Category Archives: energy future

>Ain’t No Stopping The Green Train

>NOTE: Blogger is being hiccupy again today, esp. in regards to comments. They have 10 minutes to get their shit together before I move this blog to WordPress. Sick of the BS.

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Via the awesome mistermix at Balloon Juice comes some good news for a change.

Namely: Suck it Big Oil and King Coal. We don’t need your lying cheating cold deadbeating, two timing double dealing mean mistreating polluting energy source!

Analysts at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore Labs have run the numbers on the US energy use in 2009, and come up with similar results to those obtained when examining the country’s carbon emissions: energy use is dropping at a pace that is faster than would be expected based on the slowing economy alone. Even better, the growth in renewable energy, coupled with increased use of natural gas, is displacing significant amounts of coal.

[…]

According to the Livermore analysts, both economics and higher-efficiency appliances and vehicles helped push down the energy use last year, dropping consumption from 2008’s 99 Quads. Coal and petroleum use both declined significantly (coal was down by 10 percent), with more efficient vehicles accounting for much of the latter. Lowered electricity use accounted for much of coal’s drop, as did displacement by natural gas. But total natural gas use also dropped, at least in part because solar, hydro, and geothermal power all increased slightly, and wind power increased significantly. It’s now at 0.7 Quads, and on pace to clear a full Quad within the next couple of years.

Renewables and nuclear are now supplying nearly 17 percent of the country’s annual supply of energy, a fraction that’s likely to grow if current trends continue. And most indications are that the trends will continue. The US auto fleet’s fuel efficiency is slated to rise over the next several years, and the Obama administration is pushing to approve further wind and solar projects.

Sluggish demand for oil is prompting oil companies to sell or shutter their refineries, as well. The energy transformation is happening, Cap and Trade or no.

I’ve been meaning to do an update on the Beale household’s great solar experiment. Haven’t had time to pour pore through the numbers but I will say this: during the hottest most miserable summer I can remember, at a time when we had two extra people living in our house (our friends from India), we still have not paid an electric bill since March. And March’s bill was, if I recall correctly, something in the neighborhood of $30.

(Tip of the cowboy hat to the late great Harlan Howard and his cowriter Kostas and the amazing Patty Loveless, who is a coal country girl and is actively trying to end the heinous practice of mountaintop removal mining from whence we get coal).

6 Comments

Filed under energy future, environment

>Green Is Green

>GE is investing some serious change in its “Ecomagination” environmental initiative –$10 billion over the next five years, to be precise:

GE has a whole lot faith in its ecomagination initiative. So much faith, in fact, that the company is pumping $10 billion into the project’s R&D over the next 5 years–effectively doubling its investment from the past 5 years. The reason is simple: ecomagination is a cash cow, generating $70 billion in revenue since its inception in 2005. With the world’s attention turned toward clean technology, that number will almost certainly grow.

Ecomagination projects are diverse, global, and span a variety of industrial and consumer platforms. They include investment in renewable energy and energy conservation, smart grid technology, water conservation, and development of energy efficient products for industrial and consumer use. Once again I say: when oh when will green technology prove it is comepetitive? {/snark} You can find a list of the many Ecomagination projects here.

What really blew my mind is this:

Ecomagination is so big that it may soon top the federal government’s investments in research and development, according to Earth2Tech. The government spends approximately $5 billion annually on energy innovation R&D.

But GE isn’t on a mission to best the government for fun–the company believes it will generate $25 billion in 2010, up from $18 billion in 2009. Over the next 5 years, GE hopes that ecomagination revenue will grow at twice the rate of the company’s total revenue. If this doesn’t prove that green technology is both a financially and ethically responsible investment, we’re not sure what does.

The fact that our government invests such a paltry sum in new energy technology is very sad. It tells me that it is stuck in the past, tied to the old economy, and is not interested in partnering with private industry in creating the new energy future. Many of us have wanted to hear President Obama call for a “Manhattan Project for energy” (I prefer the term Apollo Project, since the Manhattan Project is what gave us the atomic bomb). We could do it right there in Tennessee — the Manhattan Project, after all, is what gave us Oak Ridge. Nobody yammered about the need for the “free hand of the market” to develop atomic technology back then, indeed it was of strategic national importance. It seems to me that getting off fossil fuels and demonstrating our energy independence from foreign energy sources is at least as important to our national security as building deadly bombs.

Sadly, as I’ve said a thousand times before, what this nation lacks is not the technology nor the resources to make this happen but the political will. Too many people in positions of power under the thumb of too many people whose continued existence depends on us living in the past.

But there’s hope. Green technology is coming, it’s here, it’s competitive, and it’s profitable. While BP sets aside $20 billion to cleanup its mess in the Gulf of Mexico, GE allocates half that amount for a different kind of future. Its first $5 billion investment has now generated $70 billion in revenue: I ask you, who will get more for their investment? BP or GE? Simple question, simple answer.

Progress happens, whether the American Enteriprise Institute and Koch Industries likes it or not. Green technology is the wave of the future, people. And it’s profitable right now.

Climb on board or be left behind.

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Filed under energy future

>Hands Across The Sand

>Beautiful. Already seeing pictures from today’s event like this one:

The video from February’s event made me cry:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9444863&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

1 Comment

Filed under energy future, Gulf oil spill, protests

>How To Run A Country Without Oil

>If you have a spare 20 minutes, give Shai Agassi’s TED talk on electric vehicles a watch. It is amazing, especially at the end when he talks about moral choices:

3 Comments

Filed under electric car, energy future

>The Future Is Now

>I read stories like this and I just have to shake my head at how short-sighted we all are:

TVA program that spurs solar installations put on hold

Generation Partners not taking new participants

TVA’s popular program that pays homeowners and businesses to generate electricity from solar energy has hit a wall.

Much of the $50 million set aside for the Generation Partners program has been committed as applications from even more would-be participants stack up.

Costly, mega projects by opportunistic investors may be eating up the money — versus smaller solar installations by homeowners or businesses that need the power themselves and for whom the program has been largely pitched.

Tennessee Valley Authority officials told a group of distributors that administer the program through formal agreements on Wednesday that a moratorium was being imposed.

Got that? Those “opportunistic investors” (I’m sorry, is there another kind? Altruistic ones, perhaps?) are sucking TVA dry of solar funds. So they will have to put a moratorium on the solar program because it’s just too darned successful.

Which just makes me wonder: when, yea Gods, will renewable energy finallly be able to prove it’s competitive in the marketplace? [/Snark]

Yes, I am being sarcastic. Yes, I know solar is subsidized. Guess what, so are fossil fuels. So is coal. It’s all subsidies. What the hell was the Interstate Highway System but one big subsidy to oil companies, refineries and the automobile industry? What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve but a giant taxpayer-funded subsidy to Big Oil?

When you privatize the gains of offshore oil drilling and mountaintop removal mining but socialize the losses in the form of a destroyed Gulf Coast, ruined mountains, acid rain, poisoned streams, lung disease, lost fishing and tourism industry etcetera etcetera, that is a freaking subsidy. Just sayin’.

And that’s not including actual, you know, subsidies that Senators throw hissy fits over when you take them away. Why are taxpayers putting $2.3 billion in coal subsidies?

But back to our story:

Steve Johnson, with LightWave Solar Electric, is worried about the program ending.

It has helped his company grow over the last few years from one person to 18, with a new hire coming in next week.

Without the various solar incentives — Tennessee state government doesn’t offer any for residences — jobs will likely be lost and the fledgling industry could start to slide, he said.

“They’re spending $3 billion cleaning up from coal,” Johnson said, referring to money spent on TVA’s Kingston coal ash spill and re-tooling its other ash sites.

“This $50 million is a drop in the bucket. It would be nice if we had a $3 billion budget because we would actually be producing electricity with it — cleanly.”

In the interest of full disclosure, as many of you know I am a Generation Partner and Lightwave installed my array. They are good people, and this is a good program. I hope TVA is true to its word and the moratorium is, indeed, temporary.

I just don’t understand why we are spending so much money propping up a dead, polluting, environmentally destructive energy system. Especially when it’s obvious that people want solar power. They want to get in on the new thing that is the wave of the future. Why are utilities putting up obstacles?

With every passing day it is more obvious that fossil fuels are an outmoded, old fashioned, inefficient, dying energy source. The future is in renewables and it’s happening whether TVA or politicians or anyone else likes it or not.

Here’s yet another example of how I know I’m right. Read this article about BP’s former refining chief Cynthia Warner–a Vanderbilt grad, I may add–who left BP in 2009 and is now president of Sapphire Energy, a company which makes liquid hydrocarbons from algae. Why?

“I had a slow but growing realization that the industry was maturing, the current fields were falling off in volume more quickly than anticipated, and the feats required to find new oil were becoming more and more heroic.”

[…]

“I had an epiphany that if I was going to put so much personal energy into making something happen, it was a lot better to create the key to the future than to nurse along the dying past.” What motivated her above all was her two kids, a feeling she describes in a typically homey metaphor: “What I want to do is leave a legacy for my kids where energy is secure. I don’t want them to have to go out and fight for it — I don’t want to leave them a world where we’re fighting for the last slice of the pie, but one where we’re baking new pies.”

I’m not advocating renewable liquid hydrocarbons–frankly I don’t know enough about it, though I am intrigued at the idea of finding a renewable source of hydrocarbons for all of those plastics we use–I’m just saying: when people who work for the oil companies are leaving because they see it’s a dead-end industry, folks it’s a dead end industry.

Change is happening people, because it just makes economic sense. Climb aboard or be left behind.

4 Comments

Filed under energy future, solar energy, TVA

>Vision Problems

>There was good and bad in President Obama’s Oval Office speech tonight.

The good: the President made clear he understands the magnitude of the problem we face capping that gusher in the Gulf. I’m convinced, finally, that he understands the long term effects of the oil spill. He “gets it.”

He also made clear he understands the urgency of our need to leave behind our carbon-fueled ways and transition to a clean energy economy. He made clear he understands the magnitude of that challenge, he recognizes that we have failed in this task too many times in the past, and that we are running out of chances. He “gets” that, too.

But what I didn’t hear, what I truly wanted to hear, was some kind of stated vision for how we will manifest this desperately needed change. I didn’t hear the words “Apollo Project for energy,” I didn’t hear the words “national priority,” I didn’t even hear a call for us all as Americans to actually do anything. While he said we all have a role to play, he didn’t articulate what that is.

I wanted a call to action and I didn’t get it. I want to know that we as a nation are harnessing the best and brightest minds to come together and figure this energy thing out. I want to know that we are doing something, that the government is leading the way, that the doors of industry, technology, policy-making and the halls of higher education have been thrown open and every sector of our public life will be focused, laser-like, on making this transition finally happen.

I wanted a battle plan–not for cleaning up the oil spill, but for getting over our fossil fuel addiction. I didn’t get one.

You know, we spent $22 billion in today’s money to develop the atomic bomb. That was considered a national priority. More than 30 laboratories in three countries were involved, all to develop a massive killing mechanism.

In 1961 a president told Congress he had a vision of landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade. From that vision was launched the Apollo Program, perhaps the greatest achievement of the modern era.

We can do big things, but we need a big vision and we need a leader to give us this challenge. The fact that President Obama did not do any of these things worries me. It’s as if he’s taking a backseat, hoping Congress will do the dirty work — it’s the healthcare bill all over again. He wants something done, but he hasn’t said exactly what, he hasn’t given specifics or deadlines. He hasn’t presented his vision.

I know President Obama has that vision. I have seen hints of it in the past, in previous speeches, and during the presidential campaign. Why oh why is he not sharing his vision with us?

Our clean energy future presents some unique challenges. Unlike the Apollo Program or the Manhattan Project, there are very powerful, wealthy and firmly established forces fighting every modest step made in that direction. This means our clean energy messaging needs to be very clear, very profound, and very powerful. It’s not enough to say “The time to embrace a clean energy future is now.” We need to know what that means, what it will look like, and what it will take to get there. We need to know what those first steps will be and what are the benchmarks. We need to be sold on a vision so we can share it.

Mr. President, we need leadership. The battle isn’t just in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s in the Houston offices of ExxonMobil and the Wichita, Kansas offices of Koch Industries. You will need us to carry your vision forward. Please share it with us.

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Filed under energy future, Gulf oil spill, President Barack Obama

>The End Of The Oil Age

>

Author and senior-fellow-in-residence at the Post Carbon Institute Richard Heinberg says what I’ve been saying for years:

But the following should be an even clearer conclusion from all that has happened, and that is still unfolding: This is what the end of the oil age looks like. The cheap, easy petroleum is gone; from now on, we will pay steadily more and more for what we put in our gas tanks—more not just in dollars, but in lives and health, in a failed foreign policy that spawns foreign wars and military occupations, and in the lost integrity of the biological systems that sustain life on this planet.

The only solution is to do proactively, and sooner, what we will end up doing anyway as a result of resource depletion and economic, environmental, and military ruin: end our dependence on the stuff. Everybody knows we must do this. Even a recent American president (an oil man, it should be noted) admitted, “America is addicted to oil.” Will we let this addiction destroy us, or will we overcome it? Good intentions are not enough. Now is the moment for the President, other elected officials at all levels of government, and ordinary citizens to make this our central priority as a nation. We have hard choices to make, and an enormous amount of work to do.

Call your Congress Critter.

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Filed under energy future, oil

>No

>Like President Bush before him, President Obama is apparently determined to miss the opportunity he’s been handed to initiate some serious “get-off-the-oil-tit” policies and get this country out from under Big Oil’s thumb:

Mr. Obama said he would hold both the government and BP accountable. But he did not retreat from his plan to expand offshore oil drilling and in fact portrayed the commission as a means to make that possible.

“Because it represents 30 percent of our oil production, the Gulf of Mexico can play an important part in securing our energy future,” the president said. “But we can only pursue offshore oil drilling if we have assurances that a disaster like the BP oil spill will not happen again.”

Hey, you know what would ensure that a disaster like the BP oil spill never happens again?

A ban on offshore oil drilling.

Seriously, it’s the only thing that will work. So why even talk about “safe” offshore oil drilling? If it were safe we wouldn’t have a disaster on our hands right now. It’s not safe.

I remember how after the 9/11 attacks, the nation was shell-shocked and everyone was donating blood by the gallon because we all wanted to give, we wanted to do something and nobody could think of anything else to do. I wanted to plant a Victory Garden, I was ready to give up sugar and nylons and ration gasoline and all the rest.

A smart president and Congress who had their eye on the future not their wallets would have said: now is the time to conserve energy. Now is the time for us to pull together and use public transportation and raise (or lower) our thermostats and start making the transition away from the policies that forced us to do business with people who hate us. The policies that saw us go to greater and greater extremes to secure oil for multinational corporations who might share some of it with us.

A smart president and Congress would have begun our nation’s transition to renewable energy, urged every municipality to implement strict conservation-oriented building codes, raised fuel efficiency standards, and all the rest. We all would have done it, too. Because we all understood that as long as we consume oil–any oil–we are participating in a game that includes terrorism.

Instead we were told to go shopping and support a war in a country that contains the world’s third largest proven oil reserves.

So here we are, nearly nine years later, and we have an ecological disaster down in the Gulf of Mexico, the magnitiude of which we are only just beginning to grasp.

A smart president and Congress who had their eye on the future not their wallets would say: now is the time for renewable energy. Now is the time for us to begin the transition away from the dangerous policies that destroy the ecosystems on which the entire planet depends, so a few can profit. Now is the time to say never again will we put the needs of one industry above the needs of the planet that sustains us–and the needs of the people and economy that depend on a healthy environment. Industries like fishing, shrimping, oystering, tourism. Never again will we allow the powerful to exploit resources shared by us all, when our food, water and air are at stake and when viable alternatives exist.

But no. We seek “assurances that a disaster like the BP oil spill will not happen again” so we can all go along as before. Pay no attention, move along.

Times like these call for greatness. Sadly, our nation sorely lacks such things. I think of Franklin D. Roosevelt, how he rallied the nation to pull together after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. How a nation weary from the Great Depression still managed to pull together, roll up their sleeves, and fight the threat from Germany and Japan. Women went to work, men went to war, we gave up creature comforts and rationed our gasoline, and bought War Bonds. I wonder if we’ll ever see that kind of effort again.

We’ve had so many opportunities. The Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 and subsequent hostage crisis. After a few months we shake these warning signs off and carry on as before, because no one has had the fortitutude to make us do otherwise.

I don’t know if Obama is playing some kind of political game here or not. But we don’t need politics and we don’t need games. We need leadership.

I found this prayer request from Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Present Chief and Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nation of the Sioux. It’s a prayer to all people of all religious traditions around the world. Please read it and consider adding your voice to this call.

Chief Arvol writes:

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

We humans seem awfully slow to learn our lessons. We need some divine intervention here.

9 Comments

Filed under energy future, Gulf oil spill, President Barack Obama

>Imagine

>Imagine an MTA bus which whirrs silently down Broadway, instead of the roar and rumble and squeaks we now associate with public transportation. Instead of belching diesel into the air, this bus doesn’t even have a tailpipe.

They already exist in Shanghai, China.

Imagine whisper-quiet police patrol cars, able to accelerate from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds. You’ll find them in Hong Kong and Japan.

Imagine grabbing a taxi at the Nashville airport after a long day’s travel. Your taxi is whisper quiet, and its electronic battery is fully charged, because it was swapped out for a fresh one between fares. They already do that in Japan.

The change is coming. Like it or not, it is. During the Bush years we took a huge step back, as if someone had pushed the rewind button and America shot back in time to 1982. Big Oil wants us hooked to that IV, GM didn’t really want to sell the EV1, the dealerships didn’t want to lose out on all that oil change money.

But progress happens, folks. You can’t stop it. You can’t really even slow it. We’ve picked up where we left off after the eight years we lost under the thumb of the oil barons.

Because whether we take part in it or not, the world is changing. Germany wants 1 million electric cars by 2020.

Spain aims to achieve that goal by 2014, and they are getting a hefty assist from Ford.

Change is coming. The (electric) train is leaving the station. Get on board, nation, or be left behind.

TVA is on board:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority, the Electric Power Research Institute and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Friday announced that they will test and deploy solar-assisted charging stations for electric vehicles across the state of Tennessee as part of one of the largest electric transportation projects in U.S. history.

The revolution is happening. Get with it, or get rolled under the wheels of that whisper-quiet electric bus.

7 Comments

Filed under electric car, energy future, environment

>No Free Ride On The Karmic Carousel

>[UPDATE] 4:

Those regulatory whatchamacallits sure do come in handy:

Nevertheless, regulators in two major oil-producing countries, Norway and Brazil, in effect require them. Norway has had acoustic triggers on almost every offshore rig since 1993.

The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn’t needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well.

The post goes on to point out that “an acoustic trigger costs about $500,000.”

Of course, as previously mentioned, BP is spending $6 million a day on this spill … so far. And from the memory hole, it seems the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Division had a few other things on its mind besides saftey.

[UPDATE] 3:

Fingers are pointing at Halliburton:

An oil-drilling procedure called cementing is coming under scrutiny as a possible cause of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that has led to one of the biggest oil spills in U.S. history, drilling experts said Thursday.

[…]

The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.

Which gets us back to where I started with this post.

[UPDATE] 2:

Free hand of the market FAIL:

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the doomed rig lacked a remote-control shutoff device commonly used in other major offshore oil-producing nations.

Would be nice if we had some sort of protective whatchamacallit, some kind of thingie mandating oil companies drilling in public waters take every available precaution to protect the environment so multi-billion-dollar fishing and tourism industries aren’t destroyed.

Another “flaw.” Imagine that.

[UPDATE]:

A temporary halt to new drilling has been instituted:

In a ‘GMA’ exclusive this morning White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod told me that in the wake of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, no expansion of off-shore oil drilling will take place until any investigation into how this spill occurred is complete.

Wonder how long that will last?

———————————

There’s always a Halliburton connection, isn’t there? A lawsuit filed by shrimpers names the company:

It also names Halliburton Energy Services and Cameron International Corp., which manufactured the blowout preventer that failed to cap the spill.

Thank you very fucking much. God I love the karma of this: Halliburton rakes in billions in Iraq War profiteering and now has to spend some of that fixing the mess it made in the Gulf of Mexico.

No one gets a free ride on the Karmic Carousel, people. This was absolutely, 100% predictable.

And I love how whenever a private company suffers a disaster we all pay to fix the mess.

Send in the U.S. Coast Guard! Send in the U.S. Navy! The EPA! Homeland Security! (Actually, it turns out there are 16 federal agencies involved in the effort.) Turns out Gov. Bobby Jindal “pleaded for federal help”; I wonder if he regrets scoffing at federal spending a few years back, or how he bragged about cutting Louisiana’s taxes six times–”including the largest income tax cut in the history of our state”?

Maybe he shouldn’t have ridiculed $8 billion for light rail projects around the nation, since such projects lessen our dependence on the very oil now washing up on his shoreline.

Yes, BP is spending $6 million a day on this disaster. Yes, President Obama says BP is responsible for the cleanup costs.

But I’m sorry, we’re all going to pay for this. We just are.

It goes well beyond the costs of the federal response. It’s bigger than the loss of wildlife. It’s the loss of an entire industry:

Louisiana has a $3 billion fishing industry—the source of a third of the seafood consumed in the U.S., according to the Louisiana Seafood Marketing and Promotion Board, a state-run agency. Seafood caught here also helps underpin the economy of nearby states that process it, such as Alabama and Mississippi. The impact could be long-lasting and could be made worse by the fact that it’s spawning season for some fish and migration time for the young of some species of shrimp.

Hey guess what, solar power spilled all over my roof this afternoon and I didn’t need to call the fucking U.S. Coast Guard to help me clean it up. No local industries were harmed, either. What do you think of that?

Look, I’m tired of hearing people say solar and wind power aren’t developed enough to meet our energy needs. That’s bullshit. Seventy years ago this nation entered World War II and transitioned our economy to a war footing in a matter of months. Factories that once made consumer goods were suddenly making bombs and airplanes and materials for war, virtually over night. People rationed sugar and gasoline and turned their lights out at night. It was a massive national effort and it brought the entire country together in a display of patriotism wingnuts can only dream about today.

We can do this if we want to. Problem is, there’s no want-to. There’s too much money at stake. Too much greed. Too many Halliburtons profiting off of taxpayer-funded wars in the Middle East. Oil and coal get all sorts of federal concessions while solar and wind development get peanuts, so “free market” conservatives can then claim that alternative energy isn’t developed enough to stand on its own. Yeah, well that’s how it looks when you stack the deck and rig the books, isn’t it?

The dirty little secret is that this country has been in an energy crisis for 50 years now. No one talks about it, but it’s still there. We’ve had little shocks here and there, but we’ve always shaken them off. That was stupid, and short-sighted. It’s not foreign oil we need to wean ourselves from — most of that comes from Canada, anyway. We need to get off the oil tit in general. God isn’t making any more dinosaurs, the oil that’s left in the ground is more difficult and more expensive to access.

If we’d learned the lessons of the very first Arab oil embargo we wouldn’t be in Iraq today, and we wouldn’t be worrying about Gulf Coast fisheries being wiped out for the next few years. If, after 9/11, George Bush had told us to get off the oil tit instead of telling us to go shopping, we’d be well ahead of the game.

Stupid Americans, we never learn, do we? It feels so much better to tell ourselves we can “drill here, drill now, pay less.” When the truth is, oil refineries are cutting production or shutting down completely to keep prices high. It’s the end of the oil road, a dying industry’s last gasp.

Yes, our economy is dependent on oil, but it doesn’t have to be. Indeed, it won’t be for much longer. There’s no reason in the world why every rooftop doesn’t have a solar panel, and why electric cars powered at solar charging stations aren’t widely available by now. If we could transition the country’s economy for war in a matter of weeks, then we can transition away from oil, too.

If we see this for the crisis it is, of course.

If we learn the lesson from this latest emergency, so close on the heels of the West Virginia coal mine disaster, itself right on the heels of Tennessee’s coal sludge disaster.

Is anybody listening?

8 Comments

Filed under energy conservation, energy future, oil, solar energy