Monday, June 09, 2008

Climate Restoration 'R Us

Jon Schwarz's lapidary musings at "A Tiny Revolution dot com," on the appropriate replies and strategies by citizens, collectives, communities, and other local civil authorities to answer the challenges occasioned by fierce and untrammeled, global and domestic energy consumption, and the thread along with it are worth your attention today.

My contribution:
I agree with putting gardens atop all the tall, flat-roofed buildings.

At the same time, i think we should apply a coat of white "paint"--mebbe some kind of insulating material--to every PITCHED roof in the country, and on every parking lot, every street, and any other otherwise unused horizontal surface of human manufacture to reflect light/heat and surrogate for the disappearing ice on the poles.

I also think the State (state/fed, machts nichts) should underwrite the process of installing some kind of photo-thermal or photo-voltaic collector on all that roof-space, too. This will spawn new industries in the manufacture and installation of such devices, which would offset the losses in employment in the traditional energy fields. EVERY responsible economist agrees with this assessment. Plus, making individuals CONTRIBUTORS to the community energy pool, and not just consumers from it, will i think be crucial to any even remotely successful efforts to garner BEEG public support for the changes that are coming. It is NOT inappropriate that the "state" should underwrite much of this expense, since it is no less than the commonweal which is at stake...

In any kind of disinterested calculus (the inter-planetary ethnologist, e.g.), humanity does not have the right to exterminate any and all but its own, domesticated animals in the exploitation of the planet's energy resources, but that is almost certain to happen unless there are specific infrastructural prohibitions against it. So the preservation of bio-diversity must be non-negotiable, for either moral or practical reasons, whichEVER is most persuasive.

Ps: I took down the "Lila" post. My girl objected that it (that i'd) violated her privacy, and she's right (tho not, too, sorta). Any objective observer would have recognized that the post was an act of major self-pity, as much as anything, which is embarrassing, in flagrante delicto...
still, thank you for your replies, your consolations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: rooftop solar collectors--

Speaker on WNYC, NYC's public radio station, said that if suitable rooftops in NYC had solar collectors, at today's efficiency levels, they would supply twice the electricity used by the the entire city. So, it would add an entire NYC's amount of electrical usage into the grid.

That would be awesome.

Of course, I've been hearing about how it would be good to do such a thing, but no mention of how it will be affordable by any but businesses and the wealthy.

I think we need an Energy Stamps program, on the order of Food Stamps, to help the poor, those on fixed incomes, the lower middle class achieve some energy cost relief, in the short term. In the long term, we need a nationwide program to allow solar collectors to be placed on one's property (or other types of energy collection/production). The property owner would not get all the benefits of the collected energy, but would share in a reduced cost, cleaner electricity production program.

That would take leadership. Where will that come from?

Right now in Germany, as reported on NPR (iirc, perhaps PBS), the government is subsidizing the private purchase of alternative energy devices--and the owners of property can spend very little on energy costs or even make money. But for those living with a small footprint in cities in apartment buildings or i shady areas, there is no benefit. That strikes me as unfair and unwise. It should be a collective effort, with shared benefits. After all, any improvement in reducing global warming will be a shared benefit. And the reverse is also true.

Glad to see a comment from you, Woody. Best wishes to your friend and you.