For Climate Change, Andrew Yang 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


CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall with Andrew Yang (D), Presidential Candidate. Aired 5:40-6:20p ET

Aired September 4, 2019 - 17:40   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Welcome back to this unprecedented night on CNN, ten Democratic presidential candidates, one urgent issue, the climate crisis. Scientists tell us we are seeing the consequences of the climate crisis now, but that will cross a massive tipping point if the world warms more than 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. We've already warmed up the planet one degree Celsius since the industrial revolution, so we're more than halfway there. We have 11 years to avoid the catastrophic consequences of this crisis, food shortages, rising sea levels, more extreme weather events like hurricane Dorian that's churning toward the Carolinas right now and for the latest on Dorian, I want to go to the CNN hurricane center and bring in Jennifer Gray.


JENNIFER GRAY, CNN: Wolf, Dorian has actually strengthened just a little bit with this latest advisory at 5:00. Now 110 mile per hour winds, just shy of a category 3 actually with the center just offshore. You can see Jacksonville to its west, gusts of 130 moving to the north/northwest at about 8 miles per hour, that's a little slower than it was before. It's expected to continue its forward speed though, it is expected to impact mainly South Carolina and North Carolina as we go forward in time. Charleston, for example, your conditions will continue to deteriorate as we go throughout the evening. Peak winds expected by late morning tomorrow and then this storm moves on, skirting the outer banks and North Carolina.

BLITZER: All right, Jennifer. Thank you very much. And with that, please welcome businessman Andrew Yang.


BLITZER: Thanks very much. Welcome, thanks very much for coming. Please be seated. Mr. Yang, so what's the first thing you would do? And welcome to CNN, this historic town hall. Welcome. What would be the first thing you would do to deal with this climate crisis if you were elected president?

YANG: The first thing I would do is rejoin the Paris Accords. We need to let the world know that the U.S. is open for business when fighting climate change is concerned. We want to be the leader. And then I would we redefine our economic bench marks actually to include environmental sustainability. Because right now, the trap that Democrats are in is that, we're being told that moving towards a green economy is bad for jobs, it's bad for business, and that couldn't be further from the truth. We actually need to redefine our economic measurements to include clean air and clean water and let America...

BLITZER: How do you change that?

YANG: Well the great thing is we made up GPD almost 100 years ago, really. And even the inventor of GPD at the time said this is a terrible measurement for national well-being and we should never use it as that. Here we are almost 100 years later following it off a cliff. All we need to do is -- as your president I will go down the street to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and say, hey, GPD, 100 years old, kind of out of date.

Let's upgrade it with a new score card that includes our environmental sustainability and our goal, the carbon footprint that companies are putting out there, but also our kids' health which is tied to the climate, health and life expectancy also tied to the climate, mental health and freedom from substance abuse. These are all things we can tie to our economic measurements and then you will see us accelerate because we can't fall into this false dichotomy that what's good for the planet is bad for the economy.

BLITZER: All right. We have questions starting with Evan O'Neil whose here. He's from New York Solar Energy. Evan, go ahead.

EVAN O'NEIL: I live at sea level in New York city. You said in a presidential debate that we need to retreat from vulnerable neighborhoods such as mine. Is this a viable option for New York? It's one of America's great cultural and economic assets. How do you propose to help places at risk due to climate change? Will funds be available for adaptation and relocation? How will those funds be generated and distributed?

YANG: Thanks for the question. I was just in Portsmouth, new Hampshire where they have hundreds of homes flooding on a regular basis, 26 times or more per year. So imagine living in a home that's prone to flooding at that level of frequency which is even more extreme than I suspect your home here in New York. So we would 100 percent make funds available to communities around the country for adaptation and resilience. And then we would take -- and the big picture is, we subsidize the fossil fuel industry to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. And so now everyone is like (ph) where's the money?

We know where the money is. We put hundreds of billions into the fossil fuel industry. We're still subsidizing it to this day, and now it's time to take some of that money and channel it to the needs of the American people. We're looking -- there are already climate refugees in the United States of America, people that we relocated from an island that was essentially becoming uninhabitable in Louisiana and we moved those people. None of this is speculative anymore.

We need to get with the program, wake up to the reality around us and let you know that you're not on your own. This is not a you problem, this is an us problem. And what do sophisticated, advanced societies do when it's an us problem? We put some of our collective resources to work and we solve the problems on the ground.

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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