We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Are We Moving Away From Fossil Fuels? Separating Facts from Fantasies

Click here to access a first part of an article with a PDF link to the entire article by Sean Sweeney of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy. Here are some concluding remarks:
The  challenge  facing  human  civilization  is  sobering.  But  the  challenge  appears  more  manageable when it is connected to a narrative that is  prepared  to  confront  existing  ownership  relations.  The  struggle  for  democratic  control of  energy  (and  other  key  sectors)  is  today  crucial  for  many  reasons. Achieving  such  control  over  energy  production,  distribution,  and use is a means (but not the only means) to confront the expansionist dynamics of the political economy while at the same time reconfiguring our approach to defining and meeting human needs on the basis of a more equitable distribution of wealth and a qualitative extension of democratic control over major economic decisions.
Energy  systems  controlled by ordinary people in partnership with well-run and accountable public  agencies have the potential to manage and reduce energy demand for certain economic activities while providing electrical power to everyone for basic needs  and truly sustainable forms and levels of human and social development.
I recommend that you view the following 5:26m video by them (via YouTube) entitled "This Is What Energy Democracy Looks Like":

1 comment:

  1. I didn't have to be this way. My belief is that's true: It didn't. One millennium ago, humans might still have been able to redirect it. But to say now, February 2017, "It doesn't have to be this way" is a soothing fallacy.

    There is, never was, never can be any "transition" to "renewable energy". Renewables - wind, solar, geothermal - all rely on fossil-fuel-based construction. The technologies cannot exist absent fossil fuel use.

    There is and never was a possibility of "transitioning" to a different form of energy that will allow us to continue our way of living.

    It is our way of living that is the problem. The only clean renewable energy source resides between your own shoulder and elbow. Muscle power. Oh, we could have been clever - sensible - and used the sun's and wind's and water's energy more efficiently in our personal lives. Choosing communal/tribal living over cities (the 1000-year-old choice we messed up) could have led to a very different place.

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda. The cartoon is correct in that doubling carbon emissions would lead to a 6oC rise in global temperatures IF it happened in a vacuum, that is. But, regardless of the compartmentalization we've marinated in since birth, everything is connected and each connection feeds back into the whole connected system, causing every other part to change, and the rise could be more like 16oC.

    If we were to halt ALL emissions globally and permanently, beginning February 15, 2017, global temperatures would increase by up to 4oC before the end of the month, due to clearing the atmosphere of all particulates.

    To keep it brief, kudos to everyone who's fighting the ruling class. We're going down. Right now. And while going down fighting is but one choice, it's one I respect.

    But, these folks are merely spinning more fantasies and false hopes, coloring inside the lines drawn by the ruling class' system.


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