Reality and Change

(#251) — This column is written while attending one of the finest building science, energy efficiency and renewable energy conferences available in the United States.  One of the many remarkable banners that greet the eye and stimulate the brain is “everything for the revolution.”

Two immediate perspectives come to mind. They are: we already have a truly vast array of varied and powerful new technologies to build the next industrial revolution; and, we will also be building a new social revolution that will change where and how we live, the character of our cities, industries, food production just as the carbon energy revolution did 100 years ago. Something truly historic for human and non-human and for the planet earth itself is available.  But we must choose to invest in it, learn its ways and embrace is promise.

It is such an encouraging perspective when we take a moment to consider how dangerous and destructive a world we live in today.  The very  success of our last economic revolution has ushered in the 6th Great Period of Extinction on planet earth.  We have completely out of control and unaccountable world financial arrangements which no one can understand or control even as they perpetrate crimes and injury to people and environment at a rate never before witnessed in history.  Our wars for energy resources now cost $6billion a day, weaken our national security, and corrupt our economy and social institutions. Every year our ever increasing investments in carbon fuels kills the lives of 100s of thousands and shortens and warps the lives of vastly more people. None of this necessary.

Most of us know all of the above to be true despite the billions spent on spreading confusion and false information. Yet, we do not make the choice available to us.

It is now easy enough to make choices that will take us in a different direction than the otherwise dramatic trauma of calls for a national convention to determine new basis for private property law, a new currency for the nation that has some integrity and many other truly fabulously disruptive measures that will be necessary in the years just ahead as the juggernaut of climate change not only smashes our family and community budgets but wrecks economic viability for small and large nations.

Everyone one of us can do several things to improve our financial situation and our relationship with the environment and our communities. One area to focus on is energy – called for a good reason, the life blood of our way of life.  Let’s save it and switch to different energy sources. 98% of our buildings need to be audited and then retrofitted to make them more efficient, safer, cleaner, more affordable to operate. Green Jobs/Green New York provides free energy audits that are very technologically sound.  You can pay for a retrofit up to $25,000 on a residence by the savings that come from having done the retrofit.  No up front, no out of expense, ever. Let’s do the same for our town halls, garages, fire houses, churches, schools and places of work.  A new history is available and its full of solutions to many local economic and social problems. Call 845-807-0578 for assistance.

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