The Energy of Progress
August 3, 2007Al Gore may be right that ultimately it is up to every individual to believe that change is possible, in order that politically we choose leaders who advance progress in priority to growth. On the 07/07/2007 we all swung away from unrestrained capitalism as the only panacea necessary to allow us to thrive in harmony most successfully. It is really only the political consideration that matters, for, ultimately we may care how many plastic bags make poisonous pits out of landfills but that does not stop the factory down the road from making the local river murky and lifeless. It has only been political change that has allowed us to control our impact upon the environment. And for America this provides an alternative impetus for progress. What is progress? It is invention, finding a better way to do it. And these days cleaner and environmentally friendly is going to become something as important and enforceable as any other law. US Industry is growing at 1% per annum. It is already a substantial contributor to global warming because it requires so much energy. If we draw the energy from burning coal, as seems “politically realistic” it will be with advantages in air filtration and clean burning technologies that do not emit excessive CO2 or other gases that poison the environment. Understanding the problem is hard enough for the scientific community so one can not expect political change unless the addiction to growth is not curbed. Political change needs to encompass stronger motivations for choosing to advance the case for free power generation using large batteries of wind farms. Taking the energy from the air seems logical as a counter measure to climate change. Scientific analysis of this effect may well prove important if the religion of growth is continued. Our climate is like the Earth’s circulatory system. We got to learn to stop screwing with it to get our energy. Free passive energy can obtained with solar cells. If every rooftop in America was covered with power generating solar cells, power would be free. If the environmental cost was assessed and taxed to every business in the world, we could make progress to ensure our safety. It is political for the same reason that it would be very hard to stop someone competing in a race, for example, after they had prepared for it. You would have to have a very good reason. The most convincing commercial argument to prevent climate change is that there is rather a lot of money to be made.