I was caught by surprise at the formal reception they had for Kennedy since I was unaware previously of the formality of the event. Once we got into the hall where Kennedy was to speak, I was impressed by the massive number of people who showed up just to see him. I have been looking forward to this Visions and Voices Event because it is not very common to have the opportunity to hear Kennedy speak at your school.
Below are the notes I took from his presentation on the environment and the issues that hinder us from turning industry into an environmentally friendly business.
“We r protecting environment for our sake and our communities and goal is to provide future generations with the community opportunities we have now.”
Good environmental policy is equivalent to good economic policy
The future generations will pay for the environments costs that the current generation is causing.
An investment in the environment is an investment into infrastructure and if we ignore the infrastructure we will diminish the future generations ability to have a thriving economy
Can we use energy in a way that it doesn’t diminish our own quality of life or subvert our moral obligation to protecting our environment.
Lots of talk about the destructive nature of the Koch brothers who think that it is more beneficial to treat the environment like a money generating resource
Oil companies get about 1 trillion from our taxes in subsidies.
Coal industries are the most heavily subsidized Industry in the U.S. Coal mines have made every fresh water fish to have some level of Mercury.
Coal companies have sterilized the waters all across the Appalachians up to Canada and also have begun destroying the tops of mountains on the chain and have currently flattened an amount the size of Delaware.
Coal may be cheap but it is the most destructive to the environment
Geothermal is actually cheaper than coal but because of the lack of popular knowledge about it, it is not used
There is potential to transition energy from old energy economy to new energy but there are 3 main impediments
1) There is lack of subsidies for renewable energy so it’s at a disadvantage
2) We don’t have an energy grid in the country that can manage the countries energy
-can’t reach the potential of wind power in the northern Midwest (I.e) Montana, North Dakota, and surrounding areas
-current grid won’t get past 300mi due to old technology
-need national unified grid
3) Need to rationalize energy market
-need government to design a system that will allow people to take advantage of the renewable energy that exists across the country
Utilities in California make money by conserving resources, this is one incentive the country should use to make a transition to renewable resources.
By Far, this was my favorite Visions and Voices Event I went to and Kennedy was a very passionate speaker and definitely was worth making time that evening to go see him. The part of his speech I enjoyed the most was when he said that we needed a nationwide power grid. This is a new technology that is successful in Europe but for some reasons is looked at with fear here in the US. This fear in a future technology reminds me of our second paper for the Writing class where there were fears for a developing technology and we were to explore how these fears are addressed through rhetoric in articles. I found Kennedy entertaining also because he would bash on politicians and news networks failure to elucidate such an important issue such as the environment. If I ever get the chance to see Robert or any of the Kennedy’s speak, I would take that opportunity because this experience was so valuable.