Monday, August 9, 2010

Winds of Change

Windmills Outside of Colorado City, Tx

Dotting the Texas panhandle to the outskirts of Colorado City and Abilene, are towering windmills harnessing wind energy.  From the high plateaus to the plains, we see the coexistence of cattle, oil wells, and windmills.  Texas is again diversifying its sources of income led by oilman T.Boone Pickens.

These gentle giants are our future:  clean reliable and renewable sources of energy.  They may not be pretty but they sure hurt us less than an offshore oil spill.  Our consumption of energy carries with it real costs.  In the case of hydrocarbons these costs can be measured both by global warming, pollution, and the wars we fight to maintain the flow of energy.

If anything this recession has proven is that we can't consume beyond our means and the world does not want to pick up our tab.  My generation forgot the energy crisis of the 70's and contributed to the conspicuous consumption of the past two decades.  We cannot sustain it;  the world is competing for those same resources at an accelerated pace.  Regardless, it will no longer be cheap.  We may not like that fact but we do need to address it.  Unless we are prepared to sacrifice our sons and daughters to more skirmishes abroad, we will need to find both alternative and renewable energy sources.

Change is literally in the air.  We need to harness it's energy.  In the mean time, we should learn to consume less.  Our suburban lifestyle and the automobile are the single largest threat to our energy supplies.  We need to change how and where we live.  The logistics of living will be more important in the near future.  We should learn from our friends in Europe.  It's not that difficult to consume less.  We just need to allow free markets to modify our consumption.  High prices modify behaviors quickly.

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