Why, when I open up a newsletter or market evaluation report about “traditional energy” markets, do I read about fossil fuels?

Allow me to propagate a radical idea that I hope will change the way you think and talk about energy. First there was solar energy. It remains as steady, predictable, and powerful today as it has for the past five billion years (give or take a few creationist theories). No life form on earth relies on any other form of energy other than what the sun provides, except for humans. Solar energy therefore, is not the “alternative”; it is the primary source of all energy. Energy from the sun begets wind, biomass, wave, and (along with the moon) tidal energy. So, why are renewables called alternative?

Renewable energy is the original traditional energy, and I’m asking you to help me restore its rightful name! The phrase “alternative energy” marginalizes the true value of our traditional energy sources. The alternative to traditional energy is the short term solution we know as fossil and nuclear fuels. Okay, I suppose fossil fuels can be considered stored solar energy in a pinch, but fossils and nukes have dominated global energy consumption for only a tiny blip of human history, making them the alternative to the real traditional energy! The goal is to get away from these new-fangled, filthy, corrupt, and expensive alternative fuels, and back to living within our means using traditional energy.

The best thing we can do with our remaining resources of fossil fuels is to keep them in the ground for some as-yet unknown future need. The second best thing we can do is use them to help transition to a clean energy economy through actions and leadership that promote and support research leading to the harvest of copious amounts of traditional renewable energy. Millions of jobs will be created around the efficient use and production of sustainable energy, while costing nothing in human lives or shattered attempts at diplomacy.

Perhaps the biggest deterrent to traditional energy is that its held to a higher standard than its dirty alternatives for being perfect. No thank you, money managers of the world. Step back! Your accounting strategies have no power in our clean future because global transition back to traditional energy is inevitable. Traditional energy can be a cost-effective, locally produced, viable way to operate our energy intense economy and we want to get it right through healthy debate,  high level thought and, dare I say it, planning.

Humanity (yep, that would be you and me and all the rest of us) will need to get a grip on itself and take control of our reckless and endless desire for more, bigger, shinier. Endless consumption can be replaced with the reverent receipt of what nature is gracious enough to gift us. Living on an island hurtling through space like we do means we can’t break the budget of the natural capital available to all of us, and against which we’ve borrowed heavily. Take it personally, take action!

Do you have a copy of The Homeowner's Energy Handbook? All about efficiency and renewables!

Views: 97

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros Forum to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros Forum

Latest Activity

Sean Lintow Sr replied to John Carton's discussion Insulation touches underside of roof in home with no soffit or soffit venting.
"Location, location, location In hot dry climates - not really an issue unless it gets damp (and yes…"
4 hours ago
Michael Schettine liked Michael Schettine's video
4 hours ago
Bradford E. White replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"Agreed! True, if an open plan. Simple is best. But away spaces seem to be making a come-back. And…"
7 hours ago
Kurt Shafer replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"Jerry, as an energy consultant I imagine you are well versed in solar systems. Have you seen how…"
7 hours ago
Scott Mills replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"I have found that ceiling fans are the simplest way to control room stratification "
8 hours ago
Matt Peiris replied to H.O. Electric's discussion Stop Drinking Bottled Water! in the group News & Announcements
"Well water consumers need to test their water every year. Elevated arsenic, nitrate levels or…"
9 hours ago
Kurt Shafer replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"Jerry I don't have videos posted yet but I have some nice pictures from customers. See them…"
9 hours ago
Scott Mills is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
9 hours ago
Bradford E. White replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"Qualified "It Depends" kind of answer. 1. Temperature Perception: There is an intangible…"
9 hours ago
John Carton posted a discussion

Insulation touches underside of roof in home with no soffit or soffit venting.

I performed an assessment for a recent home buyer and the home inspector they hired when they…See More
10 hours ago
Jerry Needham replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"Kurt Thanks for the information on the whole house fan and the advise about leaving the fan on all…"
10 hours ago
James White replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"There is more than fan energy to be saved by setting fans to run on "auto". Most forced…"
10 hours ago
Kurt Shafer replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"Jerry, I am a whole house fan expert but not an HVAC expert. However, I have no idea why any HVAC…"
10 hours ago
Jerry Needham replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"Ken This is a great response.  Lots of arguments against leaving the fan on. THANKS"
10 hours ago
Luke Langhals replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"If an E/HRV system is installed in unison with the furnace ducting -- you might consider making the…"
10 hours ago
Ken Summers replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"At Comfort Institute we get asked this question all the time.  The argument for leaving the…"
10 hours ago
Allison A. Bailes III replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"Jerry, as Chris Heenan said below, running the fan continuously will raise the indoor humidity in…"
10 hours ago
Chris Heenan replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"In regions with _high_ humidity, running the fan continuously will be put moisture that the…"
10 hours ago
Barbara Smith replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"Eliminating continuous furnace fan operation is #3 on list of top ways to cut energy use, in this…"
10 hours ago
tedkidd replied to Jerry Needham's discussion HVAC Question about running fan continuously Vs. setting on Auto so it runs when AC or Furnace runs
"There is no Pat answer. It depends. In a well performing home with proplerly sized equipment and…"
10 hours ago

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service