Goodness Ugwumba Opara

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How do we jump-start the fabled overthrow of crude oil (and other fossil fuels) by renewable energy sources?

Many have predicted the downfall of crude oil and the rise of clean energy, and we are already starting to see seeds and pledges from various parts of the world that hint at a strong desire to end this dependence on fossil fuels that scientists say is destroying our world. From the solar energy world record in Germany to electric vehicle range breakthroughs, from factory emission regulations to wind, solar and bio-fuel energy exploitation, it is clear that certain countries are beginning to take the matter seriously. Yet the grim climate predictions suggest that things aren’t happening fast enough.

What measures do we (as a society) take to start a renewable energy revolution, given the far-reaching destructive power of fossil fuels? Your best ideas—electric car adoption encouragement strategies, personal renewable energy systems, government policy, whatever you think.

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    Jul 14 2013: I hate to be a kill joy, but I've been through these arguments over, and over, and over for many years. There's a myriad of solutions to all the problems you mentioned. If one looks at the problem by starring at the minutia you miss the big picture. If you look at the big picture alone, you miss the details. The answer to replacing fossil fuels is the (old standard) of technological advance since the dawn of time. (Think Outside The Box ) Every scientific advance that ever happened, came out of the realm of the formerly mysterious, and misunderstood. The answers to renewable energy are by necessity very different than the world we're use to. The answer is (localization) Just think about these tidbits As much as (80%+) of all the power generated by Coal, oil, nuclear, hydro, or any other source, "(when transmitted over high voltage lines)" is (wasted) as (heat)! Great for the 1950s, and power company profits, not so good for the planet, super inefficient. More energy hits the planet from the sun in 1 second than mankind has used in history. We will, and we must harness that energy on a vast scale, by a myriad of methods. Solar is far more than photovoltaics. It and Hydrogen are at the base of all energy systems. If one is not a physicist, or engineer it's difficult to keep it all straight. What laymen need to do is recognize the nature of the massive criminal scam being perpetrated by the wealthiest, and dirtiest industry on earth. They spend billions of tax deductible dollars to keep their obscene, destructive profits pouring in, and to hell with everything else. That will only stop once we all realize the alternatives have already proven themselves efficient, and effective beyond a shadow of a doubt. Alternatives simply lack investment because of propaganda, and societal misunderstanding. If we invest collectively for the good of us all, it will come to pass, and the people will rejoice. Let us slay the dragon together.
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        Jul 15 2013: There are a few of us out there, in the foggy world of nonsense. I think when a child has a natural curiosity about nature, and the world, (as a gift), (like fine crystal ), that set's one up for a life of deep introspection. I see no benefit to wanton consumerism, luxuriant self indulgence, or aggression for aggressions sake. There's only one way to happiness for me, and I think for humanity. That is deep honest contemplation, passionate desire to learn, experience new worlds, traditions, languages, and discoveries. Our existence as strange as it may seem, is as sacred a thing as our imaginations may encounter, in this dimension. People who worship (a god they fear), unlike me, feel the need to placate the fear by forcing us to prostrate ourselves before (their) almighty. That fear, and need to grovel never even crossed my mind. Not out of arrogance, but out of a feeling of oneness with the universe. I was a weird kid man. I view life like one of those awesome, wild, and happy road trips I took with my pals, 40 years ago. Like animal house, though maybe not quite as crude. Weird analogy, but it works for now. Thanks for the kind, interesting response Keith. I just try not to bore people to death.
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    Jul 5 2013: I wish there was a nonpartisan spokes person for the movement. I feel bad that about half the people in the US have been disenfranchised because they think the environmentalist movement has deeply held beliefs that capitalism needs to be destroyed while espousing the need to protect Mother Earth. The disenfranchised do not trust the Green People.

    Scientific research has been corrupted; data has been misused by non-scientists; exaggerated scare tactics are being used by Green people. Government grants go to those sympathetic to programs supporting Green people agendas.

    Mother Earth is not a person. She may just as well want to be a cold dark rock floating in space rather than have a layer of irritating life crawling over her skin.

    The USA is suffering under laws and regulations that do not have a clear scientific basis. Past predictions on future events have been wrong. Current models of future conditions are wildly different.

    No one talks about adapting to climate change. Shouldn't we be planning to protect ourselves for the foreseen catastrophes? The lack of concern for adaptation by the Green people doesn't make sense.
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      Jul 6 2013: .
      Good idea!

      But I am worrying
      our bio-evolution can not go so fast to adapt the climate change,
      except we can quit invalid (harmful) happiness.
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      Jul 9 2013: I would say you may want to be a little more specific. Who are the green people? There are ten million questions about what's coming in terms of climate change. There is little doubt however, about the cause, and the easily predicable results of warming. The most frightening, and potentially most devastating will be extreme scarcity of clean fresh water and the commoditization of water. The world is already suffering severe localized shortages as it is. Sea level rise is already happening believe it or not. Glaciers are melting at the fastest rate ever witnessed.The ocean is becoming more acidic which will have wide ranging and devastating impacts on shell fish and many other organisms. That's another aspect of increased CO2. The exact way things will play out in the future is up for debate, but certain aspects of climate change are simply to overwhelming to ignore. The last estimates spent on the US presidential election by all concerned, corporations, super packs, individuals, is somewhere in the neighborhood of ten billion dollars. That buys a lot of influence. This is a fight to the mat against entrenched interests who don't care one iota about the future unless they profit handsomely from it. If a few hundred million people die it doesn't matter to them. That's a drop in the bucket. Most of the big wigs in the board rooms of big oil will most likely be dead in 30 years so why should they care? They don't. You get nothing in this world unless you work hard for it, fight for it.
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        Jul 13 2013: Green people are people in the popular environmental movement.
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    Jul 16 2013: I think I warned you it was a bit bookish, and old. Sorry about that. In reality Campbell is more or less agnostic. He is simply pointing out, that when you peel the layers of the onion back, all (cultural, religious myths) perform the same basic psychological, human, survival function, to massage the mind, and human cultures. To allow for the order / control of societies by the Shaman, priests, monks , gurus, College professors, astrophysicists, lawyers, whatever the high priests are in your culture. They're the keepers of the truth, the (sacred knowledge). By virtue of the established set of scriptural rules they, in a de facto sense, own the truth. In a culture dominated by myths, and superstition it defines everything in the end. To step outside of the prescribed rules of the scripture is to be outside of the world, outside of acceptable behavior, outside of sanity, outside of the cultural norm, Sounds like some people I know of. I'm all tuckered out Kevin. Thanks for the exchange. Peace.
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    Jul 15 2013: Old, but pretty interesting isn't it. That guy was a sprinter, runner, track star in college, then taught at Saint Mary's College, all girls. What a dog huh? I'll bet that made for some interesting study halls? It's not exactly light weight stuff.
    He's a little like Margaret Mead, of another era. Enjoy.
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    Jul 13 2013: Innovation.

    No, Innovations.
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    Jul 13 2013: The sea level has risen 10-20 cm in 120 years at an average linear rate. And 0.5 meters in the last 8,000 years. It may rise between 3 and 7 feet by 2100. How much is due to human activity? (Sorry for mixing units)

    Global temperature has risen 0.9 degrees C (1.7 degrees F) in the last 120 years. How much is due to human activity?

    We are in the Holocene period (the time since the last ice glacial period).

    The climate system is super complex. Those trends extrapolations into the future are simply not facts. The model predictions are "all over the place." I want public policy based on good quality deeply held beliefs.

    Fresh water is completely recycled. Desalination technology is now available, especially where needed most. They can run off of solar power. All that is needed is leadership in those nations that need it. It doesn't need to be a commodity.

    So, the solution involves destroying the Capitalist structure that allows the evil big wigs to survive. Does that also include the whole free market?

    Entrepreneurship can and will solve these problems.

    Hate ain't going to fix this stuff once the problem is clearly defined. There are a lot of good caring people in those board rooms who have solved many complex problems. There are many Elon Musks out there. (Solar City, Space X, Tesla). Should we call them names and put the hate on them?
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    Jul 9 2013: The best answer I can give you, is don't wait for government or mega corporations to do it for you. You must get together with your own design teams, learn about the laws of energy legal, and physical. Then use the technology already invented. If you can generate new ideas and designs that's fine, but make it simple and effective. Most importantly just make it happen. Again and again it seems the little things make the biggest impact. I remember the first earth day in 1970. 13-14 year old kids in my home town picked up about 40 tons of trash in a single day. That kind of thing had never happened before. The town saved tens of thousands and looked beautiful for months afterwards. The point is simple effective solutions can begin now. Just chip in and buy solar panels for poor people. Learn how to install them, As they say it isn't rocket science. Poor people can't afford them on their own. Just finance it for them with say a half percent interest. When power costs come back to them they can pay you back then do some more. Solar stills to purify water another fantastic device cheep, and effective. Fist one then ten then a thousand and then who knows. Eventually the silly people in Governments and board rooms will join in. There will be no choice.
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      Jul 13 2013: Solar power systems are not simple. They are DC or low voltage AC and need to be converted into standardized AC. The sun doesn't shine at night so energy storage is needed. Maintenance is expensive. Who will commit to that?

      How will the poor people use the electricity? Will it be delivered to where they live? Can their life styles handle the dangers of electricity safely?

      The production of solar equipment is dirty. Rare earths are dangerous to mine. Production plants in China use energy from coal power plants. Ships use burn oil to ship them.

      Better may be some localized solar and wind plants with gas powered generation to regulate the solar and wind energy. These could also provide the water system. I think this is starting to happen in India.

      I think energy production and distribution should be nationalized and technological and logistical problems solved by corporations on government contracts.
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    Jul 6 2013: .My answer:

    We can "jump-start the fabled overthrow of crude oil (and other fossil fuels) by"
    stopping invalid (harmful) happiness,
    which consumes about 90% of today's energy.
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    Jul 5 2013: Its too late. President Obama's first year was our best shot but him and Al Gore failed us. Too many people would rather make a dollar than save the planet.