October 21st, 2012
05:05 PM ET

GPS special: Powering America

Fareed Zakaria GPS is premiering its fourth and final edition of its “Global Lessons” series, tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. Powering America looks at how to quench the country’s growing thirst for energy – cheaply and cleanly.

In the next decade, the world will consume 50 percent more energy than it does today. How can this need be met without a devastating impact on the world’s climate? Is the solution wind energy? Solar? Nuclear? Shale gas? Efficiency? Or something entirely new?

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Topics: Energy • Environment • GPS Show

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. 100 % ETHIO

    "Wind energy"?
    Good solution for pollution and energy savings.

    How we do it?

    Well, from the local to federal levels, the Government must pass Laws before the building permits.
    *In every 3 floors and up buildings, both residential and commercial, wind tunnel must be installed on the top of the buildings.

    October 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • DAVID CHIRA

      THE BEST SOURCE FOR ENERGY WAS NOT EVEN MENTION IN YOUR REPORT, HELLO, ITS THE OCEAN TIDES,THEY ARE NOT IN SIGHT AND THEY WOULD DO NO HARM IF ENGINEERED PROPERLY, THAT WOULD SUPPLY ALL OUR ENERGY NEEDS, THE NEXT TIME U MAKE A REPORT IDEA CHECK IT WITH ME, THE IDEA SAVANT, TO VERIFY MY IDEAS: THINK OF THIS: THE EARTH STARTED ITS ROCK GATERING BIRTH 6.5 BILLION YEARS AGO, AND THE BIG BANG WAS 13 BILLION YEARS AGO, THAT PUTS THE EARTH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE UNIVERSE, TIME WISE. MY PHONE IS 321 327 9193

      October 21, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  2. bonithompson@gmail.com

    L$ll$$l$Ð$dÐ
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

    October 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  3. namarchetti

    It is good to see CNN covering the clean energy topic. To learn more about how it is actually playing out in daily life, along with other green technology topics, check out EarthTechling (http://www.earthtechling.com). We cover these topics from a consumer perspective.

    October 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  4. Rick Bertino

    What about recycling plastics into materials to replace the use of wood in building and furniture?? There are simply a million ways to become energy efficient. The thing holding everyone back?? MONEY.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  5. GM

    When will the special "GPS special: Powering America" air again? I can't seem to find that on the CNN website. I'd like to recommend it to others.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  6. Claudia Takacs

    Great job as usual , but you failed to mention a source of power that has been systematically destroyed at least in our area... water. Many companies have torn down their dams because fish ladders were too expensive to build. Water power is simple and cheap. In fact, here in Maine Tidal energy is being successfully harvested. Why not use the clean and available water power?
    Keep up the good work, we watch you every Sunday!
    Thanks!
    Claudia Takacs

    October 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  7. s. weaver

    I assure everyone, any savings from any efficient energy will go straight to their pockets, not ours. The cost of any energy no matter what it is will increase for us, not decrease. Any argument otherwise, is delusional. Never underestimate the energy of greed!

    October 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  8. Josie

    Both appreciate and have found very interesting Mr. Zaharia's special reports. My comment mirrors one above (i.e. money, but specifically directed to the individual consumer. Yes, prices have to come down, way down for people of moderate means to purchase solar panels (and what about all those apartment buildings?), energy efficient bulbs, new efficient cars. It's a long list. We need to discuss this as an issue.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  9. Fred

    I suspected that this story would be about the same old tired arguments about energy consumption and how we are killing the planet, with no real investigation into new or different energy streams. And sure enough, the show was pretty much just that. (I don't understand all recent brouhaha over "fracking" since this has been going on for a very long time – the past 40 years in my experience and probably a lot longer than that) why was there no coverage in the program dealing with new, innovations in energy production – energy from Thorium for instance? (http://www.ted.com/talks/kirk_sorensen_thorium_an_alternative_nuclear_fuel.html)

    October 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  10. S. Weaver

    NEVER FORGET THIS!
    Any cost savings from efficient energy, no matter what it is, will always go straight to their pockets, not ours. Cost will always go up, not down. Any argument otherwise is delusional. How many examples does one need to see throughout one's lifetime before one realizes this. NEVER understimate the energy of greed! It is the ROOT of ALL evil... and will SURELY be our demise.

    October 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  11. Nicolas

    I wish at the presidential debate to bring the global warming topping! Is green energy just economic development for them or global environmental must?

    October 21, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  12. Anatoli

    interesting,,, one more factoid 2/3 of our electricity is wasted here is the video: https://vimeo.com/43436592

    October 21, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  13. mindy

    Sad to see no mention of biogas, turning waste to energy.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  14. Michael Cromer

    Spoiler alert:
    Tommy "Suck.On.This" Friedman is interviewed as an expert on this program:
    Nuclear energy? "That's OK." Fracking for shale gas? "That's OK."

    October 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  15. David

    Absolutely enjoyed the presentation. Thanks for bringing it back to the forefront – it ought to be required viewing for all adults in the country as a way to jump start the much needed serious conversation.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:06 am | Reply
  16. Tripp Tucker

    Very good presentation, especially about the gains from energy efficiency. I hope there is more about what the end-user can do, like the solution presented in the video.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
  17. David Denis

    A excellent presentation, but it left out one great potential improvement -improved thermal efficiency for coal, gas or oil fueled elcectricity generation. There is a process callled O2CO2 combustion that will greatly increase thermal efficiency of electric generation. Why aren't companies rushing to fund a project? Look at krebsandsislerlp.com for more information.

    October 22, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
  18. Lonnie R. MVaigh

    While American Tax Paxers, at least the Middle Class and Working Class Poor suffer and are suppressed...

    NASA is a Holding Company used to screen Technology and offer Disinformation to the Masses... Note: PayPal and the "To big too Fail" Bankers are getting free Technology and Research for their new Space Programs like Space X...

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/News:121021:Defkalion_Posts_Independent_Data_Showing_3x_Overunity%3B_NASA_Blushes

    October 22, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply
  19. Lonnie R. MVaigh

    How did this get into the Main Stream Publications? Hmmm... Usually, Blacked Out... Why couldn't GPS Talk about this on their Main Stream Outlet? Forbes must have a higher testosterone level...

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2012/10/20/cold-fusion-gets-a-little-more-real/

    October 22, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
  20. Lonnie R. MVaigh

    Propaganda for OPEC and the Seven Sisters Oil Giants where zero NEW ALTERNATIVE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES are discussed... Over 5000 Patents in America alone have been CLASSIFIED and nondisclosed since 2007!!! It's getting worst than the OLD SOVIET UNION here, "Even the Cavemen could burn stuff" Where is all the high Technology being reported in the Main Stream Media? Why can't you talk about it? Lonnie McVaigh, Corpus Christi, TX – The Paterfamilias tells it all!!!

    October 22, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  21. Ted

    100% wind and solar? what about evening and raining days, and the wind does not blow. All they will depend on someone else to supply with the "dirty energy" when the clean is not available? As a veteran solar PV scientist I see this differently. Any form of energy can be made "clean" if one invests enough in it. The production of Solar and Wind have their own environmental impacts. Unfortunately the science friction-minded public are automatically told to label wind and solar "clean" so they deserve government's support all over the world. Instead I believe the society should consider all forms of energy based on their overall merits rather than simplistically label them as one wishes.

    October 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  22. Raj Gopal

    Why doesnt ameericans burn cow dung to generate power like indians do

    October 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  23. gita

    Bravo Fareed. This is a brilliant programme and very timely. The US is very fortunate to have developed shale gas technology and reduce reliance on a troubled Middle East. The US will become a true force to reckon with and hopefully this will be reflected in the debate tonight

    October 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  24. Glen Rockwell

    Thorium-fueled reactors seem to be the utopia of power production. Also, the Western World could offer to help Iran develop thorium-based reactors and see whether power production is really what they're pursuing. Clean coal wasn't mentioned either – a fuel source that's practically unlimited in the U.S.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  25. bob2469454

    Fareed, great show on energy and gps is a great show I always watch it. Geothermal was missed in your report however, 100% clean, no CO2, steady base load power. Let's do Geothermal as base load!

    October 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  26. Bob

    Fareed Zakaria's presentation on fracking energy was useful information, but was terribly incomplete concerning the environmental effects of the process. To omit these consequences, implies fracking is a ripe plumb, waiting to be picked to free us from the energy pickle we find ourselves in. Nothing was mentioned about the enormous amount of clean water required (7 gallons of water for each gallon of oil recovered) or the highly toxic waste generated.

    For a start, Fareed should read one of many pieces of information of the environmental cost, at

    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/199093

    when addressing the use of fracking to solve our energy problems.

    At least we are starting to bring such issues to light.

    October 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  27. OdinOfTheNorth

    Fareed Zakaria is lazy or doesn't hire competent researchers.

    In the segment on nuclear power, he blithely says "... the French are apparently so thoughtful, they even recycle their nuclear waste ...." with the smug implication that they are the only ones who thought of recycling.

    If he had done any research, he would have found out that Carter (worst president ever), banned recycling in the US back in 1977[1]!

    1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing#History; search for "7 April 1977"

    October 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  28. Ryan

    I was sure (ok, hoping) the final source of energy was going to be BIOMASS. So easy to produce on marginal lands with zero inputs. Not a mention. Disappointed.

    October 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  29. memoe

    We converted our home to CHP,"Combined heat and power"/Net metering, we have cut our energy use in 1/2 and have heated two other homes, selling them excess BTU's for winter heating. We net meter electricity and store it on the grid and in the summer months use it all back at retail rates for free. You can find the info. on EPA/CHP and DOE/CHP websites. For the money a solar system would have taken 30+ years to payback, our CHP system took just over 2 yrs. After two years the excess btu's we sell in the heating season to our neighbors is netting a profit. So our energy bill is basically free.

    November 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply

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