For Climate Change, Bernie Sanders 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. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Presidential Candidate. Aired 8:40-9:20p ET

Aired September 4, 2019 - 20:40   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And welcome back to CNN's climate crisis town hall. The U.S. government's own research says that unchecked climate change could kill thousands of Americans in this century. We're talking about superstorms and mass extinction, worsening droughts. We are dedicating tonight to climate plans proposed by 10 Democratic presidential candidates, just as Hurricane Dorian is threatening the East Coast after devastating the Bahamas.

We've just heard from Vice President Joe Biden. Now please welcome Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.


This is you, Senator.

Welcome. Thanks for being here. I want to get right to -- right to our questions from our audience. This is Richard Katz. He's from Needham, Massachusetts. He works in the restaurant industry. Richard, welcome. How are you doing?

QUESTION: Good evening. Thank you.

COOPER: Sorry for the confusion over here. Hey, Frank, you're about to...


COOPER: Yeah. OK. There you go.


QUESTION: I have large feet.

COOPER: There is a joke in there, but I'm not saying anything.


QUESTION: Senator, your climate plan is specific about how you will spend $16 trillion, and I'm delighted that somebody is willing to spend that much. Can you be equally specific about where that money is coming from? For example, you say that you'll tax fossil fuel companies, but the central idea behind addressing climate change is eliminating use of fossil fuels. How much money can you raise from companies whose income will be drastically reduced or eliminated? And where else will the money come from?

SANDERS: Good. If I could, Richard, let me begin and predicating everything I'm going to say to you this evening. Donald Trump thinks that climate change is a hoax. I think that Donald Trump is dangerously, dangerously wrong. I may be old fashioned, but I believe in science.


And, Richard, as I'm sure you know, what the scientists have told us climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, it is already causing devastating problems in this country and around the world, and most frighteningly what they tell us is if we don't get our act together and make massive changes away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy within the next 11 years, the damage done to our country and the rest of the world will be irreparable.

So Richard is quite right. We are proposing the largest, most comprehensive climate change program ever presented by any candidate in the history of the United States.


So where do we get -- let me -- even before I tell you where we get the money -- and I will do that -- people say, well, Bernie, you know, you're spending a lot of money. Is it realistic? And my response to them is, is it realistic to not listen to the scientists and to create a situation where the planet that our children and grandchildren and future generations will be living in will be increasingly uninhabitable and unhealthy? Is that realistic?

So I think we have a moral responsibility to act and act boldly, and to do that, yes, it is going to be expensive. This is how we get the money. For a start, insanely, but honestly, what goes on right now is we are giving the fossil fuel industry approximately $400 billion every single year in subsidies and tax breaks. Obviously, we end that. And we're paying for this over a 15-year period, by the way.

Second of all, we believe that the federal government is the best way to move aggressively to produce sustainable energy, like wind and solar. We will expand concepts, public power concepts like the TVA right now to produce wind and solar and actually make a profit on that as we sell that to electric companies all over the world.

Thirdly, we are not going to have to spend money on the military defending oil interests around the world. We can cut military spending there, as well.


Fourthly, fourthly, our program will create up to 20 million good- paying jobs over the period of the 15 years. And when we do that, you're going to have a lot of taxpayers out there who will be paying more in taxes. You'll have people who are not getting food stamps and so forth. So those are the basic ways that we pay for this program. But most importantly, we are dealing with what the scientists call an existential threat to this planet, and we must respond aggressively, we must listen to the scientists. That is what our plan does.

COOPER: I think there's -- there are folks out who just heard you say -- talk about higher taxes and taxpayers out there paying more. Would you guarantee to the American public tonight that the responsibility for $16.3 trillion, which is a massive amount of money, wouldn't end up on taxpayers' shoulders?

SANDERS: Well, it will end up on some taxpayers' shoulders. If you are in the fossil fuel industry, you're going to be paying more in taxes, that's for sure. Yeah. And I happen to believe, in general, that at a time when we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality, where the richest three people in this country own more wealth than the bottom half of American society, where major profitable corporations like Amazon, who made over $10 billion in profits last year, didn't pay a nickel in taxes, am I going to guarantee Jeff Bezos he's not going to be paying more in taxes? No, I won't.



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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