Circuit du Soleil?

11 Nov

Usually on the day after every great storm there follows sunshine…bright beautiful sunshine! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could use that sunshine to power our homes? I recently read a book about how much energy the world’s population is consuming on a daily basis and about how our energy consumption is growing exponentially in an effort to power all of the new electrical gadgets that we have all come to know, purchase and love. And our need for energy is growing so rapidly and so voraciously that it is even silly for us to think that we are ever going to reduce our energy needs or replace them with alternate energies.

In fact the reality of our greedy consumption is that in the future we are going to need not just all of the fossil fuels that we have left on the planet but new alternate energies like wind and solar and water and even nuclear, in addition to those fossil fuels, just to keep up…if we can keep up. It’s a moot point! We are going to be drilling and digging and fracking and mining and ripping this world apart until there is nothing left. that’s what we do. Humans never, in the history of humans on the planet, downsize. Let’s face it. Humans never go without, unless it’s gone.

A few months ago my son and I were walking down an old railroad right of way in Edison, NJ when we happened upon a PSE&G power plant that was surrounded by large solar panels for as far as the eye could see (maybe I exaggerate but it was a pretty big solar field. We even have names for them now) and I thought, Hmmmmmmm what does the power company know that we don’t?

What I think it is, is that solar panels work pretty darn well these days… but unfortunately I think the trick will be in how we can charge people for using the sun and make it into a big business? After all up until now (hopefully into the future also) sunshine has been free and available to all on a simply, just go outside, basis! It is truly the one and only completely democratic energy source in the world! Sunshine knows no greed.

Maybe we could privatize living! Free the people of Earth by giving them dominion over their own homes allowing them to hoist solar panels onto every inch of their roofs until each home is it’s own energy powering station wired into their own power grid and free from the tyranny of power companies. We the people could lay off the power companies! Wouldn’t that be cool? People laying off companies because it would make business sense?! And we’d have 8 billion more years of fuel (Until the sun burns out…sorry, apparently nothing lasts for ever) to waste!

I know, I’m crazy. Too expensive! Never happen! Can’t be done! It’s Beyond the limits of human imagination and ingenuity… like harnessing the power of the atom in a nuclear reactor, or creating remote control flying killer robot drones, or communicating with people on the other side of the world from a small devise held in your palm, or sending people in a tiny vehicle to the moon… and back.

Oh well, what was I thinking? No sense in dreaming such dreams. Maybe someday we’ll be able to smog over the entire world (See China)  so that the sun can only be seen in space. Then we can hoist giant solar panels into space, collect the energy, send it back to Earth and then charge people money for it! Problem solved! I think smogging up the world with good old gas powered generators and coal fired mega-plants is definitely the way to go…only until of course we finally blot out the sun (See China) and can then build sunshine factories in space and sell sunshine by the gallon, or whatever, to whoever has the time to stand on line and the money to pay for it.

“I’ll take a halliburton of sunshine please! And fill up this can while you’re at it too.”

But sunshine knows no greed. It’s a pity that people do. Will we ever learn otherwise? Perhaps if we just put good old human ingenuity and our tenacious spirit into figuring out how to provide solar power cheaply and benevolently to the world we could use the next 8 billion years to work on the greed thing.

One Response to “Circuit du Soleil?”

  1. John November 11, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    Solar can be a good alternative source when added to standard power production methods, but it will never replace them. I have yet to see a way for batteries and such to lift a Boeing 777 off the ground. A dose of reality. Our government needs to discontinue wasting billions of dollars on this nonsense.

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