My heart breaks every time I think about the people who have so resourcefully lived and thrived in the appalachian mountains by living with nature and the resources provided by the second most diverse forest on planet earth. Many of us looked from the outside and considered them poor, but they knew how to get what they needed and passed their knowledge on to each new generation. They are currently undergoing an assault on their lives with the barbaric extraction of coal by blowing the tops off of their beloved mountains. And that is before we even talk about the myth of burning "clean coal".
The enormous input into a nuclear energy producing plant and the resources, including fresh water, to generate energy are just laughable at this point in time. And that is even before we talk about what the hell to do with the toxic waste. And just for the record, I do not think spreading it all over a foreign county (oh, start with Iraq,) in the form of depleted (not) uranium, is an option. And of course that sunny picture follows barbaric extraction.
We are at a crossroads.
Here is my comment on this open letter to President Obama from the Post Carbon Institute. These folks are doing some of the finest work in this area and I would hope their voices would be listened to by the leaders and policy makers of the world and those of my country.
We must face the truth. Continuing to squander Earth's dwindling natural resources fighting over Earth's dwindling natural resources ensures no future for anyone's grandchildren. We must begin to act as if our grandchildren's lives depended on it. They do! If we continue to over consume, barbarically extract and squander the resources of Earth, we are ensuring our extinction. I am in, what I call, the legacy phase of my life and I am ashamed and profoundly sad about how we are collectively acting. I will do everything I can in my life and community to ensure my grandchildren can have a healthy, happy life on this beautiful planet. Please lead, there are many of us out here who want to help save the planet.
sign on to this important message post carbon institute....
Open Letter to President Obama
Posted Feb 1, 2010 by Asher Miller
February 1, 2010
Dear President Obama,
Your State of the Union speech last week laudably referenced clean tech and renewable energy several times. We ask that you follow your words with action, by leading the transition to a post-carbon economy and a healthier world.
You also spoke of our need to face hard truths.
Hard truth: Our continued, willful reliance on fossil fuels is making our planet uninhabitable. We are evicting ourselves from the only paradise we’ve ever known.
Hard truth: No combination of current and anticipated renewable sources can maintain our profligate energy usage as the global supply of fossil fuels heads for terminal decline.
For the recently released Searching for a Miracle, Post Carbon Institute Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg conducted a “net energy” analysis of 18 different energy sources (including nuclear and “clean coal”). He concluded that the amount of energy available after accounting for the energy used in extraction and production of those sources is—at our current and anticipated rates of consumption—insufficient to get us “over the hump” to a post-carbon world.
Our 29 Post Carbon Institute Fellows—experts in the leading economic, energy, and environmental issues of the day—all agree that this "net energy" deficit is just one of many interrelated crises shaping the 21st century. Each crisis alone creates formidable challenges; in combination, their complexity admits no simple solution. But given their direness, inaction risks tragedy.
Mr. President, we respect you and your advisors and appreciate the enormity of the dilemmas you and all of us confront. When a great leader frames a great challenge, a resilient people will rise to meet the opportunity. And so we ask, Mr. President, that you tell the American people that we must:
1. Face reality. In a carbon-constrained world, true prosperity comes not from heedless growth, but from shared security, community, and liberty.
2. Prepare for the future. Conservation, with an emphasis on building a green economy and revitalizing struggling communities, offers cost-effective “found” energy, and the most immediate and long-term return on investment.
3. Lead the way. A substantial investment in renewable energy, with an emphasis on distributed solar and wind, offers the best hope for moving to a sustainable economy and environment.
Mr. President, lead us in creating a future worth inheriting. Post Carbon Institute and our Fellows will support you and your team in whatever capacity we can. We believe that the American people, and the world’s people, will support you as well.
Post Carbon Institute