Switch to Renewable Energy

Storm Coming (NASA)

GR–Ode to concerned scientists: They see the danger, they sound the horns and clang the bells, and they wait. But the ramparts remain empty. They turn to their family and friends, but dreamlike their voices are too soft and none respond.

“Fifteen thousand scientists have issued a dire warning to humanity about impending collapse but virtually no-one takes notice. Ultimately, our global systems, which are designed for perpetual growth, need to be fundamentally restructured to avoid the worst-case outcome.

“For a moment, the most important news in the entire world flashed across the media like a shooting star in the night sky. Then it was gone. In November, over fifteen thousand scientists from 184 countries issued a dire warning to humanity. Because of our overconsumption of the world’s resources, they declared, we are facing “widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss.” They warned that time is running out: “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory.”

“This is not the first such notice. Twenty-five years ago, in 1992, 1,700 scientists (including the majority of living Nobel laureates) sent a similarly worded warning to governmental leaders around the world. In ringing tones, they called for a recognition of the earth’s fragility and a new ethic arising from the realization that “we all have but one lifeboat.”

“This second warning contains a series of charts showing how utterly the world’s leaders ignored what they were told twenty-five years earlier. Whether it’s CO2 emissions, temperature change, ocean dead zones, freshwater resources, vertebrate species, or total forest cover, the grim charts virtually all point in the same dismal direction, indicating continued momentum toward doomsday. The chart for marine catch shows something even scarier: in 1996, the catch peaked at 130 million tonnes and in spite of massively increased industrial fishing, it’s been declining ever since—a harbinger of the kind of overshoot that unsustainable exploitation threatens across the board.” –Jeremy Lent (What Will It Really Take to Avoid Collapse?).

How Many of You Switched to Renewable Energy?

In recent posts, I described the warnings of impending disaster. I didn’t expect to have an impact, and I wasn’t wrong. As Jeremy Lint points out in the article above, the media avoidance of unappetizing topics is too complete. And of course, our leaders in power avoid the subject in their subservience to wealth. My first hint that good advice for avoiding collapse would be futile was the minimal response to my discovery of the simple and inexpensive means for everyone to switch their homes from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy. Like Pangloss, I’ve remained hopeful. But I read that book, and now I’ve turned to a more practical concern; the post-anthropocene survivors, the weeds, have absorbed my attention. Today’s weed is Shepherdspurse, a foreign but familiar little mustard that feeds butterflies and yields medicines for us humans.

11 thoughts on “Switch to Renewable Energy

  1. Human nature is interesting; we sometimes grow silent when there’s heavy emotional topic on hand – like a diagnosis of advanced cancer or when there’s an unexpected death – or even divorce.
    They don’t know what to say so they say nothing as if there’s nothing wrong… With controversial topics, sometimes the person who is quick to comment will suddenly go mute. They don’t like to take a public stance, which makes people like you the true heroes – to speak up and out – in hopes of awakening others.

    “Today’s weed is Shepherdspurse, a foreign but familiar little mustard that feeds butterflies and yields medicines for us humans. ”

    I am spending the bulk of my time in the ‘bosque’ w/little contact w/the outside world. Deforestation continues, and I mourn in my own private way spending time while focused on the native flora and fauna that most might overlook. Unspoken questions like, ‘Why don’t they care? Why can’t they see that our planet is sick?”

    It’s comforting to spend time where the loudest sound comes from the raucious chachalacas – or to chuckle at the Ringed Kingfisher making a victory lap in the skies while chattering… but then it’s quiet, and the Gray-backed Hawk suddenly announces, “I see you, can you see me?” and I look and note another hillside burned, quite close to its nesting area and to a favored thicket of the chachalacas… for me, it’s almost like a bedside vigil while one hopes that the beloved one will find a way back to good health…
    On Sunday I spotted what is most likely a Slaty Becard tending a nest high in the canopy – ah, may this endangered species find a way to thrive…

    Thanks, as always, for all that you do.

    from Ecuador,
    Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa, the Belted Kingfisher chatters over the ponds here through most of the year. I’ve never spotted a nest tunnel, but perhaps this spring. I know the ache and frustration for the danger all these creatures face. Thank you for your comment.

      Like

      • Just past where I live are some holes in a steep ‘cut’ that was made for the gravel road. I feel pretty sure they’re either kingfisher or motmots, and one of these days I’m going to plant myself there until either the mosquitoes take me away or I discover the homeowner! About forty steps more down the road is the Becard nest, so perhaps I’ll be able to keep one eye in the canopy and another on the roadside! I hope that your tunnel wish is granted; you’ve earned it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. In 1981 I rejoiced upon learning at Stanford that America had sufficient reasonably developeable renewal energy to meet our nation’s energy demands ad infinitum. That meant my sons would not have to go to war over foreign oil. Ha! Due to the greed of oil investors etc., one has served 4 deployments. Let’s fight the forces of greed! Remember that there are other uses of renewable energy besides electricity. For the simplest, costless, measure, check out http://www.awindowsouth.com

    Liked by 2 people

    • Caroline:
      Four deployments. I can only hope his, and your courage are seen as what is best in our country. There must be more to national security than fossil energy. As a People we are better than this. With gratitude,
      Steve

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, 24-6, and to Garry for allowing post. Even small efforts by an individual may have a significant impact down the line. I taught a renewable energy class in Ely, Nevada, where a coal-fired power plant had been proposed. I also spoke to the county commissioners, who included a couple of ranchers. One of my students became an activist, leading a large environmental group which fought and defeated the coal proposal. And one of the commissioners turned his ranch into a wind farm which provides electricity to Las Vegas over the power line constructed for the never-to-exist coal power plant! His cattle graze underneath the towers. Coal would have had to be imported over 1000 miles from Wyoming, using huge amounts of oil for transportation, as Nevada produces no coal!

        Liked by 2 people

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