November 9, 2008
Dear President Obama,
I would like to start by offering a congratulations for your decisive victory last Tuesday. It was one that I feel was very well deserved and also one that I think has this nation and the entire global community headed in the right direction. Your ability to keep your composure while delivering compelling speeches is what impresses me the most and was ultimately the reason I gave you my vote. Under your leadership I genuinely believe change can actually happen and the global community, economy and environment can all be improved.
The most important issue that I feel our nation must address is global warming. Now I’ve heard all the pessimists argue about the impossibility of dealing with global warming. I am familiar with their assumptions that any mitigation is impractical and insufficient to save our world, but in your acceptance speech Tuesday night you eased all of my lingering qualms. “Yes we can” prevent global warming; “yes we can” find a way to effect change on a global scale.
As far as how global mitigation policies can be adopted, I do sincerely think that you, President Obama, can inspire other nations to follow our lead. The United States has always been a leading global power but never more so, I believe, than under your leadership. You, sir, need to help other nations understand both the importance of addressing global warming now and that mitigation will not inevitably cause economic deterioration.
As far as specific effective and efficient policies go, I urge you to consider using and suggesting a portfolio of solutions. First and foremost, I think geothermal energy must play a large role in controlling climate change for a couple of reasons. First it is available to everyone. This means that it can truly be a global initiative instead of one that depends on the specific geography of a nation. With help from the American government, Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) can be finalized which will greatly increase exploitable heat sources in the earth’s crust, making this clean energy obtainable and practical for all nations.
I would also urge you to include wind and solar power in your portfolio. Both – similarly to geothermal power – are available in some form in every nation. While they are not as consistent as geothermal power, they are a great clean energy choice for many nations because of the comparably low start up cost. Nations without the vast financial resources that we are fortunate enough to have will be able to get involved in alleviating global warming without feeling like they need to sacrifice an unreasonable amount of their GDP to develop new energy sources.
I believe that once nations recognize the advantages of technologies like the three that I have highlighted for you, they will understand that these technologies can sharply cut energy costs associated with oil and coal, while helping to protect the environment. I also urge you to focus on these three because they will help countries to feel safer. With sufficient energy production in one’s own nation, governments will no longer need to worry about being too dependent on a group of nations, like OPEC, to power their economies.
It is important that I mention that I am not suggesting that this portfolio is the answer, but rather it is a start. These technologies can be utilized around the entire globe and can get the ball rolling for the switch to clean energies. Additional technologies depend on the specific nations. If a country has a vast river system running through it, hydropower could be an important energy source; if a country is developed and has the money, nuclear energy could be an important technology to exploit. The point is that once you inspire nations to begin to explore geothermal, solar and wind power, they will become accustomed to the initial growing pains to be expected from switching energy sources – high startup costs and unemployment for those working in coal and oil industries – and also will realize the long term economic growth associated with such transformations. From this point, nations should decide for themselves what additional energy sources are appropriate for their own countries.
Again I would like to congratulate you on winning the election and reiterate how proud I am to benefit from your leadership. I know we can effect real change in the next four years and I have never been so proud to call myself an American.
Sincerely, Charlie Brewer