HELP!!! — Part I

People who are not consumed by greed or blinded by Trumpism understand that the human race is racing toward self-extinction as a result of careless lifestyle habits in the industrial age.  It isn’t just one single thing, but a conglomeration of many things, the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, increasing use of plastics, increased consumption of beef and pork, overpopulation, far too many vehicles on the roadways, and more.  Credible climate science tells us that we have a very narrow window of time to take major steps to control and reverse the damage being done to the atmosphere.  And yet, while many countries are heeding the call, the United States is not, as a nation, taking the warnings seriously.

Point in case is this headline from ThinkProgress:

Republicans push anti-wind bills in several states as renewables grow increasingly popular

In regions like the South, the potential for renewable energy abounds. That isn’t going over well with fossil fuel interests.

Data shows that renewable alternatives to energy sources like coal are increasingly cheaper, in addition to helping offset greenhouse gas emissions. But as they continue to gain prominence, power sources like wind are becoming a popular target for those with a vested interest in fossil fuels. Now, opponents are using everything from national security arguments to targeting tax incentives in order to hobble wind power.

North Carolina is one of several states in which lawmakers are pushing new proposals to undercut wind energy. State Senator Harry Brown has proposed Senate Bill 377, the ‘Military Base Protection Act’, that posits that wind farms pose a national security risk and would essentially outlaw wind farms built on land within 100 miles of the state’s coast.

North Carolina’s Amazon Wind Farm, the first large-scale wind farm in the state, went through years of review and permitting studies, in addition to coordinating with the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense. Proponents of renewable energy say arguments about national security are just another way for fossil fuel interests to dissuade potential wind and solar investments in the state.

Folks, I don’t care if you’re republican or democrat, Christian, Jew or atheist, you are a member of the human race, and as such ought to care a bit more than this about our home.  Members of Congress, state legislatures, and voters need to wake the heck up!  CEOs of fossil fuel interests need to take their heads out of their patooties and realize that all that lovely money they are making isn’t going to do them a damn bit of good when they’re dead!  And dead is where they, their children, and their children’s children are going to be before the end of this century if this greed and ignorance continues!

An environmental firm, Energy Innovation in partnership with the grid analysis company Vibrant Clean Energy, issued a report on March 24th.  Their findings …

America has officially entered the “coal cost crossover” – where existing coal is increasingly more expensive than cleaner alternatives.  Today, local wind and solar could replace approximately 74 percent of the U.S. coal fleet at an immediate savings to customers. By 2025, this number grows to 86 percent of the coal fleet.

There is no longer any justification for the fight against renewable energy, and yet corporate greed and politicians in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry are trying to keep this nation from moving ahead.  Trump has claimed that there was a “war on coal” and that he is ending it, even calling for a bail-out of the coal industry.  There is no “war on coal”, but there is a battle to save the human race from extinction – a near certainty if we do not act soon.

Take Iceland, for example.  They are the country that generates the most clean electricity per capita on earth, with almost 100% of its energy coming from renewable sources.  Sweden, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark … the list goes on of countries that are taking climate change effects seriously and being proactive in the fight to save lives, to save the planet.  The United States does not even come close.  There are states, cities and even some companies that are doing their part, but the effort needs to be wide-scale, it needs to start at the federal level.

I wish to leave you with something to think about.  Look ahead just a few years.  Many countries will have, through great effort and planning, ceased drilling, mining, or using fossil fuels, but instead will be relying 100% on renewable energy sources.  They will have become carbon-neutral, have stopped using single-use plastics, and found innovative ways to clean up the air and coastlines.  The United States may be the only nation that is doing … nothing.  Now, our pollution doesn’t just affect us, but affects the entire globe.  If you were, say, Germany or the United Kingdom, how would you feel about this?

fat-baronI can foresee a time when the European Union joins with other nations to offer an ultimatum to the United States that, if ignored, could lead to all-out war.  I wonder if the fat coal and oil barons will still think their profits are so all-important?  Frankly, if they were smart men, they would have seen this coming long ago and began investing their resources into renewables, phasing out the coal mines and oil fields.  But they are not intelligent beings, only greedy ones.  And they don’t give a rat’s you-know-what about you or me, or even their own grandchildren.

It’s time to get serious about this, folks … matter of fact, it’s way past time.  Stay tuned, for I am not finished!solar-energy

63 thoughts on “HELP!!! — Part I

  1. I posted this almost a year before Trump was elected…
    https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/senate-snowball/
    America’s right wing climate denial runs deeper than Trump, all Trump did was recognize an opportunity to exploit conservative climate denial in terms of voter currency. Read this –
    https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/the-world-according-to-koch/
    or this –
    https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/wisconsin-governor-scott-walker-climate-change-scrubber-extraordinaire/
    The seed was planted long before Trump, sadly Trumpish folly perpetuates absurdity. Sigh.

    Like

  2. Dear Jill,

    The fossil fuel industry and President Trump cannot stand up to the business headwinds that are going against them. The White Evangelical community is very much in bed with the fossil fuel industry.

    In 2005, leadership in the National Evangelical association was set to propose support for being climate change advocates. They were voted out by rank and file and others. By 2007, White Evangelicals could be said to be an arm of the fossil fuel industry. I posted a blog on how the fossil fuel titans tried to buy out the Black Evangelicals but they were repulsed. This is one of the major ways that White Evangelicals are having an out-sized level of influence on the policy making by the WH and the Republican Party.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is a damn shame that these people put their greed, their love of money, ahead of the future of even their own grandchildren. Perhaps there is something wrong with their brain, that they are unable to process data beyond today? Thanks for the additional info on the evangelicals … I don’t understand them still, nor do I likely want to. I’ve come, however, to the point that I view them as evil. They sure as heck don’t live their lives in accordance with what they profess to believe.
      Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s pretty interesting to me that small, isolated towns we visit in Northern/Central California on our road trip are dealing much more about changing our industrially wasteful ways than corporate heavy, big cities we visit.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What fuels all this backlash against renewable energy in the US is pure and simple greed and religious extremism.

    The republicans represent greed with their being owned by large corporations, especially oil. Short term monetary gain is their god. This also means control by their other god, the NRA , which makes a fortune off of war. It’s all negative for this whole lot of people.

    And the far right religious care nothing for this earth or the future of their children and grandchildren because it’s all about the afterlife in some mythical made up place….a place where there’s no gay marriage, no abortion and no migrants. They will never focus on the here and now because they put no value on it.

    The rest of us have a huge job ahead of us and the rest of the world too. The US will have a negative influence on the other Western societies and they may want to abandon us, as they should. China is smarter and not burdened as much by religion, so they may ultimately become the leader in renewable energy and changing lifestyles. They will see the money to be made there, while protecting their own. A win win, we may lose out on, sadly.

    We must vote out trump and the republicans to have any hope.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Sigh. A bleak picture, but one that more and more these days, I am also seeing. I don’t understand the way these people think … and I don’t wish to condemn all republicans, or even all evangelicals, but it does seem that the majority of them talk the talk, but cannot walk the walk. They profess to love their fellow man, yet they treat him like dirt unless he is a spitting image of them. I’m very tired of the world the way it is today. Was it always like this and I just didn’t see, or has it become a harsher, crueler world just in the past decade or so? I don’t know, but some days I’m just really glad to be old. Yes, we MUST get Trump out of office, the sooner the better, BUT … I’ve concluded that it won’t solve the problems, for he is only a symbol of what’s wrong with this country.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Most coal mines in UK have closed, their waste sites turned into parks for wildlife reserves and people. But, it is important to say, that UK still uses coal and gas imported from Poland and other EU countries. Our illustrious leaders also keep trying to push fracking on us. There are large movements here though, and protests and lawsuits brought by the people are slowing progress of dirty fossil fuels. Yesterday, several Extinction Rebellion people were arrested in London for defacing the ‘Shell” headquarters building with oil, graphiti and themselves (glued to the building). One woman (I’ m not sure if intentional) smashed their revolving entrance door glass. These were just a handful, but thousands shut down 5 areas of London, allowing pedestrians and cyclists through, but no motorised vehicles. They were making headlines (their intention) until the fire at Notre Dame took over all news.
    (Sadly, that will take 5,000 mature trees for repairs).

    We must start to support these people. My husband calls them anarchists… As though society should get rid of them. I told him that I’d be there if I could. George Monbiot is calling for civil disobedience. And quite frankly, I can’t see any other way forward at the moment.
    This is the fault of governments who have oppressed, corralled and subjugated people for too long now. We are fed up of being told lies and kept ignorant on the most important things to affect our lives.

    The time that the world history changes radically again, is now. I do not know who will rise up first, but it won’t take long for the domino effect. Freedom, health and happiness often comes with a high price tag.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, my friend Gary from Yorkshire has been telling me of the push for fracking, and a few days ago I saw a piece in The Guardian about the Extinction Rebellion! I’m with you … I would join them if I could. I like what they are doing, and hope they succeed … preferably without violence, for that may well defeat the purpose. The time has come to do whatever it takes to open the eyes of the people who would continue to support fossil fuels despite the evidence that they are destroying us. Until recently, I had not heard of George Monbiot, but I’m liking him better each time I hear something he says! You’re right, the world is changing and I’m not sure what it will look like 20 years from now, nor will I be around to see it, but I hope it is a better, more conscientious world.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The very word “coal” brings many pictures into my mind, memories from childhood and my late teens…none of them good! I had mentioned earlier on another post about remaining silent when I can not say something nice. While I have no problem demonizing coal, I had hesitated commenting because I did not wish to offend any possible followers that may reside in the areas of which I will speak. After some back and forth between me, myself and I…we came to the unanimous decision to take the risk. During my early childhood many of the homes in northeastern Pennsylvania were heated by coal burners, our home was among them. I remember a coal truck pulling up to the side of the house and pouring coal via a chute through a wee window into a bin in the basement. Coal dust galore! The burner had to be frequently checked to ensure that the coal hadn’t burned away to nothing by adding several scoops to feed the flames…day and night. It was heaven for my parents when they replaced that with an oil burner. I never gave any thought as to where the coal had come from, until after entering nursing school when I befriended many girls from what was known as the “Coal Regions” of Pennsylvania. Frackville, Ashland, Girardville, Shenandoah, Mahanoy City and the famous Jim Thorpe are all places that I visited with them and received my first hand views of open strip coal mining’s devastation on the environment. Ugly, gray barren land left behind without vegetation and even small streams had gray water. I was horrified and will never forget those images. My friends took it in stride, being born and raised there…but each and every single one of them wanted to get out, hence the education for a better chance at succeeding. I can not tell you how many of their Fathers and Grandfathers suffered from Black Lung Disease, the curse of coal miners. It has been decades since I had occasion to visit any of those areas and I understand that most of the mining is over and the areas are now tourist destinations. I suppose the point of all of this rambling is to say that it is indeed long past the time when coal was king, or if not it surely should be. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Having spent most of my married life in a coal mining area of southwestern Virginia, I can relate to all you say! My late ex-husband operated heavy equipment on a surface (strip) mine. I got out shortly after filing for divorce and have only been back one time since to visit friends and family (in-laws), in the 1990s. My friend Herb lives in Pennsylvania and recently told me about a trip he had taken that took him through some of the coal communities in that state, and said they were the most depressing towns he had ever been in. There was a time when coal was much needed, for it was one of the few ways we knew of to provide heat and electricity. Those days are long since past, but there are people who are determined to squeeze every last penny they can before they will move into the 21st century. And we all pay the price. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jill, great post. An additional data point is more coal plants have closed in Trump’s first two years than in Obama’s first four. Note this would have happened anyway, but Trump made a huge deal of saving the coal energy. We are well passed the tipping point on coal’s demise.

    Another tidbit is the words of oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens who told “60 Minutes,” about 7 or 8 years ago, the future is wind energy. Natural gas is buying us time until wind is more affordable. Texas gets 16% of its electricity from wind energy and Iowa gets 1/3 fron wind.

    Solar has also been growing like gangbusters and has 4x the jobs as the coal energy. The only politican to tell coal miners the truth in WVa is Bernie Sanders – he said to such an audience their jobs are going away, but he said he was proposing career retraining and transition funding. What perturbs me is politicians have known for years of this demise, but did little to help the miners.

    As for Trump, he perpetuated ignoring this truth, promising something he could not deliver.
    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Keith! Your added points are spot on! I still have trouble understanding why this is so difficult for the industry execs to understand. They could be heroes by using their resources (money, time, reputation) to invest in renewables and phase out their coal mines and oil operations. But instead, they dig in and are costing us both time, money, and possibly our future. I’m hoping to have a ‘Part II’ out in a few days … got sidetracked today by Ms. Huckabee-Sanders … grrrrrrr.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, Hugh and I have discussed this for several years now. Energy Companies need to get with the program or will be passed by. Solar and wind energy need not be huge projects to power homes and businesss. IKEA, Walmart are powering an increasing many of stores with solar energy on rooftops. Amazon, Google and Facebook are powering electricity intensive data centers with solar and wind.

        It should be noted utilities have been and are converting or closing coal plants. They are not building new ones, unless already started – cost and obsolescence before it is finished are the reasons.

        Back to wind, ranchers and farmers are leasing land to wind mills for supplemental income. One farmer gets $55,000 per year for 11 windmills. And, no Mr. Trump, wind mills do not cause cancer. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

        • It is true that there are a lot of positive initiatives happening at the city, state, and even corporate level, but it could be so much more effective and widespread if it had the support it needs at the federal level. Trump is even trying to infringe on state’s rights to deem pipeline projects too harmful to the environment to proceed. What will be next? Will he stop states or utility companies from dropping fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy? It’s sheer madness! We need a federal government that works WITH the states, not against them.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t understand the intransigence of Trump or the coal barons. Surely throughout the years these business people have diversified where they needed to. So why not change direction and get into the alternative clean energy markets. There’s still money to be made and less mess for them that coal and oil. More windmills, more solar panels, more electric cars.Unemployment would drop though ex miners would have manufacturing jobs I’m sure there would be more vacancies. The icing on the cake, the Republicans could surely be on board and the evangelists couldn’t complain.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello David. I think one of the reasons the coal mine owners are so interested in protection is the land values and liabilities. During the last two decades both Republican and Democratic administrations have been adding stricter work requirements and environmental requirements on mines. Mines do a lot of damage environmentally. The mine owners were looking at a huge problem at the ends of the life of their mines. tRump becomes president and champions coal, but in truth he is not adding coal jobs and mines are still closing at an even faster pace. But he did roll back a lot of environmental regulations and freed the mine owners from a lot of libalites on the land they have damaged. SO they can now close the mines and almost just walk away with no future costs. That was the whole plan and it is working. It wasn’t about new money, new jobs, new coal… it was about saving the rich mine owners money on closing the mines. Hugs

      Liked by 6 people

    • For the most part, I don’t understand it, either. The only explanation I can come up with is that they already have all their land rights paid for, all their expensive equipment paid for, and most anything they can make from coal or oil is profit, whereas a switch to renewables will require an initial investment, and I think they are yet uncertain whether that investment would pay off as quickly as they would like. Thus, they come up with a million excuses, like it will cut jobs (it will transfer jobs from one industry to another, but they could be heroes by providing re-training for miners and riggers), or other excuses, such as … windmills cause cancer! Sigh. Greed. Reluctance to change. Ignorance.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Hello Jill. Grand post. I can not remember the country or the do by date, but I read months ago that one of the European countries has mandated the switch to electric cars by a certain year. The country is promoting the installation of charging stations and infrastructure. That is a wonderful thing a whole country can do. As for Solar panels, Ron and I looked into them for our home here in Florida. If the home was being built new or we were younger it would be worth it. But we would spend a large part of our savings and it is doubtful we will live long enough to get our money back on them. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Scottie! That would be Norway that plans to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars by 2025. Thumbs up to them, eh? At one time, you could get a government incentive for installing solar panels, but that was back when we actually had a government that cared, so I imagine that is gone. I have a friend in SoCal who installed solar panels several years ago, and most months, he ends up with the electric company owing HIM! It’s worth it, I think if you can do it. But you’re right, not if it takes a large chunk of your life’s savings. I would try to, but I rent and suspect the apartment complex I live in would frown on us tearing up the roof! 😉 Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Jill. I think you are correct they might object to you taking over the roof. Let me explain our situation. We have a 1984 double wide mobile home we have redesigned now for the third time. We had our entire home , sheds, and the carport covered with a lifetime metal roof. It cost us almost as much as we paid for the home. We paid $ 50,000 cash for the home.
        So we recently contacted a few solar companies in our area. They wanted between $30,000 and $40,000 to do the installation and the electrical box hook up. Yes we could do it if we took it out of our savings, but then what? Hubby is 64 years old, I am 56 and disabled. It makes no sense.
        We would love to do this and help the planet but we also are human and need to look at our needs. If the government would help we would be all in. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        • Holy Heck!!! I had no idea they cost that much. The first home … only home, actually … that my ex and I bought cost $12,000 … less than a third what your solar panels would cost! No, it doesn’t make any sense for you guys to do that. Hugs!!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hello Jill. That is the problem. The politics keep the prices high and so we can not do anything. Once they get rid of the demonising solar energy we may be able to help the planet. Hugs

            Oh just as a benchmark, I bought my first home in 1989, it was a brand new skyline 14 X 70 mobile home with cathedral ceilings and a full walk in bay window in the kitchen and a set of box bays in the bed room. It was a grand home but it only cost me new $34 grand plus. So you see the problem We are old, and getting older. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

  10. In my opinion, climate is the ONLY significant issue in 2020. All else will fall in line if we vote pro-earth. (have you seen Pete’s announcement?) My life is complete – I have witnessed unbridled gay bashing in the streets during the 60s to a candidate pecking his husband on the cheek on national TV. WOW. Go Pete!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Well, while I might argue that things like Civil Rights, education and health care rank pretty high on the list of issues, too, I do agree that this one takes the #1 spot, for if we drop the ball on this one, before long none of the rest of it will matter. Yes, I saw that Pete had finally thrown his hat in the ring, and I cheered! I like him. I also like Jay Inslee. Gonna be a long … interesting, but also ugly and LONG … 19 months.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I would have done so years ago, but could not afford it then. The price is even higher now, instead of getting lower as the technology is improving. Capitalism is gone crazy, wanting us to pay exhorbitant prices to help save the world. They should be making it easier to afford, but they refuse to do so, at least in my part of the world.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Excellent post, Jill. My country, Canada, needs to step up its game too. I cringe when I hear the oil barons of Alberta crying out for more pipelines to ship their oil to the States. Leave it in the damned ground! Alberta has a provincial election tomorrow and I’ll bet the oil interests are going to propel the Conservatives into power. The oil industry has been the economic mainstay of Alberta for many generations. They are going to have to figure out alternate economic engines for the province.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree … leave it in the ground. There is entirely too much potential for disaster with those pipelines, PLUS my understanding is that the process of doing environmental impact studies has been shortened or skipped altogether in some cases. And it is the Native Americans whose land it usually affects most. Spend that money on wind farms, solar panels, electric cars, etc.

      Oh, is the election in Alberta tomorrow? I didn’t realize … well yes, I guess April is half over! Where does time go? Rawgod and I had been talking about it a week or two ago. I shall have to keep an eye on it tomorrow. It’s funny, politicians talk about ‘progress’, but they wish to remain in the dark ages when it comes to things like this. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

        • To listen to all the election pundits, the UCP (conservatives) are going to score a majority victory, which of course makes fence-sitters vote UCP in order to be on the winning side. Unfortunately that is the losing side, globally. But voters seldom think globally. They believe liars and cheats who promise the world, but deliver only on their own self-serving policies, a la Donald Trump and pets.

          But this post isn’t about the Alberta election, it is about renewable energy and the fight against climate destruction. The USA, Canada, and other such nations are like the anti-vaxxers, making global death possible by not protecting themselves against the known dangers of the world. Epidemics caused by diseases once thought eradicated are a notice being served to humans of what not fighting climate disasters is going to become, sooner than later. I read somewhere even the Black Plague is raising its ugly head in places again, though I cannot verify that offhand.
          Continuing to use non-renewable energy sources is like not vaccinating your children, a pandemic waiting to happen. It is amazing to me how some people care only about themselves, rather than the fate of the world as a whole…

          Liked by 4 people

          • Not at all happy, jill! (See above comment to John.) But we all knew it would happen. Alberta is a red-neck province and oil is its waterway. Can you eat oil, or breathe oil, no, but most Albertans seem to think you can. Four years from now they will be crying, but they cannot see that far. 100 plus years of corrupt conservative governments were forgotten in four short years of a social democracy. They want to know who their gay children are so they can save them from their sinful ways. They want to destroy the climate so they can afford their skidoos and four-wheelers. They have little or no compassion for those at or below the poverty line. Ach, why am I bothering…

            Liked by 3 people

            • You’re bothering because you have a conscience and want things to be different than they are. But you’re right … they don’t listen, they don’t hear, for it would mean they would have to give up some things, perhaps … GASP … even make some sacrifices to save the planet! Bloomin’ idiots! Sigh.

              Like

              • But who am I bothering, John?
                Certainly not those imbeciles Kenney is leading around by their asses, they have no idea where he is leading them to. And there are so many of them.
                His lawyer friends are going to love him if he does what he promised to do, sue the Feds, and BC, costly lawsuits impossible to win.
                The pipeline construction companies will love him, building expensive pipelines to nowhere, pipelines that stop at Alberta’s borders because our neighbours don’t want them invading their lands.
                Rescinding the provincial carbon tax so that our tax money will end up going to the Federal Carbon Tax coffers. Yup, smartest man alive, after his idol Trumplestiltskin.
                It’s going to be a great 4 years in Alberta. We should be bankrupt in two.

                Liked by 1 person

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