Quantcast

Stanford Professor on Letterman: Powering Entire World on Renewable Energy No Problem

Business

A Stanford University professor used a late-night television appearance earlier this month to do more than just advocate renewable energy. Mark Jacobson suggested that the entire world could easily live off renewable energy.

"There's enough wind to power the entire world, for all purposes, around seven times over," the professor of civil and environmental engineering told David Letterman. "Solar, about 30 times over, in high-solar locations worldwide."

Jacobson said a good starting point would be in the U.S., where he believes the world's largest untapped resource of offshore wind energy exists on the East Coast. Jacobson, the director of Stanford's Atmosphere/Energy program, told the audience that he is working on "science-based plans to eliminate global warming" because 2.5 million to 4 million deaths take place each year due to air pollution.

Early on, Letterman posed one of the most pressing questions regarding a shift to renewables: “How do we motivate the fossil fuel people—the gas, and oil people—of this country to stop what they are doing? ... They're not going to give up this multi-billion dollar industry."

Jacobson responded, "We really do need policies put in place. Right now, the fossil fuel industry gets a lot of subsidies. Wind and solar also get subsidies, but not quite as much in aggregate.

"Policies need to be shifted toward wind, solar, geothermal and electric cars."

Watch the attached to video to learn about Jacobson's plan and why he believes "everything's going to be OK."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.

Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
The Lake Delhi Dam in Iowa failed in 2010. VCU Capital News Service / Josh deBerge / FEMA

At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.

Read More Show Less

By Sabrina Kessler

Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Alex Robinson

Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.

The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.

Read More Show Less
People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Nov. 11 in Chicago. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on Nov. 13 in Venice. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images

Two people have died as Venice has been inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less