We will solve the Energy Problem!
We will do it with EVERYONE in mind!
We will do it T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R!
We will do it in the 21st Century!
(Note: Check out Harvey Wasserman’s wonderful book and other very relevant material at www.solartopia.org.Yes, we have a very similar URL, but Solar Utopia deserves the broadest discussion and debate.)
Utopia? Yes, we are seriously proposing a near future solar utopia on planet Earth, in spite of the horrible job humans are now doing. Tens of millions of our species continue to die of preventable causes every year, an annual genocide that dwarfs the record of the 20th century, the age of mechanized mass murder. The majority of humanity lives in misery while a privileged minority, mainly in the global North, enjoys a state of the science quality of life. (No wonder we are not invited to join the Galactic Club!*)
We are faced with two technological threats to the continuance of human civilization and biodiversity as we know it. The first is the continuing threat of nuclear war, not inevitable but deadly even if localized by virtue of climatic impact on agriculture. The second, catastrophic climate change (C3) is inevitable if carbon emissions to the atmosphere are not rapidly and radically reduced and the now unsafe atmospheric level of 400 ppm CO2 is not reduced by sequestration technologies to below 350 ppm.
Our main message: if we succeed in the near future to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of decarbonizing our global energy supplies by solar technologies such as wind power, we open up an unprecedented path to solar utopia.
We will demonstrate that Peak Oil/Coal is not a barrier to global solarization IF rapid solarization begins in the near future, before the supplies of fossil fuels start to rapidly decline and C3 becomes inevitable.
We submit the obstacles are not technological, rather lie in the political economy of real existing 21st Century global Capitalism, specifically in the Dinosaur sitting in the Room, the Moloch called the Military Industrial (Fossil Fuel, Nuclear, State Terror) Complex. Only a transnational movement for peace and justice can put this Dinosaur in the Museum of Prehistory where it belongs.
We argue that there are 3 critical requirements that will make solar utopia a reality: demilitarization of our global economy, agro-ecologies replacing industrial and GMO agriculture, and the creation of a high-efficiency solar power infrastructure replacing unsustainable fossil fuels and nuclear power. Energy poverty in the global South must end to ensure a state-of-the-science quality of life for all humankind. Expanding democratic, bottom-up control of the process of transformation of the global economy is necessary for its success.
Our website invites thoughtful critique and dialogue on the technological, social, political and economic aspects of our scenario. The modern energy paradigm (i.e., ancient sunlight and nuclear fission, in the hands of the powerful few, is an acceptable source of energy for the planet) must be shattered and we need to mobilize a global movement to make this happen.
* Assuming it exists; see David Schwartzman, 2010, SETI Redux: Joining the Galactic Club (link)