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Drill Here, Drill Now: A Pipe Dream
According to the US Energy Information Administration, oil production from drilling offshore in the outer continental shelf wouldn't begin until around the year 2017. Once begun, it wouldn't reach peak production until about 2030 when it would produce only 200,000 barrels of oil per day (in yellow above). This would supply a meager 1.2% of total US annual oil consumption (just 0.6% of total US energy consumption). And, the offshore oil would be sold back to the US at the international rate, which today is $106 a barrel. So, the oil produced by offshore drilling would not only be a "drop in the bucket", it would be expensive, which translates to "no relief at the pump". 12,954 Nuclear Power Plants
That's how many nuclear plants the world would need to build to replace its current fossil-fuel-based energy. Even if it was physically possible to build this many plants within the seven-year timeline set by scientists to avoid dangerous climate change (it takes 8 to 12 years to get a nuclear plant on-line), the cost would be astronomical. At $6 billion per plant (a conservative figure), 12,954 plants would cost $77.72 trillion - more than the total Gross World Product (GWP) of $65.95 trillion!
Recently, politicians have suggested that the US aggressively build 45 nuclear power plants by 2030. By 2030, the US is projected to need 84 QBtu of delivered energy. So, how much energy will these 45 plants supply? About 1 QBtu. This is just 1.2% of our energy needs in 2030 - another 'drop in the bucket'. At a total construction cost of $270 billion (not including land, waste storage, etc.), this plan is incredibly expensive, translating to "no relief in consumer utility bills".
Sea Level Rise Greater Than Expected Bad News for the US
A new report appearing in today's Science magazine, 'Kinematic Constraints on Glacier Contributions to 21st-Century Sea-Level Rise', projects a sea level rise of up to two meters this century. Many Americans are unaware of how little a rise in sea level is required to devastate the US. According to Architecture 2030's sea level rise study, 'Nation Under Siege', beginning with just one meter, hundreds of US cities and towns along the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico and West Coast would be inundated - from East Boston MA, Point Pleasant NJ, Charleston SC and Miami FL on the Atlantic to Cape Coral and Tampa FL, New Orleans LA, and Galveston TX on the Gulf to Foster City CA and Seaside OR on the Pacific.
Prior to 1996, the rate of sea level rise was approximately two millimeters per year. Since 1996, the rate of sea level rise has almost doubled to 3.4 millimeters per year, the increase being due to land-based ice melt in Greenland and West Antarctica (see graph below). NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently launched a new website measuring the planet's vital signs, including sea level rise.
Charleston, SC: 1.5m rise
Saint Augustine, FL: 1.0m rise
Hampton Beach, NH: 1.0m rise
Sea Level Rise (source: Josh Willis, NASA jpl)
Sea level rise is already having a significant impact on US coastal areas. “Flooding of low-lying regions by storm surges and spring tides is becoming more frequent and causing more damage and disruptions. Around the Chesapeake Bay, wetlands are being submerged, fringe forests are dying and being converted to marsh, farmland and lawns are being converted to marsh; and some roads are routinely flooded at high tides. 'Ghost forests' of standing dead trees killed by salt-water intrusion are becoming increasingly common in southern New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Rising sea level is gradually intruding into estuaries and threatening fresh-water aquifers”, according to a recent study (draft) from the US Climate Change Science Program.
Rising Seas On the South Carolina Coast
Using Architecture 2030 maps and video, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) created the following video on the impacts of rising sea level on the Charleston, SC area:
Mazria Unveils Blueprint at Historic Energy Summit Read the article
2030 Makes Headlines in BusinessWeek Read the article
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Read the white paper here.
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