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Fossil fuels: Energy 'bayonets' from Dark Ages


I'm proud to be a renewable energy voter and of the fact that our 5.59 kW solar system [on roof in background] has turned our home into a net zero energy home and produced enough electricity to drive an electric car 35,000 miles. But it sure would be nice if more Americans self-identified as renewable energy voters. [Photo Credit: Christof Demont-Heinrich]

editors-blog-entry3In many respects, SolarChargedDriving.Com, stands as a middle finger pointed squarely at the fossil fuel industries: Our aim, after all, is to show the world that yes, indeed, the world – including its transportation sector – can run on renewable energy.

And, as more and more examples show, especially that of Germany – which will be producing 50 percent of its electricity via renewable energy forms within the next 10 years, the world – at least the progressive, truly developed world – does run on renewable energy.

But I have to admit that sometimes I so badly want to do more than point a metaphorical middle finger at Big Oil & Gas and Dirty Coal. I want to flip a direct, obvious bird at them, you know, the real Big Bird.

Money over everything
That’s how much I detest them and their values, which are pretty much reducible to one thing: Money and profit over everything, even over the future of humanity itself, which is very clearly threatened thanks to the quickly intensifying process of climate change (no, climate change isn’t about the earth – it’s about us and our future, or lack thereof; the earth will survive, but we might not).

Okay, I’ll admit that part of my anger here is also lodged in the feeling of comparative impotence that inevitably comes from:

a) being just one individual in a country with 320 million people, and a world with more than 7 billion;

b) the environmental movement not having near the economic power of the fossil fuel industries;

c) a deep-seated frustration with the fact that such a tiny percentage of Americans are environmentalists (probably no more than five percent maximum) – a fact which doesn’t reflect so much a problem with environmentalism as a huge problem with basic values in the United States, which is WAY behind countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, pretty much all of Europe, in terms of its environmental consciousness and action.

In fact, I was so pissed off at the fossil fuel industry today I strongly considered creating an infographic in the form of a middle finger to run with this column – with the middle finger being constructed out of pictures of solar panels and running above a large caption such as, “This Bird’s for You, Fossil Fuel Industries.”

Why am I so pissed off that I’m on the verge of publishing an “obscene”, obviously rage-driven graphic on SolarChargedDriving.Com?


The full-page ad blasting solar and wind energy -- and Obama -- and extolling fossil fuels that ran in the Nov. 2 Denver Post.

Blatantly misleading ad
A full-page advertisement in Friday’s Denver Post sponsored by some Super PAC called New American Energy Opportunity Foundation set me off (see picture to the right).

It’s a blatantly misleading ad packed with cherry-picked statistics. It implies that “President Obama has backed only the [energy] losers”. I bet you can guess who “the losers” are: Renewable energy companies and the renewable energy industries.

At the bottom of the ad comes the real “kicker”. In a sarcastic (bayonet?) stab at President Obama, who, in fact, despite his decidedly lukewarm rhetoric about renewable energy during the presidential race has in fact overseen very strong growth in renewable energy in the U.S., the ad claims that, “Wind and solar are the ‘horses’ and ‘bayonets’ of American Energy.”

In other words, solar and wind are allegedly backwards, not meaningful, just drops in the bucket, etc.

Fossil fuels totally Middle Ages
In fact, New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, you’ve actually got it backwards: You guys are the ones stuck in an outdated way of doing things. Nothing is more Middle Ages than burning something filthy to heat and power the world. In fact, that’s exactly what humanity was doing in the Middle Ages, and, in fact, has been doing since the Stone Age.

It’s far more elegant, sophisticated, futuristic, and, yes, cheaper – look into True Cost Economics if you’re backward enough to believe fossil fuels are ‘cheap’ -- to take energy directly from the original source of all energy on earth: The sun.

It’s also much cleaner and better for the future of humanity, which has been burning filthy fuels for far too long to support its supposedly “modern” existence and lifestyle.

No, solar and wind are not the horses and bayonets of American energy. But fossil fuels – whose burning is positively something out of the Dark Ages -- are!

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