Roadmap to Economic Opportunities

(#244) — Mountains of Opportunities is the tag on Sullivan County promotion.  It is spot on.

Sullivan County is jammed full of opportunities for sustainable economic development.  Sullivan County is also the scene of decadal economic recession that has kept half a life time or a full life time (for those 40 and under) in its grasp. Terrific threats to the quality of life in this magnificent part of the earth are present and growing. Most of this foreboding pressure and destruction has its local sponsors.

There is another way to proceed with the organization of local living conditions that will yield a future that works well for all of us and for all of the environment.

It is, as this column has suggested for more than 4 years, the building of a new energy infrastructure wherever we are and for all that we do.  Our local part in building this new energy infrastructure has the scale and scope to double our economy without corrupting our environment or relations with each other and at a cost that is less than doing business as usual.

Amory Lovins in the newest release from Rocky Mountain Institute, Re-Inventing Fire, Bold Busness Solutions for the New energy Era, makes the case.  On the jacket of this must-read book, he states,” ….the US economy needs no oil, no coal, no nuclear energy, only one third current natural gas, and no new inventions to develop an economy that is 158% larger by 2050 and at a cost of $5 trillion less than business as usual…and that fabulous savings does not count the extra trillions in fossil fuel’s hidden costs.”

Of course, this means that other countries can do the same thing.  To be sure, many are already doing so and are far ahead of the United States in what amounts to a global clean energy race which is defining new winners and losers on the world scene that cripple businesses and citizens at the local level.

Some still deny or have not caught up with what has happened with stunning rapidity, but the reality is that the rising costs of fossil fuels to our economy, health, environment and security outweigh their benefits. Clean energy alternatives to fossil fuels already compete purely on cost and profitability alone.

Since the time has come in which clean energy alternatives and energy efficiency strategies and products work better than oil and coal, investing and reorganization of the local economy along these lines is the most promising path to sustainable economic development, sufficiency for all, environmental restoration that can protect our health and mitigate the collision of nature’s laws and human conduct.

Sullivan County can implement its own Roadmap that guide decisions about the mountain of opportunities that await us if we have the imagination and will to act.

A copy is available at It contains strategies and practical projects for industry, transportation, energy, building and government sectors as well as for home owners, school classes, churches, fire houses, etc.  Why not sponsor a meeting in any or all of these places about an immediate and very positive change in our lives and the lives of our communities?

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