(#267) – It is really hot. Local corn is already beginning to wither and it is only the first week of July. Food prices will spike in the fall and farm income will fall even lower than the current below cost of production level. Our area is close to an energy brown or black out which would cost billions just to our region.
We made the planet too hot and now we must cool it off. We do not have much time to achieve this goal. Perhaps we will simply because it is a matter of life and death.
We know that we can absolutely achieve this goal through energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. 90 square miles of wind power can energize the nation with current technology. Solar electric on a larger plot can do the same and we can solve the problem of their energy intermediacy. These are not the final solutions to our energy challenge but manageable bridge technologies as we rethink how we live on this planet of finite resources and needs of balance of its own.
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.0rg reminds us that some straight talk is required. Current reserves claimed by major energy companies would generate 5 times the CO2 needed to spin the planet into chaos. ExxonMobil spends $100 million every day looking for more gas and oil – gas and oil that scientists say simply cannot be burned. It receives billions in public subsidy to do so. It spends just over $4 million a year on renewable energy research.
The conclusion is a choice between a highly profitable balance sheet for the richest industry on the planet or a healthy planet that supports human habitation.
Why send the kids to expensive college programs that might allow them to have a better future if the future may not exist?
How do we negotiate this looming catastrophe when our national policy is dominated by money, which is largely in the hands of an ever smaller number of individuals and corporations?
The answer is: We create our own energy sources. We fund them, we manage them, we work for and with them.
Each town begins the discussion on how to provide short and long term solutions.
Energy efficiency and using less energy are first-order priorities. It will take a commitment on the part of all of our institutions to achieve the level of education and commitment required to make the necessary adjustments in the way we live and organize society.
Each town considers establishing new institutions and new relationships.
Local power authorities with financing from local and regional banks and new government bonding authorities are necessary.
Self-governance which all sides of our political spectrum hold sacred will flourish and economics will empower democracy rather than cripple it. Public subsidy, which is the real backbone of capitalism, now becomes the servant of the people and the environment.
Let’s begin this serious conversation.