The BP oil leak has been gushing for nearly 2 months and has
become the worst oil disaster in U.S. history. Daily images capture the
devastating effects on wildlife, the beaches, fisherman and the entire Gulf
region. We all seem to feel a collective helplessness and anger as this wound
continues to bleed on our planet.
Yet, how many of us have actually changed our habits or
lifestyle? Nearly all transportation burns petroleum in a combustion engine,
while coal and gas remain the dominant fuels that we extract and burn to power
our lights and refrigerate our food. This Path of Pollution will continue to
have accidents — mining disasters, gas explosions and oil spills, creating
climate changing gases that ever increase.
‘This is a crisis that we should not waste.’
The Obama administration expressed this sentiment and responded dramatically to
the 2008 credit crisis. It is time to recognize the need to dramatically
shift away from our global dependence on fossil fuels. The United States is not alone, as most all nations remain addicted to coal, oil and gas. Yet
the Road to Renewables is right in front of us.
The U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab just released a study that shows how we can accommodate
a large increase of solar and wind on the existing electrical grid: 35% by
2017. This would also decrease carbon emissions by 25-45%.
Fishing boat skimming oil. Gay/AP photo
This is a domestic solution for all nations with clean
energy jobs in R&D, manufacturing, installation — and the money that is
spent on importing oil will remain within your country.
Next year you can buy your electric car or
plug-in hybrid and power the battery from the sun and the wind. Now, you can
buy your electricity from a green energy provider and invest in green
companies. Buckminster Fuller said that we often “emerge through
emergency,” and this is certainly an opportunity to make the shift. We can
no longer be complacent.
In partnership for the planet,