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Obama’s green recovery plan: efficient buildings, more broadband

In his radio address on the U.S. economy this past weekend, President-elect Barack Obama outlined the key elements in his plan to create jobs and pull the nation out of recession. Among the top goals, he said, are to make public buildings throughout the U.S. more energy efficient and to reinvigorate the nation’s Internet access capabilities.

“First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient,” Obama said. “Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.”

The U.S.’s transportation infrastructure and school buildings also need massive investments to bring them into the 21st Century, he continued. Such initiatives would not only create jobs but help today’s children compete in the modern global economy.

“As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway,” Obama added. “It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President — because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.”

All noble intentions, but I can still hear some bitter Republicans sniping about how Obama hopes to solve global warming by switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs. So let me here remind them of this Obama quote from a backstage conversation in preparation for one of the presidential debates hosted by Brian Williams (Obama was toying with his likely response to questions about how he personally will fight climate change):

“Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f…ing changed light bulbs in my house,” Obama purportedly said. “It’s because of something collective.”

1 Comment

  • Ifti Akbar
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 9:28 am

    High-speed broadband networks across the world could help mitigate climate change. Rolling out high-speed broadband services globally could be as beneficial for the environment as they are for businesses and homes.

    High-speed internet offers companies a chance to replace manufactured goods with virtualised alternatives and mitigate their climate change impacts.

    Production of certain products would be reduced as a result and therefore a reduction of carbon emissions usually created during such processes.

    High-speed broadband- in particular fibre-optic cables- has huge potential to support a low-carbon economy- from digital downloads replacing DVDs and CDs, to video-conferencing replacing long flights for face-to-face meetings.

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