Collectively Preventing Self Destruction
One of the biggest surprises I’ve encountered in dealing with people when I want to share information about energy and the promise of nuclear energy, is that a strange thing happens after the conversation. The people seem happier.
It never occurred to me that in general there is an overwhelming number of people out there who have quietly given up, who think there are no good solutions. Scientifically literate people in particular take a dim view of getting out of this mess. Most people are not going around blissfully happy and totally ignorant of how serious things have gotten. The feeling usually goes unspoken and rarely gets acknowledged. I have concluded that most people expect doomsday scenarios for our future. But many have resolved themselves to the idea that the worst will happen after they die and choose not to share their thoughts about it and in other cases avoid thinking about it.
But if we want to be able to say we contribute, doing nothing is an unrewarding path and places you in the category of a wimpy, somewhat immoral and fatalistic position. With our American way of life, where change happens very gradually, it is easy to be convinced that any effort we make to change things is futile. With so many “God-fearing” christians the real challenge they face is remembering that the lives that matter are the people who still remain when we are gone and not their own place in heaven. However you look at it, we know large numbers of people are already affected seriously by climate extremes. Most people, especially seniors, feel they will die before the worst happens. But if there was a way to reverse this current path to catastrophe would you push for it? Don’t you want the human race to thrive and prosper? The people in Energy Reality are full of those who thoroughly understand the scientific method. The situation is urgent and choosing a renewable path is like trying to cure cancer with an aspirin.
Succeeding in preventing a disastrous future will be one tremendously big undertaking. The current plan, which is not much of a plan, is to increase usage of renewable energy while eliminating coal by replacing it with some unknown energy source, presumably replacing it with natural gas. That’s only the goal in North America. Many countries say they want to stop emissions but coal continues to be used at an unacceptable rate13. As you will see reading on, this presents a serious lack of vision. We need to be much more analytical in prescribing solutions. The decision-makers are letting green entrepreneurs set the policy. I will attempt to clarify why this is a dangerous plan of action and how we can get back on the correct path closer to a vision we held in the 1950s and 60s.
There are plenty of doomsday scenarios and it is not easy to recognize what needs to be done without closely studying the scope of the situation. It will involve dedicated people to push for extreme measures. We don’t have the strong leaders like Winston Churchill anymore who understood how to motivate people into action. During the Second World War after Britain had witnessed the horrific bombings, the occupation of France and the retreat of the Canadians, Winston Churchill finished his long speech14 about how effectively Hitler had defeated so many and seemed nearly unbeatable. Churchill wanted the bickering and the unproductive babbling from critics to stop.
‘… if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”‘
Our dark age is upon us. The sinister aspect is hidden in political and corporate agendas. Consequently, a similar kind of challenge exists for us. I hope to show that the path to remediate a sick planet is not so unattainable. We humans, as a collective, need to prevent our existence from evolving into a nightmare. If governments or corporations want our support we can hold them accountable and insist that they contribute. So “hope” is what I hope you will gain after reading this book.
You might be surprised to find out how the things that really matter to us, like the future for our children, grandchildren and keeping ourselves employed, are also connected to this networking opportunity called the Energy Reality Project15. You may find that what’s missing, the thing that could help you cope is a sense of unity, a feeling that we’re not alone, that when our focus is absent that somebody is still present pushing for the same basic needs. That’s why we need to get real with energy and choose to become involved with the Energy Reality Project.
Chapter One Footnotes