Express Yourself

Current Topic:
The Politics of Energy and the Environment


It’s no secret that clean energy is under attack from the traditional energy industry; the oil and coal folks are spending a fortune through their PR firms and lobbyists to discredit all alternatives.

Has it been effective? You bet.

It wasn’t more than a couple of years ago that almost all educated Americans understood the peril in which we’ve placed our civilization via our ever-expanding use of fossil fuels. Almost everyone was conversant with the dangers associated with weakened national security brought about by our dependence on foreign oil, the damage to our collective health caused by coal, and perils represented by climate change, ocean acidification, etc. Three or four years later, we have people who ran for president of the US who promised to close the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, in order to enable a free market economy to regulate itself.

What makes people who think and speak like this credible? Disinformation. Factual errors being spouted out with amazing speed and dexterity. The dangers of our current energy policy are being covered up by the most powerful industry on Earth, with the largest and most vigorous PR smear campaign since the Nazis in the 1930s.

Not only is a huge swath of the American electorate influenced by these lies, but, as suggested above, so are our elected leaders.

EnergyFactCheck.org contains a large and expanding set of “myth-busters,” presented in a very intuitive, easy-to-use format. I hope you’ll check it out.

Then I hope you’ll take this one step further. In the space below, edit my words such that they speak for you personally, and then use the form to send your message to your representatives, your senators, and the president.

You’ll be glad you did.

Express Yourself To Your Elected Leaders

Most thoughtful Americans wonder why the United States is actively refusing to lead the world in energy-related technology. It really IS a strange phenomenon, isn’t it? There are numerous, obvious reasons that we need to move steadily away from fossil fuels (health issues, national security, climate change and uncountable other forms of environmental damage), and an equally clear imperative to decommit to nuclear (safety and cost). Americans are anxious for change here – especially considering the huge number of jobs that will be created as we migrate to clean energy. Yet our leaders are content to bicker across the aisle in Congress while the rest of the world races past us in the most important industry in today’s business universe.

There is hope, and it comes from people like you and me who raise our voices and demand progress in this arena. We at 2GreenEnergy encourage you to express your viewpoints to your elected representatives, and we hope you find this page helpful in communicating some of those feelings.

We urge you to:

Start by modifying the text below in any way that suits you
//

Dear: I’ve noticed that the oil and coal industries spend a fortune through their PR firms and lobbyists to discredit the alternatives represented by renewable energy. Every day I come across utter lies suggesting that clean energy means job loss, socialism, and bloated, oppressive government. As one of my trusted leaders, I’m sure you’re exposed to the same garbage that I am. I’m writing to make you aware of a new website that you can use to debunk some of this stuff yourself: EnergyFactCheck.org. When we look at the raw facts, it’s extremely clear that we’ve put our civilization in grave danger with our ever-expanding use of fossil fuels. There are real dangers associated with weakened national security brought about by our dependence on foreign oil, the damage to our collective health caused by coal, and perils represented by climate change, ocean acidification, etc.. EnergyFactCheck.org contains a large and expanding set of “myth-busters,” presented in a very intuitive, easy-to-use format. I hope you’ll check it out. Thanks, Click on this icon to copy the above text to your computer’s clipboard.

Contact Your Representative

Zip Code: Click on the button below to locate your representative and paste the message into the contact form. Express your feelings to those who are ostensibly listening to their constituents and voting according to their wishes.

Contact Your Senator

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Contact the President

14 comments on “Express Yourself
  1. Anonymous says:

    The Sovereignty of the United states lays in the hands of the Federal Reserve and policy makers. We are headed down the wrong path as a country.

    • Phil Manke says:

      Yes, Your ego gets to be right, but you loose the game. Is this what you really want? Do you want to teach how to heal the world mind-set? The dis=info campaigns must be stopped. The fear must be abated. How does one do that? You are not dictator, but teacher, teaching with everything you do and say. If you reach attack, fear and deception, distrust and fear will be your legacfy… More of the same. Choose again.

  2. Bob says:

    If the clean renewable energy technologies and resources had been receiving the same degree of subsidies as the filthy fossil fuels, they would be lower cost today, as well as being clean – which makes them twice as valuable. Even so we now have the solar and other technologies that will beat out the fossils in cost even head to head.

  3. D.James says:

    Sir,
    One of the main problems with Green Energy advocates is that while a definite ‘will’ exists to implement Green and renewable energy solutions, what is lacking is a structured approach to the problem. This results in an unacceptable amount of noise and clutter being generated around the issue. This noise or clutter has the effect of clouding the main issue and dissipating the focus of the efforts being made to come up with viable renewable energy solutions. For instance, people don’t seem to realise what ‘energy’ is, so you get ideas like, stick a small wind turbine on a car and generate enough energy to power the car ! OR redesign generators so that they give out more energy than is put into them and so on. If more people are made aware of what is needed there will be more focus. Take PV, yes we do get ‘free’ enegy from solar panels, but that is offset by the fact that a 1m square solar panel will generate only about 60 W during hours of peak sunlight, what this means is that if you put up a 1m solar panel what you get is enough power to light a 40W bulb for a few hours a day. Viewed from this perspective the term ‘energy’ takes on a new meaning. A petrol powered car engine uses about 30 KWH (108,000,000 W) to travel just 4 km. Add these facts to the equation and one realises the kind of solutions that are needed. There is no doubt that such solutions exist. If we clear the clutter they can be found. D.James

    • Craig Shields says:

      This IS, no doubt, a cluttered and noisy conversation. Personally, I think there is a chance that that’s by design. You didn’t hear it here, but I think it’s vaguely possible that some people actually don’t want clean energy solutions. Wink wink. :)

      Sorry for the sarcasm; I try to keep it to a minimum. Thanks for writing.

      • D.James says:

        Without a doubt big industry has been on a disinformation rampage that has been quite shameless. This is a well known strategy, car companies buy patents of new competing technologies and then let them lie fallow. Tobacco companies produce studies that state that smoking is actually good for you, oil companies spread lies about the damage being done to the environment and so on. I didn’t mean to contest any of these things in my post. All that I wanted to do was to put the argument into perspective, so that a better understanding could be gained of the problem. The sharper our focus the better the results.

    • RobV says:

      What do you mean by 108,000,000 W? I thought W was watts, but that cannot be in this context.

  4. D.James says:

    Hi,
    There is an error in my previous post, it should read : ‘A petrol powered car engine uses about 10KWh about 36,000,000 W (not 30 KWh) to travel just 4 miles ( not Kilometres)). Part of the problem of trying to convert litres into gallons and miles into kilometres, I guess.

    • Jan-Gerhard Hemming says:

      Hi D James,

      You are still confusing us by mistaking power for energy. 10 kWh is an amount of energy used up when a power of 10 kW worked during 1 hour. That’s an energy amount of 10 kWh or 36,000,000 Ws (or J).

      I presume you mean: A petrol powered car engine needs a power of 10 kW for constant speed on plane surface. Thus, after 1 hour it has consumed an energy amount of 10 kWh or 36,000,000 Ws (or J), with other words 36 MJ (about 1 liter of gsoline).

      Best wishes

  5. Manuel lagdameo says:

    So guys how do we start from here?Everyone wants free or cheaper and clean energy but what are we gonna do now?Lots of idea are seen on youtube but how do we manifest this idea globaly?Our only problems are politicians that controls the solution but take note, the whole world is just waiting for breakaways.Unity on our advocacy is the answer.Bundle ourselves tight enough that we grow stronger to end sufferings in this world.Thanks to people who thinks this way.

  6. I love what Bob said in the 2nd post!

    There is no doubt in my mind that he is right. If either A) no subsidies (of any type) were ever spent on energy or its related industries from our country’s inception or B)the subsidies were all doled out equally as a sort “national energy security policy” then the alternative energies would have long ago won out.

    Of course, one problem with the latter (or “B”) is that it assumes that all energy sources were known, or known well, which would be absurd. But that brings up another rather inevitable problem with subsidies themselves. Once a gov’t starts to subsidize ANYTHING, it has already begun making it difficult for other future competing technologies or products etc. to win or compete. The playing field was MADE unlevel as soon as the subsidy began.

    And of course this works in reverse, as all minorities that have been discriminated against know – or have known – so well. If you were Native American or Black (etc.) and either were enslaved or discriminated against (very likely) – and your children and their descendants were discriminated against – then your race/culture was obviously held back, and not just for the generations that were enslaved, or pushed into “reservations”, for the descendants thus started “further back” as a whole than their less discrimated-against cousins. (Of course, one could also point out that many of our first immirgrants were also discriminated against, whether by England or whoever – and this should form the basis for reconciliation etc.)

    What all advocates of the “conventional” (oil, nuke, coal, nat. gas) energy sources ignore when they rail against subsidies for alternative energies is the cumulative effect that their subsidies gives them on the whole market. It is quite absurd . . .

    I just wanted to point this out for those who think that such discriminatory preference for certain fuels and technologies that our government exhibited when it first started subsidizing dirty and dangerous technologies is in any way “libertarian.” Many today mis-use the term “libertarian” to imply the exact opposite (that is, to defend the status-quo of oil, nuclear, coal and fracked natural gas etc.). In short – they completely invert the meaning of the word (just as say the Spanish Inquisitors turned the teaching of Christ into something rather different than what I think the actual New Testemant biblical text suggests . . . )

    Anyway, I hope this post isn’t too long and that it doesn’t belabor “obvious” things too much. But as Orwell said (or something similar) – “the repetition of the obvious is the basis of all good political philosophy.” (not by any means an exact quote!!!).

  7. Most of our current proposals and alternatives are not significantly cutting how much energy volume we use. How many times has this been said? I think what most westerners don’t understand is that our energy problems are first and foremost a VOLUMES problem. When I converted my office to off-grid with PV + batteries (now in year 11, on 2nd battery bank), I first cut 75% of how much energy I used. There were no subsidies back then, so that was how I got the price down to where I could afford it. But even if I’d run out of money, the 75% cut was the most significant step, because even if I’d not gone off-grid, or if my off-grid setup eventually fails, the utility grid feeding my location would now only “see” 1/4 as much energy load as before. Contrast this with the “normal way” most alternatives are being implemented, where there is very little or much tinier use reductions and where there is little or no energy storage, as in most “net-metered” and “grid-connected” setups. Every time the sun goes down, the old full load goes back on conventional energy. If I decide to switch to a hybrid, even a plug-in hybrid, if I don’t substantially reduce vehicle weight or substantially increase vehicle efficiency beyong the hybrid setup itself, there’s the lingering potential of the entire setup eventually going back to reliance on conventional fuel. Even in the above lightbulb example, we shouldn’t ever ever consider running incandescent bulbs on PVs, yet we see it regularly in today’s RE-subsidy-filled market where users aren’t paying attention to their use, just their RE. I think the reason both major US parties are following a “all of the above” energy strategy is because they know their voters are still using and wanting to use more and more and more. We need to change that culture to focus on using less, to value and report energy progress by how much less energy is actually used, not by how much more energy is produced or sold or developed.

    • It’s the energy suppliers, from oil, coal and gas to RE, who most commonly lobby for higher subsidies based on production and generation. Take RE. State caps have grown for how much grid-tied RE somebody can install and their utility MUST accept. This most benefits wealthier individuals and companies installing larger systems. And it does absolutely nothing about lowering the actual energy usage or load. What does it do? It certainly generates higher profits for RE manufacturers and installers. This is the same as the way utilities in Midwest USA commonly charge less for electricity the more you buy per month, called “declining block rates” or “regressive pricing”. Duke-Energy in Ohio rates go down 1/3 residential for higher use, down as much as 2/3 for higher commercial electric use. All this is the same, encouraging users to use more. After all, remember the “principles of American marketing”, something I learned way back in the 1970s: something is automatically better if it’s bigger, more, faster, newer or higher-tech. Examine your local marketing in various arenas, see how much comes down to that! Our culture needs to transition to wanting less, from debt to energy, from body weight to how much food we eat, from house size to vehicle size. Less is step 1. Notice I don’t just say “efficiency”. Less volume isn’t the same as more efficient. Certainly easy to become more efficient but still use more. Focus first and foremost on using less.

      • BTW, don’t misunderstand me. I AM a renewable energy advocate and user. I retrofitted passive solar, solar water heating, superior daylighting and some solar electric on my current place, all done before and without subsidies. I have reduced my petroleum use abt 60% over last 30 yrs, and I don’t own a hybrid or EV. My electricity use is down by abt 1/3 compared to 10 yrs ago. Notice I don’t report this progress by how much solar stuff I bought or have. I report my progress by how much less energy I use.

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