A Step in the Direction of Mitigation

A few months after proposing the controversial “congestion tax,” New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, never out of new ideas, has now put forth his vision of a city capable of producing its own energy by renewable means. Windmills and solar panels on the top of skyscrapers may very well be in the future for New York City.


While these plans are feasible and more than just a dream remains to be seen, but after this and T. Boone Pickens urging for us to shift to sustainable energy, we can see public thought changing. Both Bloomberg and Presidential candidate John McCain have been pushing nuclear power and using France as an example, citing the fact that they generate 80% of their electricity from nuclear sources.

Another important sign in this latest proposition is Bloomberg’s appeal to the private sector to come up with ideas, rather than putting the entire burden on a paternal government. We all have witnessed in the past the ability of the capitalist system to develop new technology when the profit potential is there.

This blog has also explored in the past how New York is one of the principal consumers of petroleum as a source of electricity. With Bloomberg’s most recent energy proposal addressing solely electricity, the effect on oil consumption is minimal, but somewhat significant if electrical production from petroleum could be eliminated.

CNN took its usual sensationalist spin this afternoon, briefly mentioning the story, and focusing greatly on an artists depiction of what the city might look like if every skyscraper was mounted with a windmill. Apparently asking the news to be analytical and informative is too much to ask at lunchtime.

Nevertheless, there have been a few important steps taken towards properly mitigating the peaking of oil. The public and people in power have recognized the problem, mostly due to price, now ideas are being put forth by politicians, businessmen and both new and old companies. Now we will see in the coming years if these potential solutions, or partial solutions, can be scalable to our energy needs, and if they can be scaled before peak oil’s effects are strongly felt.


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