Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Japan, Open And Free Society (Not Like China), Considers Requiring Solar Panels On All Buidlings - Why Can't We Do The Same?

Japan is considering a mandate that solar panels on all buildings by 2030.  That's less than two decades away from now.  I'm sure everywhere else in the industrialized world that by 2030, we'll also see a lot of solar and probably other renewable and conservation technology on and in the buildings.  Still 100% is remarkable.  And here in the US, with just as open a society as Japan, just as democratic if not more, and with a larger economy, our government does not seem to have this kind of a mandate.

Why not?  Is Washington so polarized that if one side is for something, the opposition is for exact polar opposite?  As a moderate to leaning right, I don't get why the GOP, who supposedly is strong on national security, insists in taking the country down the old energy path.  That's right, petroleum from the Middle East where they are one or two revolutions away from disrupting that life line that our great economy depends on.

And even as the military, who the GOP presumably supports, is working harder than the government to go green. You would think that the GOP controlled house would take notice.  But this is not an indictment on the Republicans lack of vision when it comes to energy (drilling for more oil alone is not going to make us less dependent on OPEC).  The oil lobby is so powerful that even repealing tax credits the oil industry proved unpopular among US senators.  

So, this isn't about the Republicans.  It's also about the Democrats from oil and coal producing states. Rather, we have one of the more forward-looking Presidents in a long time and even he is unwilling to make such declaration as to require all federal buildings be self-sufficient.  I'm not even saying President Obama should mandate all buildings in the US require solar panels.  Just some.  Heck, right now, I'll just settle for the White House to run only on solar.

And keep in mind that, yes, this is Japan, one of our closest allies in the Pacific, not draconian China could just as well mandate.  Had the post where I got this information said it was Beijing doing this, I would not have batted an eye.  This is Tokyo.  I know that the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster had a role to play in this but I reckon this was probably a route Japan will have to go down eventually.  

On May 20th, Vice-President Biden declared that the United States will lead the next chapter in energy revolution. While that is true today, that position is continually being challenged, not necessarily from abroad but from within by those who would have us remain in a growing Dark Age of yesteryear's energy ecosystem.

More at CNet.

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