We need to switch to 100% renewable resources by 2020. Together we can make this happen.
Documentary videos include Wilson Natural Home (25 minutes), The Solar Village (45 minutes), and Hope for a Change: Renewable Energy (60 minutes, featuring Dr. David Suzuki, Dr. Hermann Scheer, and Chris Turner).
Solar Village has issued a "global emergency" alert because our current civilization (as of 2010) is on track to make catastrophic runaway global warming inevitable. In order to prevent this we must make changes rapidly, starting right now.
Add your voice, ideas and thoughts to the development of the Solar Village Action Plan - email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your updates and under which section, item number or paragraph they apply.
1. Understand the Problem
As of 2010 we have about ten years to make the switch to renewable energy. We are in a race against time. By 2020 it is estimated that global pollution from fossil fuel usage (carbon, methane and others) will, if we maintain our current trajectory, reach levels that will likely cause catastrophic runaway global warming. This is very clearly a global emergency, unlike anything humanity has ever had to deal with before. This unprecedented global emergency requires that we all work together as effectively, quickly, diligently and cooperatively as possible.
Reference: Six Degrees by Mark Lynas, page 277 and Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Empathic Civilization, as quoted by Hughes Beslin in his article in the European Energy Review magazine article The Rifkin vision, We are in the twilight of a great energy era, also see Jeremy Rifkin - Global Emergency video below for a good overview. Perhaps most importantly, James Hansen, arguably the leading scientist on climate chage has said that we have less than a decade to make changes.From the book Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown "Researchers such as James Hansen, a leading climate scientist at NASA, believe that global warming is accelerating and may be approaching a tipping point, a point at which climate change acquires a momentum that makes it irreversible. They think we may have a decade to turn the situation around before this threshold is crossed. I agree." It is Lester Brown who makes the statement "I agree" in relation to what James Hansen and NASA are saying. Lester Brown is a leading authority on climate change and what we need to do to avert it.You can and should download and read Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown right now by clicking on this link to a PDF copy of the book.
The other critical issue is that increasing use of fossil fuels along with dwindling reserves is causing economic chaos and uncertainty. Witness the 2008 economic global depression caused by oil reaching $140 per barrel just before the financial meltdown. Also see Jeff Rubins talk at the Business of Climate Change conference and read his book about our world getting smaller as well as Jeremy Rifkin's Solar Civilization talk that provides recent analysis on the economic devastation caused by oil prices, also see Jeff Rubin - Economics of Global Warming video below for a good overview.
The only quick and economically sensible solution to these problems is the rapid transition to renewable energy and ultimately renewable resources in general.
2. Action, Create Solar Villages
First, we start by addressing our own lives, becoming the change we wish to see in others as Gandhi is often quoted as saying. In our own lives, as is common with most other people, it is the house we live in, the food we consume, and the travel by vehicles that contribute most significantly to climate change as long as these activities are based primarily on the use of non-renewable fossil fuels, non-renewable uranium and non-renewable resources in general.
Food production as it is currently practised by industrial scale agriculture is heavily dependent upon fossil fuels for fertilizers, pesticides, and fuel for transportion around the world. Our homes, in the materials and energy we use to build them, and in the energy we consume each day through electricity from the grid (largely coal and nuclear in many places), as well as the use of gas and oil for heating, are major contributors. Vehicles like cars, SUVs, buses, trucks and trains currently consume massive quantities of fossil fuels. For all of these there are renewable alternatives that we must now make the switch towards in our daily lives.
As we begin to transform our own lives over the next few years, we must also begin to engage with our community, and start to transform the broader community systems, from food production, to houses, transit, commercial buildings and eventually big industry. Our earth community must become thousands of linked Solar Villages, working together to make the switch to renewables, in the next ten years.
Step 1 - Local Organic Food - Review the food you consume to make sure it is as much local and organically grown as possible. Consume as little meat as possible. Grow your own food organically and/or using permaculture techniques where and when you can.
Step 2 - Solar House - Make your home run on renewable energy. Make your energy use as efficient as possible. Switch to solar where possible for electricity generation and water heating. Switch to renewable options like like wind and hydro through the grid for the energy you can't generate on your own rooftop. Replace natural gas usage with pipeline supplied biogas converted to natural gas at organic waste processing plants.
Step 3 - Electric Vehicles Powered by Renewables - Make the move to electric vehicles for long distance travel that can't be accomplished by walking, biking, skateboarding etc. Electric transit like streetcars, electric subways, electric trains and even electric boats are now widely available (plus make sure they are supplied with electricity from renewable sources).
Step 4 - Community Development of Solar Villages - Get your community implementing solar systems on rooftops of commercial buildings through cooperative groups. Drive your government at all levels to use green energy legislation and feed-in tariffs (like the ones in Germany and Ontario, Canada) to cost effectively drive the industrial development. Feed-in tariffs are the most effective way to make the transition as shown by many studies. Remember that feed-in tariffs (FIT) require that any proponent, from home owner, to large utility scale solar/wind farms, have equal access to the grid, must provide the up-front-capital, and are guaranteed long term payment over a period of twenty years when the systems produce (thus the proponents take the risk), while rate payers (NOT tax payers), foot the bill. So, the less you consume, the less you pay, plus if you invest in renewable energy with FIT you can participate in earning potentially enough profit to offset the additional cost born by your consumption as a rate payer.