Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Boon of Clean Energy

What many people do not understand about clean energy is that it is a major economic boon to any country that would embrace it. The clean energy technologies - wind power, solar power, coal sequestration, hydrogen engines, sun-beam technology - are all brain-intensive, technology-intensive industries. Which means that they will directly create millions of jobs - engineering jobs to develop the technologies, and manufacturing and construction jobs to put them in place. And that will be a real way to put back to work the parts of America that have taken a hit from displacement of industrial jobs.

Clean energy also creates stronger economic foundations for liberty. It is a path toward wresting the world free of the stranglehold exercised by oil-funded fundamentalists in Texas, Oklahoma, Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as dictators in Venezuela, Lybia and Kazakhstan. With energy production no longer under control of oppressors, there are stronger economical foundations for liberty the world over. And that also means in the United States.

Clean energy is also a way for prosperity to continue while treading lighter upon the world. It is true progress: Affectuating greater utility with higher technology and less waste. The prosperous lifestyle can be maintained, while significantly reducing its negative effects, simply by changing the sources of energy to ones that are non-polluting and by removing the polluting elements from existing sources. The economic growth in China, India and elsewhere can be accommodated through the same mechanism.

Clean energy is also a boon for mentality and character that it fosters. Instead of seeing world as one in which it is jobs against the environment or civilization against nature, choose one or the other, the thinking turns to jobs and environment, civilization and nature, together: Accommodate both at once by creating jobs that produce wealth in a more intelligent and prudent way. Instead of people having to be fragmented between wealth and social responsibility, nature and civilization, feeling and intellect, ideal and reality, instead they become beings of both, and making the most of the aspects of human beingness that are in false dualistic thinking seen to be irrevocably at war. And this serves both the integration of human character as much as it serves longevity and progress.

The oil industry is based on extraction of finite resource - a resource that is a result of compaction of formerly-living matter. As such it fosters an extractive, exploitative, expropriative mentality - mentality that also, in a sense more than metaphorical, burns life. And just as the oil, through the pumps, is extracted and burned, so are the lives. Just as the resource that is extracted is both finite and poisonous, so become the worldview and hence the actions of the participants in its extraction and those whose minds are in league with them. And just as the worldview of the oil industry is a worldview that fails to see or to plan for the time beyond the date that their oil runs out, so do the worldviews of places most oil-influenced in their mentality become short-sighted to the point of being apocalyptic. And then they attract beliefs that envision the end of the world in our lifetime: The end that obliterates visible cosmos and puts into conflaggration most life under the earth (the deceased) and above the earth (the living) - perhaps as Biblical metaphor for burning, through incineration, the former life under the ground that is oil and coal - and, through global warming, of present life - natural and human - on top.

Clean energy, on the other hand, is based on transformation of abundant energy into usable energy. There is no end in sight to either the sun or the wind or the hydrogen in ocean water; and energy that uses these resources - resources that, unlike oil, are not made of organic matter, does not destroy but only transforms. The mentality of clean energy is thus provident, nonviolent, self-replenishing and supporting life with non-living rather than destroying life through combustion of life. It is a mentality that uses man's ingenuity and technical knowledge to transmute the energy of - sun, ocean water, wind - into forms that can be used to power the civilization, without poisoning the world or poisoning itself. It is a mentality that lives and lets live, and that shows how to coexist with life rather than burn the life under oneself and incinerate oneself in the process. It is a mentality that is at once life-supporting, productive, intelligent and responsible to the future generations - and one that offers a chance to secure a viable future for the planet and for humanity.

Clean energy is a solution that uses the best of civilization - its intelligence, its foresight, its reason, its inventive pioneering thinking - to minimize negative impact of economic activity on nature and on the future generations, while providing through ingenuity and constructive endeavor a lifestyle as good as or better than one that they've had before. Man stops being an agent of destruction of nature and becomes an agent of creation and coexistence with it. The people who for idealistic reasons are loathe to participate in economy, have an economic pursuit in which they can work and be true to ideals. And intelligence becomes source not merely of wealth, but of lasting wealth that works with nature rather than against nature - and that as such benefits both nature and mankind.

The mentality fostered is one of considering all aspects of one's activity - and building a civilization that not only minimizes negative impact on nature, but also applies the best of intelligence and the best of innovation and the best of work to provide more for people while minimizing impact on what one has not made and what the future generation will need. From modes of cognition that constantly create hostile dualities which necessitate constant destruction, human understanding reaches upwards to see the components working together and put into place a lifestyle that makes the most of all the components and makes the most as such of mankind. And the character created is a life-supporting integrative character: A character that considers all aspects and works to make the most of them - to make the most as such of life that is a function of all of the aspects working together. Intellect and feeling, civilization and nature, ideal and reality, prosperity and social responsibility, work together and create people of true integrity - integrity that is result of integration of components required for life, and that as such is supportive of life rather than life-destructive. Which character, by building a synergy of components, makes also the most of human existence; and which character, due to its very nature as a combiner and unifier, is also the character that seeks and actualizes lasting peace.

All of which is a matter of all components of life working together to create and perpetuate life, both in its natural and its man-made aspects, and allowing them to work with each other at basic and all other levels rather than being, as in all separationist dogmas, inherently and pointlessly at war.

Clean energy is therefore good all around. It is good economically, it is good politically, it is good for the character and mentality that it fosters, and it is good for its effects on the world. The extent to which clean energy is embraced, will determine who lives and for how long. In 200 AD, a Roman named Hero of Alexandria invented the steam engine. The Romans refused to use it because they thought the slave labor was cheap enough for their purposes. This oversight led Roman Empire to decline and eventually to fall to Vandals. If the Romans had realized what they had, they would have industrialized 1700 years before the Industrial Revolution and would have been completely invulnerable, and most likely the world would be speaking Latin even to this day.

In choosing whether to embrace clean energy, the world at this time faces an analogous choice.