Toward A New Green Energy Paradigm

You may not have heard this before, but we have the technology RIGHT NOW to build a whole new green energy paradigm.  Solar photovoltaic cells are becoming much more efficient, so efficient they can even be used here in Northeast Ohio on overcast days, as even ambient light now is enough for them to generate electric power.

According to an article in The New York Times published in November 2014: “The cost of providing electricity from wind and solar power plants has plummeted over the last five years, so much so that in some markets renewable generation is now cheaper than coal or natural gas.”

And likewise, storage capacity technology is advancing steadily.

Other nations have already embarked on the kind of path we can also take.  Germany, with its program of Energiewende, has moved so far along that on some days the entire electric energy requirements for that country are met by renewable energy resources alone.

For the United States there is now a plan, developed by Dr. Mark Jacobson and his colleagues at Stanford University and at other universities, that would see 100% of all our energy needs in the U.S. met by wind, water, and sun sources by the year 2050 and 80% by wind, water, and sun by 2030.  2030 is only 13 years from now, and an 80% reduction in the use of fossil fuels would have a profoundly beneficial effect on the environment, and consequently on the quality of life of everyone.

This plan is called the Solutions Project.  You can go to the website thesolutionsproject.org, and there you will find a plan for each of the 50 states.  It gives a breakdown of the types of sources that can be used, how much land would be needed, how many lasting jobs would be generated, and many other details.  For example, Ohio will use mainly wind and photovoltaic cells in various arrangements to meet its goal.  

Do you think Big Oil and Gas will resist such a plan?  You bet they will.  That is the main problem.  The power of these corporations is being used to block our path to a new energy paradigm.  We must not let them continue to do this.  Corporate power in general has run amok, and it must be reined in.  This means citizen education, involvement, and action.  As FaCT member Rev. Monica Beasley-Martin has said, “No one can do it all, but everyone can do his or her part.”

So now I am working out of a spiritual passion not just to oppose the pollution caused by fossil fuels but also to help usher in an energy future which is just to the web of life and just to earth’s people.  

So let’s start taking greater care.  Let’s work to make sure the democratic process is restored in this country so that all people are accorded justice and corporations are put in their proper place, so that people come before profits, and so that we can move forward to a green energy future with ample clean energy, food, work, health, education, and dignity for all.

If you are interested in joining in this work with our inter-faith movement, I invite you to visit our website for FaCT - Faith Communities Together for A Sustainable Future at factohio.org., and I invite you to attend our next statewide meeting, which will be at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown on March 18, 2017 at Noon.  The church is located at 1105 Elm Street in Youngstown.

-Ron Prosek, President
FaCT-Faith Communities Together for a Sustainable Future