An advisory board for the National Science Founcation, the National Science Board (NSB) has added it voice to the chorus saying, "Enough with the oil and coal, already." The NSB suggests moving America toward a more sustainable energy supply.
The NSB release says, "The NSB recommends that the U.S. government develop and lead a nationally coordinated research, development demonstration, deployment, and education (RD3E) strategy to advance a sustainable energy economy that is significantly less carbon-intensive. A sustainable energy economy values environmental and ecosystem stewardship as well as clean, equitable, reliable, renewable, safe, secure, and economically viable energy strategies and solutions.
"...Trends for the next quarter to half century suggest little change in the future global energy mix without concerted international action. The scale and speed of adopting sustainable and clean energy technologies fall short of what is necessary to address today's challenges, which will only become more acute with the passage of time."
Some specific recommendations: more research and development spending, better science and technology education, get global co-operation as this is not just a national issue, and in circuitous terms the NSB says put a price on pollution. Their draft report also suggests getting widespread public buy-in to a new energy policy.
Looking at long-term and near-term goals the NSB report says, "Near-term needs include: developing mechanisms for conserving energy; encouraging energy efficiency; and identifying, developing, demonstrating, and deploying both existing and emerging sustainable energy technologies. The near-term solutions should be capable of supporting continued economic growth, manifesting proper stewardship of the environment, and adapting to future environmental conditions as necessary. Long-term needs include: understanding and applying the basic science related to climate and the carbon cycle; accelerating innovation in sustainable energy technologies and facilitating their transfer into the marketplace; exploring the potential of new materials for better energy storage and conversion from one form to another; and educating and training a workforce to operate in the new energy economy."
My caps: applying basic science? What about the beloved status quo and gas-guzzling old cars we love so well?
Here's the NSB's full report. They're taking public comment online through the end of this month. Here's a webpage showing who's on the NSB.