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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Clock is ticking for Big Oil

It’s a fact that when a dam breaks it started with one drip of water seeping through one little crack. As the drips turn into a trickle the crack in the dam is slowly widened and soon the dam will be breached. In the same logic, big oil is slowly being breached with every new renewable energy idea that comes to fruition and generates it first watt of clean power.

Renewable energy sources are only as far away as the human mind can imagine. Whenever I see the latest ideas on generating clean power it simply amazes me to no end. It all starts with one persons imagination and not long after that its being tested somewhere in the world. The latest such experiment is happening off the coast of Oregon and of course the debate has already begun amongst those for it and those against it. They have a great starter piece on wave power generation over at the New York Times…

The coastal Northwest is one of the few parts of the West where water is abundant, but people are still fighting over it. Amid concerns about climate change and the pollution caused by generating electricity with coal and natural gas, Oregon is looking to draw power from the waves that pound its coast with forbidding efficiency.

It might seem a perfect solution in a region that has long been ahead of the national curve on alternative energy. Yet the debate over the potential damage — whether to the environment, the fishing industry or the stunning views of the Pacific — has become intense before the first megawatt has been transmitted to shore.

“Everyone wants that silver bullet,” said Fran Recht of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. “The question is, Is this as benign as everyone wants to say it is?”
- New York Times

It isn’t a far reach to think that every new technology that comes along is going to have its positive effects on our world and of course its detriments. And yet the alternative to not having these new technologies available to the energy market is not acceptable.
I’d like to think that the end of Big Oil and its dominance in the world energy markets needs a dooms day clock. Every single time that a new potential source for energy comes up to the testing stage we need to move the minute hand one minute closer to midnight.

One last thought, if the vast possiblilities of renewable energy sources are the water behind the damn then the little Dutch Boy with his finger in the dam is about to be swept down stream.


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