Power to the People with Johan Norberg

  1. As developing countries escape poverty and march toward prosperity and better lives, more people than ever are using energy--to power their homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses, and connect to the global economy. But how will we provide more energy while still protecting our environment?

    Hosted by Swedish economist and author Johan Norberg, Power to the People explores how innovation and new technologies are providing answers to our world's growing energy needs. From a solar facility in Morocco to wind farms in Denmark, from a hydraulic fracturing site in Pennsylvania to a trucking company in Florida that is converting its fleet to natural gas, Power to the People examines how innovators from around the world are finding new, creative, and cost-effective solutions to our planet's growing energy needs.

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  2. The thirst for energy in developing countries will only grow as economic freedom spreads. People there see how we in the west live and refuse to be left behind. In “Power to the People,” Swedish economist and author Johan Norberg explores the incredible challenge this demand presents to man- and woman-kind. As costs rise and concern for climate change increases, these questions loom large: How are we going to maintain our standard of living? How do we reduce our impact on the planet? And how will we get power to ALL the people?

    Norberg travels the world in “Power to the People” to peel back the layers of this global challenge, often questioning the conventional wisdom on what works and what doesn’t. His journey starts in the Moroccan bazaars of Marrakech, which functioned fine for eons without modern conveniences, but where electric lights, computers, cell phones and credit card readers are now everywhere. Even more telling is Norberg’s journey to a remote Berber village in the Sahara Desert. More than half the world still cooks its food over open flames but this is rapidly changing, including here, where women now cook on gas stoves, and some even have refrigerators.

    The revealing program examines global efforts to solve our energy dilemma – and how even the best of intentions sometimes result in unexpected consequences. For example, Germany’s decision to abolish nuclear power and increase the use of renewable energy has sent retail prices soaring, among the highest in Europe. It also resulted in an actual increase in the use of lignite coal-burning plants as the Germans discover that it takes temporary dependence on energy from fossil fuels to build a new clean energy economy. Imposing tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels to protect the German solar industry also slowed things down.
    In the U.S., “Power to the People” explores the great debate in a country whose energy consumption is now only surpassed by China. He reveals, perhaps surprisingly, how cities like New York consume far less energy per capita than the rest of the country. The controversy over America’s promising new energy source in hydro fracking is also examined, as is the folly of top-down government-imposed solutions. Witness the continued federal subsidies for corn ethanol, which have sent food prices soaring and not produced the promised a renewable energy return.
    Although daunting, the energy challenge can be met, Norberg believes – especially if governments step back from top-down imposed solutions. From a solar facility in Morocco to wind farms in England, a hydraulic fracking site in Pennsylvania, and a trucking company in Florida that is converting its fleet to natural gas, potential new sources and solutions abound. Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Hydro, Biomass, Wind, and Solar are all in the mix and all come with their own problems.

    As Norberg finds, the world is overflowing with energy. The sun is shining, the world is turning, the wind is blowing, and water flows downhill. The only bottleneck when it comes to energy is our ability to safely convert, store and pay for it.

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  3. We’ve made great strides in making everything more energy efficient, from jumbo jets to television sets, but despite that we’ve increased our use of energy, not only do we fly more, but there’s a TV on the back of the seat. Couldn’t we all just cut back and learn to live with less energy? Why can’t we live greener, reduce our consumption, buy local and just travel less?

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  4. Energy questions are complicated and there are always tradeoffs. For example, buying food grown in rural areas outside of your hometown will help the local farmer and put healthy, fresh vegetables and fruits on your table.
    But if both you and the farmer drive to and from the market, you might end up using more energy than if you bought your food at the supermarket, where it’s efficiently transported from much farther away, but by using less energy.

    When we think of “Green,” we think of living in a rural environment with lots of space around us, living close to and in harmony with nature, maybe solar on the roof and a windmill in the back yard. This is hardly green, is it?

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  5. Living without electricity makes everything more difficult. You don’t have any powered water wells, and of course, you can’t refrigerate the food. And any kind of farming or manufacturing activity must be done with manual or animal labor.

    Not having electricity can diminish the quality of life, so much of your time, your daily routine is occupied by creating your own energy, which leaves you very little time to do anything else. Countries that do not have electricity, remain poorer, leaving them less money to invest in other environmentally-conscious activities.

    Many families in these countries use gas-fired lamps to heat their homes, and cook their meals. Almost half of the world’s population cook food on open fires indoors, usually with wood or animal dung, because they don’t have electricity or gas. This results in respiratory illnesses, and it is a major global problem. The World Health Organization estimates that in Africa, indoor smoke from solid fuels are responsible for around half a million deaths every year. Globally almost two million die. And the horribly sad truth is that half of those who die are children.

    Check out our Facebook page here: facebook.com/FreeToChooseNetwork

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    Connect with us on Twitter here: twitter.com/FreeToChooseNet

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Power to the People with Johan Norberg

Free To Choose Network PRO

The thirst for energy in developing countries will only grow as economic freedom spreads. People there see how we in the west live and refuse to be left behind. In “Power to the People,” by Swedish economist and author Johan Norberg explores the incredible…


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The thirst for energy in developing countries will only grow as economic freedom spreads. People there see how we in the west live and refuse to be left behind. In “Power to the People,” by Swedish economist and author Johan Norberg explores the incredible challenge this demand presents to man- and woman-kind. As costs rise and concern for climate change increases, these questions loom large: How are we going to maintain our standard of living? How do we reduce our impact on the planet? And how will we get power to ALL the people?

Norberg travels the world in “Power to the People” to peel back the layers of this global challenge, often questioning the conventional wisdom on what works and what doesn’t. His journey starts in the Moroccan bazaars of Marrakech, which functioned fine for eons without modern conveniences, but where electric lights, computers, cell phones and credit card readers are now everywhere. Even more telling is Norberg’s journey to a remote Berber village in the Sahara Desert. More than half the world still cooks its food over open flames but this is rapidly changing, including here, where women now cook on gas stoves, and some even have refrigerators.

The revealing program examines global efforts to solve our energy dilemma – and how even the best of intentions sometimes result in unexpected consequences. For example, Germany’s decision to abolish nuclear power and increase the use of renewable energy has sent retail prices soaring, among the highest in Europe. It also resulted in an actual increase in the use of lignite coal-burning plants as the Germans discover that it takes temporary dependence on energy from fossil fuels to build a new clean energy economy. Imposing tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels to protect the German solar industry also slowed things down.

In the U.S., “Power to the People” explores the great debate in a country whose energy consumption is now only surpassed by China. He reveals, perhaps surprisingly, how cities like New York consume far less energy per capita than the rest of the country. The controversy over America’s promising new energy source in hydro fracking is also examined, as is the folly of top-down government-imposed solutions. Witness the continued federal subsidies for corn ethanol, which have sent food prices soaring and not produced the promised a renewable energy return.

Although daunting, the energy challenge can be met, Norberg believes – especially if governments step back from top-down imposed solutions. From a solar facility in Morocco to wind farms in England, a hydraulic fracking site in Pennsylvania, and a trucking company in Florida that is converting its fleet to natural gas, potential new sources and solutions abound. Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Hydro, Biomass, Wind, and Solar are all in the mix and all come with their own problems.

As Norberg finds, the world is overflowing with energy. The sun is shining, the world is turning, the wind is blowing, and water flows downhill. The only bottleneck when it comes to energy is our ability to safely convert, store and pay for it.

Check out our Facebook page here: facebook.com/FreeToChooseNetwork

Visit our media website to find other programs here: freetochoosemedia.org/index.php

Connect with us on Twitter here: twitter.com/FreeToChooseNet

Learn more about our company here: freetochoosenetwork.org

Shop for related products here: freetochoose.net

Stream from FreeToChoose.TV here: freetochoose.tv

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