Do you think that the fossil fuel power industry’s days are slowly coming to an end?
Well I hope so, and soon, for the next generations sake.
With countries like Germany, who are setting their sights on becoming fossil fuel free for electricity by 2050, the province of Ontario, Canada set to close down their last coal fired power plant at the end of 2014, and with wind turbines and thermal solar renewable energy plants accounting for a greater percentage of total electricity generation each progressive year, it looks like coal fired electricity generation is no longer the utility of choice.
Even China are ramping up domestic renewable energy installations, and the Japanese are replacing the lost nuclear capacity at Fukishima with a 1 GW wind farm.
So to rub a little salt into the wound, I found this short video that plots the demise of the fossil fuel industry against Gandhi’s quote (which may have been misattributed to him). Its only a few minutes long and worth a look although it may not be an accurate trajectory of the reliance of coal, crude oil and natural gas, but it is hopeful.
“First they ignore you. They they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”
It is a good message that things are changing. I’m hoping for a win in all corners of the globe.
If we have any chance of avoiding runaway climate chaos, we as a race really need to ramp up the replacement of all coal fired power plants within a very short time frame.
Maybe Paul Gilding was right when he predicted in his book The Great Disruption, that the Great Awakening (with reference to climate change action) would happen happen around 2018.
All we need is some solid political climate change action in the USA and a big decrease in coal usage world wide, and we could really get somewhere fast. Lets hope that words are followed by decisive actions.
What do you think? Are we even close to a win for renewable energy, and the demise of coal as an electricity generation fuel?
Nicole (Make Sew Bake Grow) says
I hope so, Gavin, I bloody hope so. Something has to give, and soon. My husband and I are thinking along these lines, and trying to prepare ourselves for a world with less available electricity, by utilising older non-electricity methods for things, or at least learning the skills so they are there if we need them. Sounds extreme, but we figure it can’t hurt, and at worst is better for the Earth anyway. It’s all pretty depressing to think about, and even more depressing are people’s attitudes to these topics. Kind of reminds me of the story of Noah’s ark… and look what happened to those fellas!!!!
Gavin Webber says
A great plan Nicole. We are on a similar path to reducing reliance on electrical items.
There are a group called the Landscape Guardians who encourage people to fight against proposed wind farms. They give them scary ‘so-called’ facts about them casing illness etc. nearby residents get scared and fight against the wind farms.
When I read an article suggesting they have a strong connection with the fossil fuel industry, I was heartened. It makes me wonder if the fossil fuel industry feel very threatened to bother getting involved?
Gavin Webber says
Hi Linda. You are absolutely correct. I wrote about the Landscape Guardians in this post titled “Busting Myths About Wind Turbines”. It is an interesting read.
With a considerable faction of Tory MPs in the UK against windfarms and the UK Govt’s proposals to invest in more gas fired power stations, in collusion with the big six energy firms, despite the obligations of the Climate Change Act. With the Canadian Govt’s investment in Alberta Tar Sands and with the US decisionstill pending… And with this http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/16/peak-oil-theories-groundless-bp , I would not be so sure.
Kathy P. says
US Senator John Kerry is currently being grilled in confirmation hearings for his nomination for Secretary of State, to replace Hillary Clinton. Kerry has always been outspoken on climate and there’s cautious optimism that if he’s confirmed, the Keystone XL pipleline *may* be doomed, once and for all – since the decision has to come from the Secretary of State. Of course, actions speak louder than words, so we’ll just have to wait and see. You can read a short article on his statements about climate here, if you’re interested: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/01/24/1492061/kerry-pledges-to-confront-climate-change-advocate-of-action/
I hear Australia has recently discovered a huge oil deposit (in shale which will require ‘fracking’ to extract) that is second only to Saudi Arabia in reserves. This was on the radio this morning. Unfortunately this will prolong the time when greedy humans just see the money and not the damage their greed causes to the planet. I give humankind 50 years before most of the planet becomes uninhabitable. Fortunately I won’t be here to see it though I worry for my grandchildren.
Anonymous, I was about to share an article I found yesterday on that “wonderful” big shale oil find. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2013/01/24/Oil_in_five_years_from_shale_deposit_838775.html
I think we ARE on our way to a fossil fuel free energy place but, like usual, Australia is lagging woefully behind many other civilised countries when it comes to making these hard choices. Our government seems afraid (no matter which side is in power) to make a decision to pave the way to a greener future. Makes you wonder in who’s pockets they are contentedly curled up.
Gavin Webber says
Cheers Jessie. I have some insight in that oil find that I am working on. It is not as bad as everyone thinks, and they have bollocks chance of getting much out of the ground.
More in a post soon.
Visit damnthematrix.wordpress.com for an interesting article on the financial/political reasons why it might all keep going on and on and on…..
I saw an article about electric cars in Mumbai. And they were powering them by solar energy as they are making moves to clean the air. Hats off to them. I wonder if in England we could power a Nissan leaf or similar on solar energy…
These things play on my mind, as it will greatly effect our choices of the size of home and land we aim for. as we would have to allow for battery banks. I think it is the way we will all have to go. Or retro fit them somewhere, maybe in the apex or the roof of a garage. All theses things need to be taken into account