Dirty Lies

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“Severe restrictions on the amount of energy we use”? Not even. What the polluters aren’t telling you is that America could easily cut its energy use right now without consumers even feeling a pinch, because so much energy is wasted by dirty and antiquated power plant technologies. At the White House Conference on Climate Change last month at Georgetown University, Tom Casten, the president and CEO of Trigen Energy Corporation, pointed out that an incredible two-thirds of the energy used in power plants in the United States is wasted, never converted to electricity, and that simply by using conservation technologies to recover lost heat, the U.S. could reduce its CO2 emissions by 22%. (Trigen specializes in turning “waste” energy into commercial power.) It’s the power companies who’d feel the pinch, because they’d be forced to clean up their act in order to compete.

What’s more, economists and energy scientists agree that energy conservation — and the development of cost-effective renewable energy sources like photovoltaic, wind, biomass, and ocean thermal — could actually end up saving the consumer money, because these options cost less than the polluting fuels they would replace.

For a good starting point on alternative energy and conservation projects, including those you can start right in your own household, try the Rocky Mountain Institute.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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