Fossil Fuels Image Credit: One Block Off the Grid

Published on July 3rd, 2013 | by Adam Johnston


Heroes And Villains Of The Renewable Energy Debate — Infograph

July 3rd, 2013 by  

Following in the wake of President Obama’s climate change plansOne Block off the Grid has released the below infograph about the Heroes and Villains of Renewable Energy.

Some of the heroes mentioned include Michael Bloomberg, who lead New York City during Hurricane Sandy and has seen the dramatic effects of what climate change has done to his city.

Image Credit: One Block Off the Grid

Image Credit: One Block Off the Grid

Another person that has done a lot for cleantech is Tom Steyer, who supported funding a campaign against Prop 23 in California in 2010, while helping to create the TomKat Center For Sustainable Energy at Stanford University.

Meanwhile, Bertrand Piccard and Andrew Borschberg have proven you can fly a long-range plane with solar energy, which propelled them to the Top Innovation Award from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

There is also a fair share of villains in the renewable energy debate.

Obvious choices include The Koch Brothers, who have been held accountable for more than 300 oil spills between 1995 to 1997, causing three million litres of oil to spill into streams and lakes across six states. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has also done his fair share of dastardly deeds against environmental issues. McConnell battled against the 2007 green tax package and the renewable energy standard in the energy bill. McConnell even threaten to block having the Earth Aid concert in Washington, DC in 2007.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie denied climate change played a role in Hurricane Sandy, which caught the ire of many within the green community, considering that New Jersey was hard hit by the storm.

Which leaves us these questions? Are there other renewable energy heroes that don’t get enough mention? What other villains get under your skin?

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About the Author

Is currently studying at the School of the Environment Professional Development program in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto. Adam graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications. Adam also writes for Solar Love and also owns his own part time tax preparation business. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst, and is currently sharpening his skills as a renewable energy writer. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or at

  • You can see several Clean Energy Superheroes here in Minnesota at!

  • Corbin Holland

    I don’t believe Chris Christie to be an environmental villian. Isn’t New Jersey one of the best states for solar in the US? I don’t believe high speed rails need gov’t funding. Elon Musk was talking about the mag lev project in california and he said he could build a high speed rail faster and cheaper. Obviously that project has fat that could be trimmed off but because its a gov’t funded project the likelyhood is less. Do you want your money going to something that isn’t efficient? I would rather give my money to Elon and watch him work his magic.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Elon has done some amazing stuff. But here’s what I don’t get.

      If Elon has a better/faster/cheaper solution then why did he come forth with his idea before we began work on the CA HSR system?

      It’s not like Elon wouldn’t be able to get Jerry Brown on the phone. It’s certainly not the case that CA has an unreasonable governor who has no interest in saving money.

      Something doesn’t seem right.

      • Corbin Holland

        I get what you’re saying Bob, but I think after SolarCity and Tesla are firmly established and not constantly on the front lines of battle Elon will be able to venture into other projects like the rail in cali. If I had billions of my own dollars invested into projects that are changing he world and making me money I would make sure my goal was accomplished in the implementation of a cleaner energy future. He did express his interest in the hyperloop and said that he will work on it in a couple of years.

        • Ivor O’Connor

          Yep. And Elon has repeatedly said exactly what you have just said Corbin multiple times in front of the cameras. Somebody needs to step in so we don’t produce the slowest train at the highest price that will forever be subsidized by the people. If for no other reason than being a target that will vanish if the government can no longer afford to subsidize it one year in the future. It needs to be built correctly from the start so it is economically viable in the decades to come.

          • Corbin Holland

            I watched those interviews 🙂

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