I’m not a scientist. I am a pragmatist. Unless some online college for profit like the prestigious University of Phoenix begins an undergrad program for those of us that are devotees of the field of common sense, I’ll remain a self proclaimed, unlicensed master of the obvious. A student of life that can see beyond the elephants conveniently placed directly in front of the truth.
My most recent method of informing, some say annoying, my bride, barber, bartender, bookie, and the unfortunate people I call buddy is a verbal assault/stream of consciousness manifesto on how we must commit to the sun. Wind and hydro belong in this plan. Zero waste trash disposal belongs in this plan. See Sweden. The sun should be first, because all other renewables will easily assimilate into a new smart grid.
The miracle of modern engineering called a telephone pole. Behind my home.
Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn, can we start a Sunshine Project here, in Chicago? A well managed public works project that builds tunnels beneath our streets. Check out the list of needs that can be accomplished with our, get ready, we’re naming it, Chicago Tunnel Utilities Project. Or Sunshine. Ta da.
No more wires on poles. Electric and communication lines are in the new service tunnels.
New metered water service to every structure. Lead pipes, buh-bye. Water waste identified and eliminated.
100+ year old sewers are now new, and basements of taxpayers are now dry.
Good old PGLC – People’s Gas Light and Coke Company, or whatever they call themselves today can now can install new gas meters that residents cannot tamper with which can also be monitored remotely. Gas leaks mitigated by the click of a mouse.
Six corner intersections and train tracks can all be modified to reduce traffic congestion. Hey, we’re digging, tying rebar and pouring concrete, traffic management should be addressed too.
The best part is the smart grid. A power grid that will not only deliver electricity to my home, but can purchase and distribute energy that I generate but do not need. On demand solar energy management. See Germany.
Every home in Chicago should have solar panels, without the need for a storage system for surplus energy. Surplus energy can be diverted by the grid to high use structures and services. El-Trains, high rises, McCormick Place, street lights and schools. The list is endless. The sun helps to reduce the dramatic demand for natural gas and coal. Carbon based fuel can be used more efficiently and the cherry on this sundae?
An enormous public works project that this economy needs more then any oil or gas company needs a tax subsidy. More then North America needs another refinery or pipeline. And it can be done without new money. Without raising taxes. Just use the taxes we already collect to pay for good, solar, rather then evil, oil. Citizens for Tax Justice is a must visit website if you are interested in learning exactly how the wealthiest and most powerful corporations avoid paying taxes, despite their profits which are dependent on our infrastructure, land and people.
Use the Citizens for Tax Justice report as a baseline to understand that subsidizing dirty fuel and the largest corporations actually increases what the middle class pay in taxes. We are paying for these guys to play for free in the casino called America. Here’s a link to a PDF reporting 30 huge no-tax paying corporations.
Solar is ready, and Chicago is the city with big shoulders, big balls, and the men and women that can make this happen today. We need clean energy. We need jobs to improve ALL our lives. Solar is an ongoing infrastructure project that can build back our tax base and reduce the violence that flourishes in communities that suffer from a disproportionate unemployment rate, like Chicago’s south and west sides.
Mostly intact wires hanging over the paint factory behind my home
Thousands of jobs will be created by small business owners working together to harness the power of the sun. The small contractors replacing roofs and installing panels. The suppliers running materials. The large contractors building the tunnels. Then peripherally, the bars, restaurants, the families that can finally build a new deck or replace a kitchen because they know they have the work to pay for home improvements. The tradesman that can replace his 2002 Ford F-150 with a new truck. Employment for people that want to get out of poverty that pays above the poverty line and provides benefits for us and our families.
Unlike politicians and lobbyists, the sun is not the enemy. As a pragmatic man learned in the use of all things available, I know that sunshine has more to offer Americans then what we currently appreciate about sunshine. The excuse to visit Mexico in February, vitamin D and melanoma come to mind.
Solar energy. The time has come. In 1980 Big Oil helped Ronald Reagan defeat Jimmy Carter. Before President Reagan boldly demanded that the USSR “tear down this wall” he first told the keepers of the White House to remove the solar panels that President Carter had installed on the roof. “The Department of Energy has a multibillion-dollar budget, in excess of $10 billion,” Reagan said during an election debate with Carter, justifying his opposition to the latter’s energy policies. “It hasn’t produced a quart of oil or a lump of coal or anything else in the line of energy.” You see, oil men don’t want us to use solar. Because they sell oil.
President Jimmy Carter 1979
Politically everyone is sharply divided. Our government is obnoxiously inconsiderate of the needs of the greater good, and to a lesser extent, the voter that elected them. It doesn’t seem like our traditional two party system can agree on anything. Sadly, this gridlock is not idealistic, it is theater to maintain the status quo. Those that pay the elected officials, although they call it campaign donations, want the status quo. The status quo only benefits the people in power. the wizard behind the curtain. I think if a democratic member of congress says to a republican member “it’s sunny out today,” he might be met with a response like “until we get spending under control we will continue to exist in a black hole that consumes the American dream.” This theater is not meant to entertain, it is to maintain. The status quo.
I’ll now state something obvious, children cover your ears. The people elected to congress are assholes that do not care about anything that does not benefit themselves personally and immediately. They are not elected by and for the people. They are elected by the money spent to get them in office by and for wealthy power brokers.
Let’s make enough noise that we stop allowing tax money to be spent on oil, and start rebuilding the nation’s energy grid so that we can use the sun for things we need, like powering my flat screens. Charging my iPhone. Warming the water that I enjoy bathing in. Illuminating our streets.
We are not a poor country. To control you and maintain the status quo, our politicians are pretending we are. Do not believe the old man screaming “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”