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Happy Dog Hosts Conversation about Clean Energy & National Security

As Ms. Stephanie Jansky, Director of Programming for the City of Club of Cleveland, said during her introduction to the Happy Dog Takes on the World event that took place Tuesday evening, June 5, it was an unusual day/night panel discussion double-hitter for the City Club, which was also responsible for the program in Public Square that took place earlier in the day.

The discussion at the Happy Dog concerned itself with "The Intersection of Clean Energy and National Security." As the program notes read in part:
"Clean energy is big business in the U.S. and around the world. In the electricity sector, global investments in new renewable energy capacity are outstripping those for fossil fuel. Meanwhile, rapid advancements in energy storage and electric vehicles are transforming global markets...Energy is also a key challenge for our military. Our deployed forces are frequently dependent on vulnerable fuel supply chains. Here at home, the growing threats of severe weather and cyber-attacks on the commercial electrical grid create risk for our military bases and the missions they support." 

The discussion was, of course, moderated by Mr. Tony Ganzer, WCPN host/producer, and featured as one of the panelists, former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell, who is now the Washington D.C. Director of the National Development Council whose mission is "to increase the flow of capital for investment in low-income communities..."

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The other two panelists were General James L. Jones, Jr., former U.S. National Security Advisor (2009-2010) and Interim Chairman of the Atlantic Council, and Mr. Joe Bryan, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Energy Center of the Atlantic Council, which in this area, according to its website, "promotes energy security by working alongside government, industry, civil society, and public stakeholders to devise pragmatic solutions to the geopolitical, sustainability, and economic challenges of the changing global energy landscape."

(Immigration wasn't officially mentioned that evening, although we had a short but enlightening discussion with Mr. David Livingston, Deputy Director of Climate and Advanced Energy for the Atlantic Council, who wholeheartedly agreed with us on the importance of international talent. Mr. Livingston was proud to say that the leadership of the Atlantic Council is on board with this too and has often sponsored foreign-born scholars to come to the United States in order that their expertise might be shared.)

Together, in both the course of the discussion and the Q & A that followed, the panelists envisioned a very positive future for the development of alternative energy and its usage as well as making an excellent case for its importance in the areas of national security, economic development, and job creation.

Along these lines, we learned that 50% of the energy used by the U.S. Navy is created by renewable sources and that it is as much as 25% in the other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

It was said that in the course of the 21st century, we can look forward to wars being fought less on land but through ideas. To be sure, the United States is in a place where it can "benevolently" lead the world in terms of energy development, due to our accomplishments concerning scientific/technological innovations and investment strategies of the private sector. 

One thing that might be done in order to enhance the process would be to restructure the Department of Energy so that it has a hand in the maturation of all energy sources from coal to wind, enabling the United States to truly create an actual energy policy which we are now lacking.

As for Cleveland/Northeast Ohio, it was said that our energy center was "very vibrant" in terms of possibilities (many involve wind energy), and someday may even be able to form its own micro-grid, thus making us energy independent in terms of electricity.   

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison

Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC

Aimee Jannsohn