Humanity Must Accelerate Transition To Renewable Energy.

English: Greenchoice is a renewable-energy sup...
English: Greenchoice is a renewable-energy supplier in the Netherlands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted December 8, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Amory Lovins and Arnie Gunderson are two fellows who have been greatly involved in energy issues for a very long time. Both have come to the point where they are advocates of renewable energy in very intense ways, speaking out at every opportunity to show others why the great, world energy transition has to be sped up. The main reasons I have become a renewable energy advocate is very simple. Most importantly, fossil fuels’ significant contribution to environmental pollution and climate change. Then, because the energy from the sun and wind, as well as other renewables, is free.

Secondary, yet important reasons for a worldwide great transition to renewables, include the health of human beings and all life forms, a large reduction in the amount of military resources – which result in devastating wars, destruction, and worsening human relations – devoted to protection of fossil fuels’ production and transport, and the harmful effects of competition in fossil fuels industries globally.

After researching renewables in a not too intense way for some months, it just seems that the world’s people would want to move very strongly in this positive direction. My vision is of the Earth where every land has been covered with solar panels and windmills and industrial hemp, etc. for energy production, where every person has free energy in abundant supply. Where gas, oil, coal, and nuclear plants are energy dinosaurs, gone from the world just as whale oil disappeared many years ago.

The transition to renewables is now occurring, but it is simply not fast enough for me – and there are many millions of men and women around the world who feel the same. A personal hero of many renewable energy fans is Hermann Scheer from Germany, a man who was the driving force behind his country’s renewable revolution before passing away in 2010, who said, “a fast solar energy revolution is possible”. Amory Lovins and Arnie Gunderson are two people who belong in the same league with Hermann Scheer when it comes to advocacy for renewable energy’s tremendous potential.

With my personal experience of seeing a plane performing some kind of geoengineering exercise a few weeks ago, my determination to push for renewable energy on Earth intensified. Seeing a plane with a persistent contrail behind it extending for miles, and seemingly raining down “something” from the entire length of the formation, has me in a state where I am upset – I demand answers for what is going on with this activity. It seems that such an activity would not be necessary if the kind of fossil fuels emission reductions needed to halt global climate change were accomplished.

Geoengineering with planes around the world, with the spraying of aluminum, barium, strontium, and who knows what else, is an activity which some describe as done to reflect the sun’s rays away from the Earth, thereby reducing the temperature – the effects of global climate change. As geoengineering is almost a covert operation to most people, there is no real way to know what is actually involved. No politicians, media (but for alternative news from the internet), military, or business leaders are speaking to what is going on.

At this point I would lean toward the geoengineering theory which says that it is a cheap alternative to large, global changes in energy policies which would include a great revolution in renewable energy. Vested interests in the status-quo, powerful oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy industries see geoengineering as a practice which keeps their positions of immense power, profits, and wealth intact. I suppose those who had been involved in the whale oil industry before it went extinct held on as tightly as possible before the end.

The obvious question for the human race is which direction to move in concerning energy production in this world. Is it the perpetuation of the energy status-quo, where greenhouse gas emissions stay at the same levels, geoengineering “experiments” getting conducted on the largest of scales – which a rapidly growing number of men and women warn is dangerously unhealthy to all life forms – to avoid dealing seriously with the Earth’s climate and environmental challenges?

Or is it the most powerful movement toward clean, green, renewable energy that the world has ever seen?

Watch this conversation between Amory Lovins and Arnie Gunderson, then let the world know where you stand. What energy direction do you think humanity – the world – should move toward?

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(Video source: Msmilkytheclown1 channel – YouTube)

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Earth, America, Solar Power, And Arthur Schopenhauer.

Hermann Scheer 2005
Hermann Scheer 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted November 27, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer

First, solar energy, along with wind energy, is free energy. Why is it that no world leader has suggested that every citizen in every nation, especially the United States, have access to free energy from solar, wind, biogas, and other renewable energies? Now, let me be clear here. I am talking about a situation where no person will pay for electricity, ever again.

Let me begin with a short discussion about what it means to become an elected representative of the people. I think we can all agree that ideally a government representative of the people has the job of making life better for his constituents. There may be some debate as to whether John F. Kennedy’s suggestion that men complete a mission to land on the moon resulted in life being better for the American people. One could say that there were a number of valuable, life-enhancing technological developments which came about through the effort to send a man to the moon.

Leaving the moon landing debate aside, whether it was worth it because of the scientific discoveries that occurred in the effort, what I would like to do here is compare the big idea of sending a man to the moon to the big idea of providing every citizen on Earth with free power/electricity.  What I am suggesting is that free energy comes from the sun and wind, and there is no reason to not believe that every citizen should have use of that free energy.

Solar, wind, and other renewable energies are free.

The documentary in this post, “Here Comes The Sun”, came out in 2008-9, and shows the tremendous potential of solar energy even some years ago. At that time the promise of solar energy technologies had already been discovered and proven to be practical. Hermann Scheer, the man who almost single-handedly initiated a green revolution in his native country of Germany before passing away in 2010, plainly stated in the film that the “solar debate is over.”

Now, he said this 5 years ago.

My focus here is to express my disappointment that the unbelievably profound potential of solar and wind energy is not being utilized to the point where every single man, woman, and child on Earth is using it. In the simplest way of saying it, solar and wind energy can power the entire world – all of humanity. And my simple question is: why is this possibility not being pursued with an intense vigor that matches the truly profound and possible reality?

Perhaps the man from Jordan in this documentary answered that simple question. He offered the choice for humanity of living in a world where compassion and concern for one’s fellow-man is the reality pursued, or the other option of continuing the status-quo where special interests receive the bulk of the power and influence moving forward. His reasoning and expression of that choice, which is the true choice for humanity now, is right on the money and reflects the actual energy situation on Earth.

Even though this documentary came out in 2008-9, its impact is perhaps even more powerful in 2013 because it exposes how disappointing has been the worldwide effort to implement such life transforming technology everywhere. Hermann Scheer said that a rapid renewable energy revolution is possible. He said that investments in traditional energy industries like oil, nuclear, coal, etc. will become poor investments because renewable energies are the future.

To the point, there is no longer any argument or debate about solar, wind, and other renewable energies. It is time for world leaders to get with the program and start the ball rolling to gratefully accept the Creator/God’s gift of solar and wind energy. Certainly the traditional energy industries like oil, coal, nuclear, and others will become, as Hermann Scheer stated, “superfluous”.

It is time for humanity to choose the path that leads to a less polluted, less energy resource war-prone, more just and peaceful world. A better world where the citizens of the Earth lead improved lives with less violence, less spending on weapons, wars and killing, less separation between nations and people, and an increase in coöperation and brotherhood worldwide, is possible and waiting for the human race to take and make real.

A better world is possible. All humanity has to do is choose the good path.

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(Video source: Global Climate News channel @ YouTube)

 

 

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Solar, Wind, Renewable Energies Offer Great Hope For Humanity.

English: Renewable energy sources at Chattleho...
English: Renewable energy sources at Chattlehope Many isolated homesteads in Northumberland and southern Scotland have wind turbines to supplement their electricity supply. This outhouse at Chattlehope (Catcleugh Reservoir can be seen in the background) also sports solar panels. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted November 12, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Natural resource wars would be a thing of the past, only experienced by future generations through reading about them in history books.

Just this one result of a worldwide shift to solar and other renewable energy sources, along with energy efficiency measures, is enough to convince even the most stubborn “doubting Thomas” that such a shift is a very, very wise choice for the people of the Earth. All that would be needed for such a shift to occur is for the peoples and nations of the world to agree.

Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Philippines typhoon, Fukushima, Gulf of Mexico, Iraq War, Libya, Afghanistan, Middle East, Arab Spring, Occupy, austerity, trillion-dollar defense budgets, are all associated with mankind’s failure to rise with one voice and push for renewable energy options which are available now.

Renewable energies offer humanity nothing less than free energy. This is a very strong assertion, I realize. However, when the initial investment of a renewable energy installation is paid back, the subsequent energy produced is literally free. Unless some government representatives, or powerful traditional energy companies, finds the way to legislate and create laws to block that possibility.

Can we imagine how beneficial such an energy shift around the planet would truly be? Besides eliminating energy resource wars, spending by governments on those wars, the destructiveness of wars – including the deaths of millions of men, women, and children in recent history – people around the world would be able to live their lives “off-the-grid”. No longer faced with electric bills.

Now, I can see where men and women reading this will be asking the question, “What about the owners of gas, oil, nuclear, coal and other traditional energy-producing corporations? What about their loss of profits?”

Hermann Scheer, a man who was very instrumental in Germany’s energy shift, called solar energy “the energy of the people” and that “a rapid energy shift is possible”. 

Hermann Scheer passed away in 2010, leaving a great legacy.

I was looking for recent information on public banking when I came upon the following short presentation by Steve Seuser, given at the Public Banking Institute’s June 2013 conference. Mr. Seuser shares a concise description of Germany’s successful effort to transform that country’s energy sector, thanks to a huge amount of grassroots efforts which occurred before that transformation.

He describes the reasons for the shift in Germany as, among others, a large-scale transformation of Germany’s energy sector, consisting of mainly small-scale renewable energy installations by homeowners, farmers, small business owners, apartment building owners, and others. Mr. Seuser points out that there was broad consensus among the German people who strongly supported this shift, which began shortly after laws became passed in the year 2000.

Other motivations cited were efforts to reduce climate change, reduce energy dependence on imports, German-oriented energy production, to stimulate technology development and innovation, and to reduce or eliminate nuclear energy risks. Other motives revolved around building local economies and creating social justice by allowing the German people to reduce their energy costs – with more money staying in the pockets of the people.

Mr. Seuser shares the importance of feed-in tariffs, which are the main, essential part of the law, guaranteeing a return on investment, and written in the law to last for twenty years. He goes on to point out that both Germany’s public and private banks became eager to get on board with the initiative. At one point, Mr. Seuser points out, the situation in Germany saw typical situations where property owners would first decide to install solar panels, and within five days the installation would be on their roof(s) and working.

He then mentions that all partners are financially rewarded except big utilities.

I recently read an article where Barack Obama was going to send 7 billion dollars of taxpayer money to the people of Africa for nuclear power development. In that article I did not notice any mention of renewable energy development, as opposed to nuclear. Perhaps investing 7 billion dollars of American taxpayer money in renewable energies for Africa would be a wiser choice?

President Obama is making the effort to “help the African people to develop their economy”. One must ask if companies like General Electric (in the same league as big utilities who were not rewarded financially in Germany) are the focus of development, and not the economy of the African people.

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At any rate, this presentation by Steve Seuser is concise and to the point. For more information about the tremendous benefits of a rapid shift toward renewable energy, please visit the following websites:

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If the information in the following video makes sense to you, please distribute as widely as possible. Help to hasten the day when solar, wind, biogas, geothermal and other renewable energies are known by all Americans and all of humanity. Hasten the day when solar panels will be on the rooftops of homes, businesses, and apartment buildings across America.

And around the Earth.

 

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When Every Day Is Sun Day.

Direct-gain solar heater panels with integrate...
Direct-gain solar heater panels with integrated storage tank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted November 1, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Today is Sunday November 1, 2013. What does he mean by “when every day is Sunday”? What it means is that people have solar panels on their homes and workplaces, passive solar heating through placement of south-facing windows, skylights erasing the need to turn on the lights during daytime, and other energy producing and saving products and strategies in place.

Simple placement of windows on south-facing walls of homes and buildings saves owners from 30-40% on heating costs. Does the home you live in take advantage of southern walls and windows in those walls? Do your family members’ homes have passive solar energy collecting, south-facing windows? How about skylights? Does the single story building that you own or work in have skylights? Or the schools where you live?

Passive solar and installing skylights are two of the low-tech, energy efficiency avenues to what Amory Lovins, the fellow in the following video, has coined “negawatt” savings. Amory Lovins has been an advocate of a “negawatt revolution” for decades, negawatt being defined as a unit of energy measured in watts saved.

Mr. Lovins had been out of my mind until Ralph Nader recently mentioned his name in an article. I had a slight knowledge of him through readings in years past, understood he was a leader in energy efficiency advocacy through his founding of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), and that his efforts were always seen as logical and reasonable. When Mr. Nader reminded me of Amory Lovins, I thought it would be a positive thing to post an article about him.

A little about Amory Lovins. He was born in Washington, D.C. in 1947 and spent his childhood in Maryland and Massachusetts. He attended Harvard from 1964-66 then transferred to Oxford University in England, where he studied physics and other subjects. He didn’t graduate because the university declined his request to pursue a doctorate in energy.

He went on to publish six books on energy-efficiency, energy-saving products, and the promise of newly emerging technology. He became an environmentalist, working with the Friends of the Earth, until in 1982 he, along with his wife Hunter Lovins, founded the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado, USA. The video below comes from RMI’s YouTube channel, and their web address is rmi.org. RMI has grown from 1982 to now in 2013, where the organization has a staff of 85 and a budget of $13 million.

Amory Lovins advocates a “soft energy path” for the United States and nations around the world. Soft energy includes solar, wind, biogas, geothermal, and other forms of energy production. Mr. Lovins has focused on energy efficiency and renewables’ production in the vicinity of where the energy is used. His efforts have included sharing of information which allows purchasers of energy using devices to learn about energy-saving/efficient device options and their existence, where to buy them, and the best energy-saving devices available.

I equate his level of influence in the world to that of the late Hermann Scheer of Germany, both in a league of major contributors to energy freedom for the people of both their countries and countries around the Earth. Lovins, Scheer, Nader and many others have correctly identified the tremendous technological potential of renewable energies and are strong believers in the positive consequences of largest-scale implementation of new and developing products and technology.

There are a few reasons that I have decided to share energy-related information here. First, let me share that years ago I read a book, the title of which I can’t recall, where the author pointed out that major oil and gas corporations were “sitting on” patents for the most advanced renewable energy technologies. I would submit that renewable technologies are in effect “censored”, blocked, and criticized for one reason. It is a simple reason: at a certain point after a home or commercial building owner installs solar or other technology-the time comes, that point where the installation cost(s) have been recouped-and from that point forward the energy produced is free.

One can easily see why renewable energies are not in operation on the ground in the USA at the largest scale when viewed with profits of traditional energy corporations’ stockholders in one’s awareness. Renewables have a “catch-22” status in America, being a “winning” proposition for the people but a “loser” for the owners of oil. gas, nuclear, and other traditional energy corporations. Ultimately it is a sad situation because profits have become placed above the interests of the majority of the people.

The real, great promise of renewable energy has been suppressed and needs to end.

Hermann Scheer called solar power “the energy of the people”. He conveyed before he passed away in 2010 that the actualizing of renewables’ real benefits would entail a “war” of sorts-a war between the people and entrenched profit-driven corporate power and the individuals who want to maintain the profits-the energy status-quo. My guess is that Amory Lovins is intimately familiar with the work of Hermann Scheer, and understands fully the type of effort required for world energy production change.

Hopefully this piece will increase awareness and accelerate a real paradigm change in the world regarding renewable energy and its presently available, implementable, waiting-for-installation state. Perhaps from reading this men and women will take action(s) which help accelerate such a worldwide change. Perhaps communications which may have not taken place will take place. Persons reading this will contact the Rocky Mountain Institute and receive information which leads to the start of a business installing solar panels on homes, commercial buildings, and schools. Or the start of a business installing south-facing windows, or skylights.

Perhaps someone reading this will contact their federal representative and suggest legislation which allows for a renewable energy industry boom, which occurred in Germany with the leadership of Hermann Scheer, after he led the draft of laws guaranteeing economic gains from renewable energy investment, through feed-in tariffs that paid those investors, small and large, an unalterable amount for their energy production.

In Germany, because people who install solar panels on their homes have a guaranteed payment for excess energy production, there are solar panels on homes and building as far as the eye can see. Businesses which build solar panels and related products, businesses which specialize in installing solar panels, and retail stores have begun with legislation that focused on renewable energy development.

For more information visit the Rocky Mountain Institute’s website: rmi.org.

All that is needed for the United States of America to create an economic boom in renewable energy is legislation that mirrors German legislation. The reality which the American people must deal with is the choice of lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to maintain the status-quo of traditional oil, gas, nuclear, and coal corporation owners. 

Right now, the lawmakers in Washington, D.C.-the United States Congress-have decided to deny the American people a renewable energy, economic boom and most significant: free energy.

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