On World Energy Solution.

Feed-in tariffs: Accelerating renewable energy...
Feed-in tariffs: Accelerating renewable energy project development in Ontario (Photo credit: mars_discovery_district)

Posted October 14, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Many of you can relate to feelings of frustration after becoming aware of possible solutions for humanity that become blocked by historically powerful interests. When there are discussions about energy-oil, nuclear, natural gas, renewables etc.-the talks always come to a point where the power of possible solution(s) somehow fizzles out and doesn’t go “all the way”.  Hermann Scheer of Germany (1944-2010) went “all the way”, and the time has long since passed when humanity does the same.

Let me first say that the magnitude of consequences surrounding the ignoring of real solutions for the human race through development of renewable energies is enormous. My guess is that you are aware of the absolutely magnificent potential of renewable energy technology, and are extremely frustrated that the real promise of existing technologies is not being acted upon to the point where solar panels are on every home and commercial building in the world.

Secondly, Hermann Scheer was a giant of a human being, one person who possessed an ability to convey reality to other men and women in a direct, honest manner which zeroed in on very important truths. That the name Hermann Scheer is not known by all people in this world is really an injustice, as the truth he spoke and wrote about has the power of changing all life on Earth for this and future generations.

For the better.

When the vision Mr. Scheer articulated becomes implemented, and it is entirely and absolutely implementable now, the positive results for humanity will be off-the-charts. While writing this I feel the reader’s reluctance to get into this set of ideas around the world-changing potential of already available renewable energy technology. My first natural response to any such reluctance would be to ask “do you have a problem with free energy?” Do you have an issue with being an independent energy producer who gets paid for any excess energy left over from your production after using what you needed?

If you don’t have a problem with free energy or being paid for your excess energy production, then you may want to become intimately aware of what Hermann Scheer accomplished in Germany and, consequently, the world. You may want to become involved in the war against powerful corporate energy interests, roadblocks and laws which are preventing democratic energy freedom for the people of the world.

At one point in human history burning wood was the energy paradigm. Then it was whale oil, then came electricity, then oil and gas, then nuclear and coal. At each point of advance to a more amenable source of energy the previous source dried up and disappeared. Renewable energies-solar, wind, biogas, and emerging technologies-are sitting there, absolutely available, just waiting for the will of humanity to get on with it.

The “whale-oilers” of this time are the owners of conventional energy corporations, who are the only people on Earth against turning the page of historical energy reality. Just as the people who made money from whale oil had to change with the times, today’s traditional energy producers face loss of their market share and loss of profits. It is not difficult to understand why these powerful interests want the status-quo of energy production to remain unchanged. It is easy to understand why.

But is the energy status-quo OK?

No, it is not OK. All you have to do is consider the wars fought over control of oil and natural gas, with the overwhelming human tragedy, with their trillions of dollars in expenditure, to fully realize that the current energy status-quo is not OK. The events of history, understood in the context of the great promise of renewable energies, naturally leads one to see that changing the energy paradigm is equivalent with sanity. In other words, to continue on with traditional energies, when the renewables are sitting there waiting for implementarion on the largest scale(s), is collective madness.

Fast worldwide energy shift is possible.

Hermann Scheer left humanity with the true blueprint for energy freedom and independence. He helped to create the conditions in Germany for a green revolution, not a pie-in-the-sky vision of a possible future to be grouped with the ideas of science-fiction writers, but conditions which have led to an energy revolution in Germany. The major accomplishment Mr. Scheer became involved with was the structuring of laws, the shaping of the legal framework in Germany, to eliminate roadblocks to renewable energy development.

Laws were written in Germany which encouraged investment in renewables, without having to get the OK from powerful traditional energy corporation owners. These laws gave priority to renewables and granted access to the grid, feed-in tariffs, guaranteed fees/earnings for independent energy producers, and guaranteed no caps on those fees-thus providing the greatest protection for investors, small and large.

When these laws were passed homeowners, companies, cooperatives, and municipalities invested 100 billion Euros in renewable energies over a ten-year period, compared to 10 billion for traditional energy corporations in the same ten-year period. Solar, wind, biogas, and other renewables came online in a large way as independent power production surged. It is very important to forcefully emphasize that this economic activity became possible through the legal framework of Germany, which took down the roadblocks to renewable energy development.

America can do what Germany did. Remove the roadblocks.

Resistance to energy change comes from the energy cartels. Big oil, big coal, nuclear power all stand in the way of beneficial changes in the paradigm, all such benefits ready for implementing but for the roadblocks placed to prevent their coming to be realized by the people. Let us use the simplest of analogies. Imagine you are driving down a country highway late at night and you are the only car on the road. You come up to find a lightweight roadblock. You leave your car running, shift into park, get out of your car and move the roadblock, then re-enter your vehicle and drive on toward your destination.

Hermann Scheer and the people of Germany simply removed the roadblock(s). Your vehicle represents the people of Germany driving through to energy independence, economic activity in the form of new businesses and jobs, and energy bill savings for citizens. Removing the roadblock was a win/win for the German people. Mr. Scheer called solar energy “the energy of the people”. Time magazine named him “The Man of the Green Century”.

Inexpensive solar technology installations have come into regions around the world where electricity was never available. The people of those regions have seen their quality of life improve dramatically as a result. Children can study their schoolbooks after the sun goes down, farmers have increased their production so that malnutrition is going down, and water is more easily accessed with the available electricity. Remove the roadblocks to renewable energies everywhere on Earth.

The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria are about energy resources. Those nations and people have had to endure hellish experiences because of the wars over energy resources. Democratically elected leaders of nations have been the victims of military coups and assassinations. Millions of civilians-men, women and children-have been killed over energy resources through the recent decades. Trillions of tax dollars have been essentially wasted in these wars, small and large, over natural resources.

The people’s war for renewable energy is a “just war”.

People have come to use the term “just war”. I would assert that the “just war” worth waging on Earth now is the war against those who have been responsible for placing roadblocks in the way of renewable energy development. It is a war against a real energy dictatorship, a dictatorship which has concentrated its power and guards against any giving up of that power. At all costs.

But there is the example of Germany for the people of the world to see. Men and women in America are recognizing the positive results experienced by their counterparts in Germany and ask “why not here?” as well as “why not everyone?” Every person in America is for renewable energy development. Only those who profit from the traditional energy status-quo will argue against solar power, wind power and other available green technologies.

The question which needs asking is why the elected representatives in America are either ignorant or repressing the example set by the country of Germany. There simply is no doubt that “the energy of the people” would increase freedom in the lives of Americans. Hermann Scheer’s vision and analysis was-remains-right on the money and beyond debate.

Renewable energy solutions are available now.

Waiting for humanity…

Thank you Hermann Scheer.

****

 

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Fracking. Part 3.

Against fracking 01
Against fracking 01 (Photo credit: Bosc d’Anjou)

Posted August 18, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

An Australian news organization produced the following documentary “Meet The Frackers,” which does a good job of painting an accurate picture of the issue of fracking, including the views of both “sides.” It is a fair representation of reality about the fracking phenomenon, taking the words of  industry and the words of citizens who may hold a differing way of looking at it.

After watching this documentary you will have a good sense of what the stakes are for both groups. Recently more and more members of the pro-fracking and anti-fracking groups have added to the store of facts, giving men and women around the world a greater understanding of the issue, which will hopefully lead to the wisest options being chosen.

On the one hand there are those who have benefitted financially from the practice. On the other there are those whose health, as well as the health of the land around them, have been harmed. These are the realities to think about when creating a list of options.

The leaders in local communities, counties, states and countries around the world must decide whether the health of people and the environment, or jobs for their citizens, are more important. Those same leaders have no other choice but to consider the consequences of each possible decision going forward.

Fracking. Part 1.

English: A poster for drinking water security ...
English: A poster for drinking water security from the EPA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted August 16, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Fracking is a subject that I have spent next to no time researching but, after finding interviews which described the poisoning of people’s water supplies and wells, decided to look into it. Not only are citizen’s water wells and aquifers being harmed by the chemicals released during the fracking process, but some communities in Texas are going dry as fracking is using up the available water.

Probably many of you were first alerted to fracking from seeing videos of people lighting fire to the water coming directly out of their kitchen faucet. Those images are of the type that an immediate, lasting impression is created.

Looking at the posts of men and women which appeared after searching for “fracking” related articles in the reader quickly led me to a story which had to do with the situation in New York. This article included an interview by Ellen Cantarow of retired Mobil executive Louis W. Allstadt, which was originally posted at Truthout. You may be interested in going to Truthout to read the entire interview.

I had never been to the truth-out.org website, but perhaps some of you are familiar with the journalism there. The video in this post is an interview of Ellen Cantarow.

For those who will not read the interview, I will try to give you an idea what Mr. Allstadt focused on. Keep in mind that he was an executive at Mobil. He first pointed out that the earliest conventional oil and gas production began in Pennsylvania many years ago and has continued to this day with the offshore extraction/drilling now occurring.

The conventional oil and gas reservoirs have become exploited to the extent that in the US, Europe and the Middle East, new sources have become difficult to find. Because of this situation oil and gas companies are searching for new supplies through non-conventional shale or tight-sand drilling, and exploration in even deeper water than the Gulf of Mexico, where the worst environmental disaster in history occurred.

Another option for oil and gas companies is to explore in the hostile Arctic or Antarctic regions.

Mr. Allstadt says that fracking is part of the “race for what is left.” Fracking is not new as it has been around for 60 years. The difference now is that fracking needs to use 50 to 100 times the fluids (water, chemicals) as in the past, while there is much more flow-back that needs to be considered and dealt with.

He notes that the biggest issue surrounding the fracking phenomenon is the release of methane, which is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. There are already cases where methane has entered into aquifers supplying people with drinking water, as well as releases of methane into the atmosphere.

What got Mr. Allstadt concerned enough to alter his retirement routine was when he discovered an EPA study which showed that fracking fissures progress in unexpected patterns, and in greater lengths than was previously thought, was removed from an important document in New York. The document had to do with state guidelines for the gas industry, compiled by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. He said that the industry was trying to hide the fact that methane, and chemicals used in the fracking process could reach drinking water supplies.

One more concern Mr. Allstadt alluded to was the breakdown of plugs in wells, plugs to prevent methane leakage into water supplies and the atmosphere. Steel pipes will rust out, cement will inevitably crumble in 100 years, for many wells this deterioration will happen sooner.

Mr. Allstadt went on to talk about the tremendous amount of time which was wasted, time which should have been used for consideration and development of alternative energy solutions. He said that oil and gas executives state that they are building the bridge to alternative energy, but that nobody is building the bridge: the solar panels, wind energy generators, biofuels etc., etc., etc.

Finally, Mr. Allstadt simply stated, and we must listen to this former Mobil top-level manager, that it is time to get on with it.

****