For Climate Change, Julian Castro 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 Julian Castro (D), Presidential Candidate. Aired 5-5:40p ET

Aired September 4, 2019 - 17:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Presidential candidates starts right now. Thanks for watching.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Good evening and welcome to the CNN Democratic presidential town hall on the climate crisis. I want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer.

Tonight, the top 10 Democratic presidential candidates will be here on this stage in New York City, appearing one by one for the next seven hours. This unprecedented town hall is dedicated to the climate crisis, an issue many voters say needs aggressive action and scientists say that action needs to happen now. 

We're seeing firsthand the effects of climate change as a powerful Atlantic hurricane is sitting right now off the coast of Florida. It could make landfall tomorrow in South Carolina. 

Tonight, Democratic and independent voters will be asking the questions live here in our audience and also by video. And CNN's chief climate correspondent, Bill Weir, will join in the questioning as well. My colleagues and I will help guide the conversation.

Later tonight, former vice president Joe Biden, Senators Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, they will all be here. So let's begin with former HUD secretary Julian Castro.



BLITZER: Welcome. 

CASTRO: Thank you.

BLITZER: Secretary Castro, welcome. Thanks very much for coming in.

CASTRO: Great to be here with you. BLITZER: This is an important evening for all of us. As you know, scientists already are telling us that we're seeing the consequences of the climate crisis right now. But we'll cross what's seen as a massive tipping point, 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 1 degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution. So we're now more than halfway there. 

What would be your first step to address a crisis of this magnitude?

CASTRO: Well, and first of all, Wolf, I want to say thank you to you, to CNN for hosting such a historic event for the Democratic presidential nominees on such an important topic. 


CASTRO: And to all of the folks here in the audience and everybody that's watching. I also want to give a shout out to Governor Jay Inslee, who did a fantastic job of bringing this issue to the forum of this campaign as well as to folks like the League of Conservation Voters and the Sunrise Movement that have been pushing for those of us who are running for president to address this as we should. 

What you've described is the most existential threat to our country's future. And the U.N. has told us that we have about 12 years to get this right or the consequences could be catastrophic. We see that now. 

You mentioned Hurricane Dorian that's about to hit landfall. These hurricanes are happening more frequently and they're happening with greater intensity. It seems like these floods, that they call 500- year floods, are happening every other year now. 

We see the arctic ice caps that are melting, the Amazon on fire. So we don't need client -- climate scientists to tell us what we see with our own eyes, although their report is striking. 

When I see these things, when I hear about them, what I think of are my own two children, my daughter, Carina, and my son Cristian, who are 10 and 4. And there's a resolve to make sure that our children inherit a planet that is healthy, where they're going to breathe clean air and drink clean water.


BLITZER: So what would your first step be in dealing with this crisis?

CASTRO: So first of all, I believe that, on the afternoon of January 20th, 2021 at 12:01 pm, we're going to have a Democratic president, a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate. 


CASTRO: My first executive order that afternoon will be to rejoin the Paris climate accord so that we lead again on sustainability. But it's actually what comes next after that that is the most important, a series of other executive actions and legislation. Just yesterday I put out a plan called, People First, Planet First. 

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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