sun wind waves

By kattekrab, 19 April, 2008

Climate Change, Energy Crisis, Food Crisis.

Forced to stop watching the 2020 summit proceedings because of particularly bad TV reception (north and west melbourne, known bug) and equipment failure - I went back to the more interactive machine of the web - and decided to blog instead.

In the lead up of the 2020 summit I've put most of my energy into the open tech side of things, open source software, open knowledge - but I'm just as deeply passionate about the issues of climate change, and indigenous realities.

This random free association rant is about energy. 

So - I've just been reading about wave and solar power, and saw a reference to the situation in germany - which is leapfrogging the world in uptake of solar power.

It really is criminal that we haven't invested more in solar, wind and wave technology in recent years. 

Fossil fuels - are running out - we should be conserving that precious resource - and using the abundence of wind, waves and solar power.  Yes - it's expensive.

And it's not all about emmissions - it's about the source of the energy.  It's about using it wisely and efficiently.  Biofuels - BioDiesel - sounds great - but if it's really leading to a food crisis - and using land to make fuel for a single vehicle that could have fed thousands or millions of people just doesn't make sense!

Walk - Cycle - catch the tram that's going there anyway.  Turn things off when you're not using them.  Be a little colder, put on a jumper, be a little warmer.

Governments could lead by investing in solar tech for public housing, and public buildings.  Rain water tanks for flushing loos, composting toilets - why are we using drinking water to create sewarage waste?

There is so much that could be being done, that isn't. Why?

Wave power?  We're not hearing much about this lately... but wave power could help power desal plants.

Wind power? A turbine in every back yard? decentralising power generation. But the wind doesn't always blow?

Solar Power? And sun doesn't always shine.  (make hay when the sun shines, collect water when it rains)

Human power? Bicycles, hand cranked technology, new ideas.

But what about wasted energy? Mary Lou Jepson asked why the motherboard of a computer needs to be on when it's not doing anything. Good question. That should apply to everything. 

We can use power better, and learn to use less.

We must convert waste into power, new resources, or nourishment.

(cradle to cradle thinking)  

and sometimes we have to let people make mistakes. 

Skills - trades need to include computing tech, and envirotech - it's not all high science and physics - some of it's about making stuff - about creating mechanical things that can be powered by natures forces - wind, waves, sun, humans... 

Why has this been seen as radical hippy thinking for so long?   We've lost great minds to other lands to pursue and commercialise technology that could have helped.

It's... well it's actually kinda criminal - but blaming failures of the past does nothing to make a different future.

Right now - we need to start paying households and businesses for the energy they produce. As Germany has done. If people participate in that economy it also encourages them to use less to earn more.

Ok - I've run out of steam. For now.    Think about your own energy. Where and how should you direct it - your focus and action has impact somewhere - doing nothing achieves little, criticising and stopping others from acting in positive ways is unhelpful.

use less. create more. 

I'm  not coming up with new ideas here - I'm synthesising understanding from a range of different inputs.