by Alton C. Thompson
And the winner is . . . “one against”!
According to Juan Cole, there are at least “5 Reasons Solar Energy Will Save the World.” This article heading appears under the heading:
Since Cole has declared his 5 reasons to be examples of “informed comment,” I guess that we should accept them as such. (Just kidding!)
Before making a decision as to whether or not we should accept his 5 reasons as “gospel,” it would only be fair to begin here by noting what they are. Briefly:
- “The research and development monies now going into solar energy are great enough to fuel innovation and bring down prices rapidly.”
- “Honda is experimenting with a zero-carbon home.”
- “Thin-skin solar panels will be installed directly on the cars, and a canopy recharger will fill them back up.”
- “Even poor countries of the global South like Pakistan are finding it affordable now to create enormous solar parks.”
- “After seeing the way Russia is bullying Western Europe over opposition in Brussels to Russia grabbing Ukrainian territory, with Russia threatening to cut off natural gas, many countries will be encouraged to invest in renewable energy sources that cannot be cut off.”
Wow! Now I will be able to sleep “like a baby” tonight, with no fear whatsoever of the future! (Again, just kidding!)
I’m not sure what literature Cole has been reading lately, but it is clear that he hasn’t read this statement by Guy McPherson, who states in the Introduction to his Going Dark (2013):
Shortly after the arrival of the 21st century I realized we were putting the finishing touches on our own extinction party, with the shindig probably over within a few decades.
Whose views regarding the human future are more believable, those of Cole—a Professor of History whose specialties are the Middle East and South Asia—or McPherson—a Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona?
The answer to this question is too obvious to state!
What Prof. Cole doesn’t seem to realize is that unless alternate technologies, such as solar, were to replace fossil fuels as an energy source within just a few years, and geo-engineering measures (e.g.,, carbon extraction) were to be implemented—and successfully!—on a massive scale, again within a few years, “runaway” climate change will occur, resulting in a severe culling of the human population—perhaps to the point of extinction.
This leads us to the key question: What is the likelihood of these “events” occurring? Unless I am drastically misreading our current political situation, with Pres. O’Bomber (sp.?!), at the helm, I would say that the likelihood is 0—i.e., ZERO!
Prof. Cole, why, then, are you trying to build our optimism, when you should be trying to help us think more realistically?!
McPherson was interview 29 April 2014 by Coral Reef and Free at Santa Cruz Freak Radio. It’s here.