In his second inauguration speech, President Obama said that global climate change isn’t a problem for some day, but for right now. On the face of it this could be good news. I know it takes a lot of courage for a politician to address environmental issues, and I applaud our President on this. For that matter, I fail to see how reinstating background checks and limiting assault weapons is an infringement on our freedom, but I digress.
However, I must confess I’m afraid of what our country will do next. For example, while it is good to stop mining and burning coal, why is our attention immediately turned to fracking for cheap natural gas, or ramping up the nuclear industry? Both of these are scary options. We are told they provide cheap energy, but the true costs in terms of water and soil contamination are not disclosed.
It seems to me it starts with the consumer. There are fairly simple, low tech ways to heat the home and provide electricity that do not require the extremes of a nuclear plant or of pumping dangerous chemicals into the ground to break the underground pockets of natural gas open. They do require some research and initial investment. But the benefits are great. Just think how good you’d feel if your home was warmed by a truly clean energy source, and that you aren’t tied to the whims of a large corporation. If we as citizens refuse to buy the services of industries that are destroying our world in the name of cheap energy, they will have no choice but to listen.
Maybe wind turbines and solar panels are still too pricey…but if demand goes up, research and lower prices will follow. I know that areas were hard hit by the loss of mining jobs. But couldn’t we employ those people in creating stoves that heat homes? In England people cut trees in such a way that the tree regenerates. Now that is renewable. Why must we cut down our trees?
I’m afraid I sound a little bit scattered in my thoughts today. What I wish to suggest is that there are many old ways of doing things that are not wasteful or scary for the earth and for ourselves, and with some ingenuity I believe we can continue to enjoy the comforts we’ve grown accustomed to without poisoning our world or turning ourselves over to super powerful industries.
Thank you for listening…I welcome your thoughts in return!