Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Energy In America: We Have Choices

Generally, I talk about mobile tech, trends, and what I think mobile computing has impacted our lives. There is one thing that bends mobile technology and use along with other aspects of our lives: energy.

Since the 70s, we know that we have to rely less on petroleum but not one political power in the US or any other nation has envisioned a wholesale shift in a national energy policy. I had hoped that President Obama would at least move us in that direction but it does seem like we are only taking baby steps towards that end. The end being relying less and less on hydrocarbon and more on alternative energy sources like wind, solar, and other renewable sources.

The oil spill from the sunk drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico is a remind of the cost of our vast energy need. With each passing year, we are sourcing more from the Gulf and other off-shore drilling efforts as land resources diminish.

Personally, I believe thing should be on the table. Drilling, baby, drilling, right? I also think nuclear options should be included as well. It's going to take a concerted effort and options to slowly wield us off our petro addiction.

And sacrifices will be needed. For instance, the Cape Cod wind farm that was just approved had been bought vigorously by the late Senator Edward Kennedy. When I first learned of that, I was surprised as I am sure many were. There, we had a senior Democratic leader in the Senate against renewable energy. Of course, the facts are more complicated than how I've just put it but the fact remains: not many are willing to make the sacrifice.

For national security reasons, a large scale political effort is needed. The current climate bill being worked on by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican) and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry (Democrat) should also include a comprehensive energy policy announced by the White House.

Of course, we are in an election year with most of Congress running for reelection.  Having said that, more and more, I think it'll be people outside of politics who will stand up and take the lead.  Government can only do so much when politics are taken into consideration.  It'll be folks like the Bill Gates and companies like Google who are leading a greening effort.

It'll be you and me willing to face the facts and reality.  Energy security won't come cheap and will take time.  There will be a paradigm shift in every aspect of our lives if we want to achieve this goal.

And believe me, every light turned off or gas saved by walking to the market instead of driving helps.  That's how it begins.

More on the Cape Wind Project, White House Energy Policy

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