could be converted to charging stations very easily. All you really need is a parking lot and a little, glass building to buy snacks and coffee in.
Air travel might be a bit of a problem, but I’m sure we’ll find solutions for that, too, once we start looking. I see a return to dirigibles. Large, luxury dirigibles. With solar panels on top.