Dear President-Elect Obama,
Congratulations on a historic victory. The economy and Iraq will no doubt be high on your agenda when you enter the Oval Office, but a number of environmental issues need attention too. Here are four initiatives for your consideration.
1. Use Economic Stimulus to Stimulate Low-Carbon Energies
A major theme of your campaign has been investing in renewable and low-carbon (C) energy to attain energy independence and address climate change. You have also recommended another stimulus package to energize our economy. Why not do both for the price of one? Revive the economy by investing in new low-C energy technologies.
And what about the $700 billion bailout package? Why not use that to further investments in alternative energy? Why not require that companies and banks receiving bailout dollars target a small percentage of their future investments to renewable energy?
2. Invest in New Infrastructure by Retooling Our Energy Infrastructure
America's infrastructure is aging, some even say crumbling. The time to rebuild has come. In fact, funding infrastructure construction is undoubtedly one of the levers you will use to strengthen the economy - think FDR here. But the need to bolster our infrastructure also presents a great opportunity to ramp up renewable energy sources. Go for it.
Click here for the rest of Dr. Bill Chameides's suggestions to president-elect Obama.
Dr. Bill Chameides is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He blogs at thegreengrok.com.