Missing the Future While Clinging to the Past

By Mike Bryan | November 15, 2011

It’s the 21st century and we still extract and process decayed plants as our primary source of energy. It does seem a bit prehistoric when one thinks about it. That’s the best modern technology has to offer? I suspect if we were able to move ahead 100 years, we would look back and laugh at the simplicity and folly of our energy strategy.

The world has abundant resources in the sun, the ocean, the wind, geothermal and huge amounts of renewable biomass, yet we cling to the past like a child afraid to let go of mother’s leg, afraid of leaving the comfort of what we know. We desperately drill for more and more oil, deeper and deeper, in the four corners of the earth, fearful of running out of the precious and dwindling supply of precious mother’s milk.

The irony is while we seem to subscribe to the “Drill Baby Drill” mindset, we largely ignore the bountiful amounts of free, clean and renewable energy available to us. The sun shines everyday on our earth, the oceans crash against our shores day and night. The wind blows relentlessly. A billion tons of biomass energy remains largely idle while we struggle with making a real commitment to unleash the power of this massive resource. Drill Baby Drill, that’s the motto we live by, that’s the prehistoric technology that we continue to pursue.

It would take only around 0.3 percent of the world’s land area to supply all of our electricity needs via solar power. One large wind turbine can generate enough electricity for 600 homes. The oceans constitute the largest powerhouse on earth. Geothermal energy could produce 10 percent of U.S. electricity by the year 2050. In the updated billion-ton study, the U.S. DOE estimates that biomass resources could replace 30 percent of fossil fuel use by 2030.

This should not be a partisan issue. Every single Congressman and Senator should be 100 percent onboard in their support of the development, support and commitment to clean renewable energy, without exception! Shame on those who support the exploitation of the world’s oil reserves to the detriment of renewable energy. At best it’s short-sighted, at worst it’s a self-serving act of unconscionable proportion. 

We launch Congressional investigations over the money loaned to a company dedicated to producing clean solar energy panels that fell to foreign price cutters, yet we continue to pour billions of dollars into the oil industry, encouraging them to Drill Baby Drill. It’s all about big money, big business, high returns and take what we can get now and to hell with the future. It’s sad really, that we have only evolved in the past 50,000 years from burning a piece of wood to burning decayed plant life. It’s not much of a legacy of progress to leave to our grandchildren.   

That’s the way I see it!

Author: Mike Bryan
Chairman, BBI International
mbryan@bbiinternational.com