Does the following analysis sound familiar?
“A weakening U.S. dollar is putting upward pressure on oil prices. The shock produced chaos in the West. In the United States, the retail price of a gallon of gasoline rose 50%, consumption dropped by 6.1% from September to February. Underscoring the interdependence of the world societies and economies, oil-importing nations in the noncommunist industrial world saw sudden inflation and economic recession. The energy crisis led to greater interest in renewable energy and spurred research in solar power and wind power as well as increased interest in mass transit.”
If you said it sounds like 2008, when it took $5.00/gallon gasoline to get Americans to agree to offshore drilling and give up their last Arctic Wilderness, you would be wrong.
It was 1973, when the Arab oil embargo and long gas lines got Americans to authorize the 800 mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline through some of the most pristine country in Alaska.
What would our economy and climate change look like today if we had not chosen to build, build, build the Alaska Pipe Line?
Denmark was also badly hammered by the 1973 Arab oil embargo. But unlike America, it responded to the crisis in such a sustained, focused and systematic way, that today Denmark is energy independent. And it didn’t happen by Danish politicians didn’t make their people stupid by telling them the solution was simply more offshore drilling.
Did Danes suffer from their government shaping the market with energy taxes to stimulate innovations in clean power? In one word, said Connie Hedegaard, Denmark’s minister of climate and energy: “No.” Denmark’s exports of energy efficiency products have tripled.
“It is one of our fastest-growing export areas and the reason that unemployment in Denmark today is 1.6 percent”, said Hedegaard.
And of course Denmark’s solutions addressed climate change 31 years ago.