Former Big Oil Engineer Promotes Alternative Energy

Former big oil engineer Doug Grandt And opposes the tar sands pipeline By Michael Monasky Doug Grandt , a Teddy-bear-round grandfathe...

Former big oil engineer Doug Grandt
And opposes the tar sands pipeline

By Michael Monasky

Doug Grandt, a Teddy-bear-round grandfather whose declared mission it is to help kids teach their adult caregivers how to fix the world, is not at first-glance your everyday oil company fiend. But Grandt was an engineer for Humble Oil, the domestic branch of Standard Oil of New Jersey, in the fields of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Now he is concerned about the decreasing arctic sea ice, species extinction, and human starvation due to drought.

Grandt told the United Nations Association of Sacramento that recently met at SMUD headquarters that by 2035, 30 percent of the planet's species will have disappeared and two billion people will suffer from starvation due to drought caused by global warming. He showed satellite photos of recent, substantial retreats of arctic ice at the North Pole. There will be a two degree centigrade increase in the temperature of the earth's atmosphere, of which “0.8 has already occurred, and 0.7 is locked in, with only a 0.5 degree buffer” keeping us from these deleterious effects, he said.

He added that twenty-five percent of global warming is caused by deforestation and 75 percent caused by combustion of fossil fuels. The cap and trade offsets proposed by industrialized nations have failed, he declared. Conversely, Grandt presented documentation that showed in last five centuries fuel combustion has progressed geometrically.

“The polar ice caps are the canary in the coal mine”, said Grandt, and global warming will result in the rise of sea level by 78 meters (about 260 feet). For these reasons he protested the Keystone XL pipeline and was arrested outside the White House last month. The tar sands, located in the Athabasca region of Alberta, Canada, require vast stores of water and natural gas to be mined for transit to Texas refineries.

Grandt's answer to this problem is in joining others to decrease use of fossil fuels, and increase use of alternative energy sources. He has joined Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director James Hansen and activist Bill McKibben in their Million Letter March. They hope to rally others to write letters in support of additional fees to discourage use of fossil fuels, and then to pay dividends to produce energy from clean, alternative sources.

Doug Grandt wants to do more locally. He has been promoting alternative energy solutions by getting children to counsel their parents to do more for the environment. “What's love got to do with it?” he asked.

Apparently plenty.

Kids are the “creative and caring” people their parents drifted from being. Maybe the parents cannot save their legacy. It's a tall order to mitigate the loss of diminishing species, prevent drought-related famine, attenuate the acidification of our fresh water and the oceans, and spare the planet from overheating.

Grandt could be right - unlike their parents, the kids might be up to the task.

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