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The whole idea of renewable energy sources – wind, solar, tidal, pedal – has only been in our viewfinder for a short while. This is because fossil fuels have become increasing problematic – not only in terms of long-term ecological catastrophe, but also human error-plagued bottom line-oriented short cutting and, not to be left out, geopolitical events that compromise our ability to secure said fuels. On top of this and not unrelated to the last point, the physical infrastructure, economy and energy policy of the United States were all developed when the country was a net exporter of fossil fuels.
Needless to say, nothing has changed and we continue to do things the same way, perhaps not even yet expecting different results, as one way of hanging to the last vestiges of any semblance of sanity.
And yet an expectation of different results is very much needed. As the above plus the nuclear meltdowns as a result of the devastating earthquakes in Japan attest, the need to pick up the pace in advancing toward a renewable energy present will not wait. The low-info dead-enders rising political stars waste capital and human resources debating settled issues at our collective peril and should be considered armed clueless and dangerous.
To repeat an unpopular refrain: these things are connected.