For Climate Change, Amy Klobuchar missed commercial LED lighting, air conditioning optimization and other solutions


Posted on Monday 9th September 2019

Climate Change: On September 4, 2019, CNN ran seven hours of Climate Change Town Hall programming with ten of the Democratic Presidential Candidates, focused on the Climate Crisis. The intentions of the candidates are admirable, but their lack of knowledge on the details of cost-effective solutions is apparent based on their repeated focus on solar, wind, and electric cars over energy efficiency measures for commercial buildings. Saving electricity for existing buildings is much more cost-effective than trying to make electricity through renewable power. Key points not covered by the candidates included:

  • America uses 25% of the world’s energy with less than 5% of the population.
  • Buildings account for 40% of America's energy use.
  • Air Conditioning and Lighting typically use over half of a building’s energy (Over 25% each for AC and lighting)
  • The private sector has financing in place, so that building owners pay ZERO upfront and there is ZERO cost to taxpayers - a Win/Win with a cooler planet as a result.


Here is the “Score Card” from all 10 candidates and the 60,748 words in the combined transcripts from their CNN Climate Change Town Hall appearances:


  • Wind power references: 42
  • Solar power references: 37
  • Light bulbs (for homes) references: 16
  • Electric Cars references: 14


Here is what the candidates should have referenced, but failed to do so, given that they had long format segments vs the shorter debate “sound bites” time limits:


  • Commercial Lighting references: 0
  • Commercial Air Conditioning and/or HVAC references: 0
  • Indoor or Vertical Farming references: 0
  • Waste to Fuel (e.g. Hyrothermal Carbonization) references: 0


While some candidates spoke generally about building efficiency, they only scratched the surface rather than giving examples and reinforcing the fact that proven technology is at hand to take a massive bite out of American energy consumption and create millions of jobs along the way.


Here is key information on four cost-effective and proven clean technologies that the candidates and elected officials across the US need to know about to help guide America toward PRACTICAL sustainability and job creation:

#1: Climate Change Solution - Commercial Light-emitting Diode (LED) Lighting

Savings Potential: 50% or more energy savings over traditional lighting

Climate Change Highlights: Lighting is the “low hanging” fruit of energy savings, and it is typically the second largest consumer of electricity in buildings, accounting for over 20% of kilowatt use. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are proven to save over half of the operating cost and last more than five times as long as traditional lights. With over 3 billion square feet of federal real estate, the savings is over $1 billion per year, not to mention the other 87 billion square feet of private sector non-residential real estate.

Climate Change Return on Investment (ROI): Payback in 2 years or less

Climate Change Sample Applications: Hospitals, Hotels, Office Buildings, Data Centers, Shopping Malls, etc.

Website for more information: Made in USA LED Lighting + Sample LED Lighting Case Studies


#2: Climate Change Solution - Commercial Air Conditioning Optimization

Savings Potential: 15% to 40% energy savings for central cooling systems

Climate Change Highlights: Air Conditioning (AC) is typically the largest consumer of electricity in buildings, accounting for over 30% of kilowatt use. AC optimization focuses on “tuning” air conditioning systems through advanced algorithm, without changing any of the cooling equipment, without impacting thermostat settings, and without generating any downtime or upfront costs.

Climate Change Return on Investment (ROI): Payback in 2 years or less

Climate Change Sample Applications: Hospitals, Hotels, Office Buildings, Data Centers, Shopping Malls, etc.

Website for more information: Air Conditioning Optimization (with Download to One Page Data Sheet)

Sample market traction: Energy Saving AC Case Studies


#3: Climate Change Solution - Indoor Farming - Controlled Environment Agriculture

Savings Potential: 90% less water and 30% energy savings over traditional food production

Highlights: Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) “Indoor Farming” is now economically viable due to the efficiency of LED Grow Lights. Indoor Farming reduces transportation costs of moving vegetables from Farm to Table, increases health with pesticide-free production, and increases flavor and nutrition. Fresh local produce is the Future of Food.

Climate Change Return on Investment (ROI): Payback in 2 years or less

Climate Change Sample Applications: Conversion of vacant commercial and industrial properties as well as new greenhouse construction.

Website for more information: LED Grow Lights


Bonus:  K-12 Schools are increasingly focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education. Sample STEM Education - See the content for classroom programs starting on page #55 with sample curriculum.


#4: Waste to Fuel - Hydrothermal Carbonization

Savings Potential: The US could reduce 10% or more of its dependency on fossil fuels.

Climate Change Highlights: Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC) cost-effectively converts bio waste, such as food and human waste, into electricity for buildings, fertilizer for agriculture, and hydrogen for next-generation transportation. The HTC reactors use heat (approx 200° C “pizza oven” heat at 400° F) and pressure (approx 20,000 pascals “scuba tank” pressure 3,000 lbs/sq in) to create hydrochar within an hour, while the earth has taken over 100 million years to create fossil fuels. The HTC reactors are approximately the size of 40 ft shipping containers.

Climate Change Return on Investment (ROI): Payback in 3 years or less

Climate Change Sample Applications: Municipalities, University Campuses, Office Parks, Shopping Malls, etc.

Website for more information: Waste to Fuel


Support Information

Here is the link to the presentation file from Charlie Szoradi, CEO of Independence LED Lighting and the Energy Intelligence Center. He was invited by the Council of State Governments (CSG) to speak at the Easter Regional Conference on July 29, 2019. Contact: Charlie Szoradi 610-551-5224 or


Presentation slide show:


The presentation was specifically for CSG’s Energy and Environment Committee, and here is the link to the 12 minute video of the presentation:


CNN Climate Change Town Hall – Transcripts

For your convenience here is the beginning of the transcript, and click here for the full Climate Change transcripts for all 10 Democratic Presidential Candidates, who participated in the CNN Climate Change Town Hall


Climate Crisis Town Hall With Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Presidential Candidate. Aired 7-7:40p ET

Aired September 4, 2019 - 07:00   ET


[19:00:00] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And welcome back to CNN's Climate Crisis Town Hall. I'm Erin Burnett. The top democratic presidential candidates are all with us tonight on the heels of the deadly Hurricane Dorian, which is leaving neighborhoods underwater in the Bahamas, utter devastation.

It now heads north along the United States coast. For the latest on Dorian, let's go now to the CNN weather center to our meteorologist, Jennifer Gray. Jennifer?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi Erin. That's right. This storm actually strengthened just a little bit in the 5 o'clock advisory, now just shy of a Category 3. Still a Category 2, 110 mile per hour winds, gust of 130. It has been paralleling the Florida coast throughout the last couple of days moving to the north, northwest at 8 miles per hour.

It's currently about 150 miles south of Charleston, and that's going to be one of the main areas we're going to watch over the next day or so as conditions continue to deteriorate there, all along the Georgia coast, South Carolina coast; Charleston could see a big push of water as we go through the day tomorrow with that storm surge.

And then as it races off the North Carolina coast, possible land fall somewhere in the Carolinas, we'll keep you posted.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jennifer. And you know the storm comes as we are facing a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. You know Hurricane Dorian is just one. Right? One thing, right, one sign of that dangerous world that scientist say we are entering if humans do not cut carbon pollution and cut it quickly, in half they say, over the next l1 years to net zero by 2050.

Seven candidates are still standing by to answer voter's questions about the crisis including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

Please welcome now, Minnesota senator, Amy Klobuchar.


Senator, good to see you. Thank you so much.

(APPLAUSE) SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you (ph) everyone. Wow. This is fun (ph). Woman anchor, woman presidential candidate. We've arrived. This is all good and what a great crowd. Thank you.

BURNETT: So Senator Klobuchar, it's great to have you with us.

I mean when you think about the climate situation, how big of a crisis is it?

KLOBUCHAR: It is a monumental crisis, and I think what we have to dispel is this idea that it's happening 100 years from now. It's happening right now. And it is happening, as you heard that weather report about the hurricane, which we know was a level five hurricane when it hit the Bahamas in a way that we've never seen before on those islands. We've seen the rising sea levels, we've seen that melting Greenland ice sheet.

In Minnesota, two of my good friends who are Arctic explorers; Anne Bancroft (ph) and Will Steiger (ph); they have reported to me what they've seen in the Arctic.

But it's important to bring it home when we talk about this. And by home I mean, for me, to the middle of the country because it's also -- if we're going to do something about this, we need to make the case of what's happening right now.

We see it economically with homeowners insurance up 50 percent in just the last few years. It's going to cost us like $500 billion every year. So we need to make that economic case.

But in the Midwest -- and that's where we've not gotten as many votes for moving on this, what do we see? Fires. We saw those firefighters lost in Arizona. We saw raging fires in Colorado.

We saw the California video, in northern California of that dad driving his little girl over those lapping flames with their neighborhood burning behind them.

And in Iowa, a woman named Fran (ph) who showed me her binoculars and she says, here look, she says this is my house. I bought it with my husband. We lived there with our four year olds. I wanted to retire in this house. I love it. I love the way the light comes in the kitchen, but I don't know if I'm ever going to sit in it again.

I said well, where is the river, because the house was half submerged in water. She said well it stood here for nearly a century, this house. And I said is this the river. She says no. The river is two and half miles away. It has never come this close to our neighborhood before.


That's climate change, that's the crisis that's happening right now -- and that's the case we need to make to the American people, as well as the opportunities that we're going to have for new jobs, and new technologies and take this on as a mission for our country -- just like the greatest generation won World War II and just like the Civil Rights movement, this is our challenge.

BURNETT: You -- I just -- because you mentioned World War II, which I know is central to your question, Stephanie Doba has a question. Retired, now volunteers with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign in New York State, Senator. Stephanie go ahead with your question.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you (ph).

More: Click here for the full Climate Change transcripts for all 10 Democratic Presidential Candidates, who participated in the CNN Climate Change Town Hall


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