By Shreya Indukuri – ACE Youth Advisory Board Member
Last Monday, I had the great opportunity to go listen to our country’s Secretary of Energy, Steve Chu. After a brief overview of climate change and the reality of global warming due to the human race’s contribution of GHG emissions to the atmosphere, the secretary of energy laid down his thoughts for how the US can transform energy to combat the effects of climate change along with numerous other benefits.
Chu believes that “tens of billions of dollars as a minimum per year [should be] invested [to develop new energy technologies that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.]” The US is only allotting 3 billion dollars TOTAL to be invested in these technologies compared to China, who is investing 9 billion dollars MONTHLY to revolutionize their energy industry!!! Talk about scale.
When asked what students can do to resolve energy issues, he suggested “putting your computer to sleep”, “becoming better informed” and here’s my favorite “turning off the water tap!”
YES, I agree we must all do those things but seriously, there is SO MUCH MORE that we can do! He should be inspiring students to take leadership and discover and implement already existing energy solutions that can transform their school and community. Does he really expect a catalyst for change among this generation if the only suggestion he can give us is to “turn off the water tap and put your computer on hibernate mode?”
Though I was disappointed in the his advice to students, fortunately, Chu understands that the US is lagging very behind in this new upcoming energy revolution and he is eager to change that.
I thoroughly enjoyed the secretary’s new spin of famous hockey player’s Wayne Gretzky’s quote on how he is such a successful athlete “I skate to where the puck will be, not where it’s been.” Chu believes that “we have to get people in the United States to skate to where the world will be” in terms of implementing new energy technologies, not pray for oil prices to decrease.
I certainly will continue assisting students in my community implement a smart energy solution I found to be thoroughly effective but, I hope I can inspire students everywhere to take leadership and transform their community as well. “Turning of the tap” is simply not enough.