September 21, 2005

Renewable Energy Sources: The Issue, and Non-existent National Leadership

I accidentally (subconsciously perhaps) brought the August issue of National Geographic Magazine home from my doctor’s office a couple of days ago. There’s an article in the magazine titled “Future Power: Where will the world get its next energy fix?”* It’s about the use of alternative and renewable energy sources (wind and solar energy) to replace most or all consumption of oil. Of course, we know that the Oil Oligarchy and Mr. Bush would rather tear up the Alaskan wilderness in a mad search for more oil rather than begin a strong national program to push toward a massive use of renewable energy sources. In fact, the editor of the magazine makes a carefully phrased reference to the war in Iraq as being fought by a consortium of nations, and caused by our gluttonous consumption of energy. Ah well, I didn’t mean to start a political rant. Instead I am most interested in talking about what can be done to reduce our oil dependence. It seems that it will take the major part of the next three decades to reduce our consumption of oil by sixty percent. If we do so, we will need to cover twenty-five percent of our city rooftops and sidewalks with solar panels. We will also need to create vast wind turbine plantations. In the short term we must add more atomic energy plants to the power grid. We will also need more coal burning power plants to be used when the sun doesn’t shine. Interestingly there are studies being conducted that explore the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide emissions below ground.

There is much more to it than my streamlined discussion of the article here. However, a great president would be leading a national debate about and push toward alternative and renewable energy sources instead of fighting an expensive (both monetarily and in human lives) war in Iraq, a nation which did not have WMD, and which had absolutely nothing to do with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Ah well, that’s another diatribe and I’ll leave it for another day. My attention and concentration wander these days. Chalk it up to growing old. Be that as it may, can’t we as a nation force this foolish president and his administration to begin concentrating on the problem at hand (oil dependence) instead of participating in and regurgitating a barrage of limiting and divisive cultural wars?

Am I expecting too much of THE PEOPLE of this nation?

Check out the following Website – Planetary

∑ “Renewable Energy,” United Nations Environmental Program. Image Viewed 11:44 AM EDT, Thursday, August 11, 2005.

I will dwell on alternate energy sources often in the near future.

Katrina Relief

Don’t forget to donate money to the American Friends Service Committee for relief along the Gulf Coast. The Friends are much more likely to do good things for the unfortunate people of the region than anyone I can think of, and they will not proselytize while doing so.

And Now, Rita! However, Mr. Bush says there is no such thing as global warming. What is a hurricane but a mechanism for the distribution and diffusion of warmth from oceans and atmosphere? We've had eighteen Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes this year. Nine is normal.

* Parfit, Michael, “Future Power: Where will the world get its next energy fix?” National Geographic Magazine. (August 2005) 2 – 31.


Blogger Anji said...

One of my children said to me yesterday when we were discussing the oil situation that he thought they won't do much because they won't make any money from it. They'll just keep putting up the price and selling big cars.

In La Rochelle we have eco-vandals. They let the tyres of the big SUVs down. Well, I think it's not a bad idea, I always take the bus, or walk.

5:18 AM  

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