Time for Solar and Wind Energy
Revised and Expanded

(Added 4-AUG-2007)

Here's the scoop, folks.  Production of fossil fuel-based energy sources is peaking.  It's not likely to increase over current levels, no matter what we do.  The production of oil has remained essentially flat over the last two or three years while the per-barrel price of oil has doubled.  (See http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0708/S00053.htm for more details.)  The time to get renewable, non-CO2 emitting, sources going is NOW.

That's going to be difficult, because those who benefit from the existing energy sources (and that includes this writer) are so well-connected and well-entrenched in the US Congress and Executive Branch that they're able to cry "renewable resources are insignificant; they're only 2% of the existing supply" and then do everything in their considerable power to keep it that way, to their short-term benefit, but our collective medium- and long-term peril.  See http://thehill.com/business--lobby/disagreement-on-renewable-energy-complicates-bill-passage-2007-08-03.html for more information on this issue.

I'm likely to be dead and gone by the time increasing energy demand completely outstrips the peaking (peaked?) fossil fuel supply, but many of you reading this are likely to be around for quite a while after that economic/financial/social calamity occurs.  It's time to let your political representatives know that those who are financing their political campaigns and influencing their votes are leading us down a path to disaster in the name of filling their already well-lined pockets even fuller.  (It's not that the oil interests are "evil" to use a George Bush phrase, but they are apparently blinded to their own medium-term and long-term interests by their desire to get all the wealth they can possibly amass in the short term--a condition induced by the tendency of Wall Street to slaughter the stock of any company that doesn't make more money this quarter-year than last.)

The only hope I can see is that the one thing that politicians fear more than abandonment by their financiers is a ground swell of voting, letter-writing citizens who organize.  What's below is part of my attempt to become just that.  (Don't worry too much if you don't agree with a particular organization's views on other issues.  Stewardship of Earth's resources is producing some very odd political bedfellows including fundamentalist Christians who have actually read the Book and picked up on the stewardship requirements, as well as tree-hugging environmentalists like me who don't particularly fancy the thought of their kids and grand-kids living with the likely consequences of what were doing to this ol' world at the moment and for the last 150 years or so.)

The fact that news sources, including those on the Internet, don't seem to be carrying the results of the vote, or the lack thereof, in the US House yesterday (Friday, 3 August 2007) is a sad comment on the lack of concern that this issue seems to have generated.  We have but one home, folks, and it's called Earth by the locals.  Let's do our best to keep it habitable!

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You can begin a self-education campaign and obtain a fairly good representation of many sides of this issue by giving Google’s News search engine a set of search items similar to  “solar wind energy oil interests bill house” (without the quotation marks).  Good luck.  Your future will be shaped by the effort.

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From a MoveOn.org e-mail:

"Subject: A Nation Powered by Solar and Wind Energy

"We have the best opportunity we've ever had to get this country off of polluting energy like oil and coal and onto real clean alternatives. This will not only help curb the climate crisis, but save consumers money and create new jobs. Seems like a slam dunk, right?

"But some in Congress are still willing to do the bidding of the oil and coal industry and vote down bills that would undercut their stranglehold on our economy. We need to tell Congress now to do what's right for the American people, not continue business-as-usual.

"I signed a petition urging Congress to vote for to give solar and wind the support they need to assure a clean energy future. Can you join me at the link below?"

http://pol.moveon.org/cleanenergyfuture/

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Hurry!  They're voting Friday, 3 August, and as you might imagine, Oklahoma's political representation needs a little help (to say the least) to vote for what's best and not for what's politically expedient on this one.


Thanks!

Prof. Oates

Your Friendly Local Raving Li-burl, Tree-Hugging, Earth-Loving, Stewardship-Believing, Posterity-Worried Engrrr-neer