Sunday Sounds: Solar Electricity and OMD

The Sun

It was sunny and warm in New York the past two days. I hiked at Tallman Park and then walked the Pier at Piermont which shoot outs about half way into the Hudson River. I’m one of the few people happy to see our economy tank hard beacuse it’s pushing green tech. The song “Electricity” by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark was recorded in 1978 but every one should put it on their iPod, walk outside and stare at some trees and give it a listen:

Our one source of energy
The ultimate discovery
Electric blue for me
Never more to be free
Electricity
Nuclear and HEP
Carbon fuels from the sea
Wasted electricity

Our one source of energy
Electricity
All we need to live today
A gift for man to throw away
The chance to change
has nearly gone
The alternative is only one
The final source of energy
Solar electricity

Electricity
Electricity
Electricity
Electricity
Electricity
E . . .

This song ties into a new job I hope to be starting soon. It’s time to sign up and help nature. We are not going to make it into outer space so soon so we need this air here breathable. By the way there is one very easy thing you can do today to help the environment: click here

Buy this song: iTunes

photo credit: onlinewoman

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on March 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm, filed under music and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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3 Responses to “Sunday Sounds: Solar Electricity and OMD”

  1. Rex Rhino says:

    Without some far off breakthroughs in technology (i.e. 99% efficient paint-on solar cells, orbital solar stations), solar power isn’t that great. Current technology uses a toxic manufacturing process, and producing electricity in significant amounts would require covering huge expanses of land, both of which will have serious ecological consequences in themselves. Solar power is largely benign right now, because it is used only in a handful of token PR projects, but on a large scale solar power (using current technology) it would be an ecological disaster.

    A much more reasonable strategy for dealing with CO2 caused climate change would be to switch to nuclear power for the time being, while developing better solar/wind/geothermal/fusion, and switch to that when the technology is mature. It is likely that a solar power system built 10-20 years in the future with the benefit of breakthroughs in nanotechnology and materials science will pay off in a way that current feel-good PR-stunt style solar energy won’t.

    As for switching light bulbs, it is one of those things that feels good for people to do, and can save money, but won’t have any real effect in the long term because global population growth and industrialization of the developing world is far exceeding our ability to conserve. Short of a complete end of industrial society worldwide (which would result in the deaths of billions of people, and billions more relegated to perpetual poverty and serfdom), our society is going to need lots and lots more energy. For every light bulb you replace, there is someone making a baby somewhere on the planet and that baby is going to want to live the same lifestyle that you enjoy. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t replace your light bulbs (like I said, it actually saves money), but the best thing you can do is support politicians who support a sane energy policy .i.e. politicians that focuses on reducing atmospheric CO2 ASAP, but don’t reject any technology (such as nuclear) on ideological or fear-mongering grounds.

  2. ortho says:

    i think you sound glib when you say you’re glad to see our economy tank hard. I think i get what you meant, but it came across as kinda harsh, like America deserves it for being such a super-polluter. I’m not sure that’s a winning message!

  3. antfactor says:

    @ Rex: plutonium is a rational thing to be fearful of – and the fact is that nuclear power-plants produce large quantities of such isotopes and there is still no safe way to dispose of the most poisonous substances on earth.

    No one energy source or technology will meet our energy needs alone, but combined quality options will and are getting far better in terms of cost and feasibility to be competitive in the marketplace. Right now solar and wind are half-full… not half-empty!

    The fact of the matter is that the world as a whole, and the united states in particular has been too slow to heed scientists warnings about our climate and economic issues related to our energy consumption. When one doesn’t pay attention to an issue and that issue comes to a head it then becomes a crisis. This sadly typical scenario is played out over and over again throughout history. People still need to learn how to think critically and think ahead, which requires history, education, and critical reasoning skills that are not pushed for in our elementary schools. This is a sociopolitical issue that humans as a species must learn to realistically address and navigate – and to not be swayed and lulled by quick “easy” comfortable options. Growth is rarely comfortable when it involves true change – and true change is what’s needed right now. Sometimes it takes an accident to realize that one has been asleep at the wheel… and our citizens have clearly not been driving with both eyes focused far enough down the road as they should have been. Is that harsh? Perhaps, but it’s reality.

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