“When the people lead, the leaders will follow.”
The short-sighted resistance of many governmental leaders to solar technology has created a poor image of America elsewhere in the world. The US, once admired for its leadership by example, is now seen as a land of willfully ignorant rednecks who refuse to see the consequences of fossil fuels – on the environment, on the economy, on people’s health and on society.
But this reluctance to embrace alternative energy resources does not seem to be reflected in the opinions of the voters who elected these officials.
A survey this past summer asked a cross-section of the population if research into solar technology and the building more solar power plants is important. An overwhelming majority of those surveyed agreed; in fact 92% of respondents felt that this type of research is vital.
Although transnational corporations driven by their enormous profit margins have worked hard to convince American that renewable energy sources aren’t a viable alternative to their fossil fuel products, average citizens are becoming more and more aware of the true costs of coal and gas.
Increasingly, what they are seeing – melting ice caps and glaciers, droughts, increasingly violent and unseasonable weather as well as oil spills and endless bloodshed in parts of the world that have oil beneath the sands – is just not lining up with what corporate owners, some media outlets and some politicians have been telling them.
It seems clear that if American use the power of the ballot to make it clear to lawmakers that we demand equal opportunities for all types of energy production, the leaders will have to follow the people. The sheer size of the coal and gas industry should not qualify it for special treatment; solar and wind power, biofuels and other cutting-edge means of generating power should be thoroughly explored.
This November, the American people are faced with a choice. A large part of it will be about the future of solar technology and whether we will move forward – or if our future will be not in solar energy plants, but more coal and oil, more environmental degradation, and more wars to protect dwindling supplies. If the summer’s poll is any indication, it’s clear what Americans want. Now we just have to make it clear to the politicians.
In this article Wayne Hemrick writes about solar technology