I often see comments on the pages of people joining the Pickens Plan movement where they want to be involved but have limited knowledge of where to start and where to look. After spending time in Europe and seeing what many countries are doing to secure their energy independence, I think that I can share some pretty good ideas and information with you. The European countries, especially Germany, Denmark and Spain are leading the way on that continent to renewable energy.
As we all know, knowledge is power. This power has for too long been out of our hands with emphasis shifted to different fronts by our government. Whether we are Republicans or Democrats, it doesn’t matter. We are all Americans that face the same problems caused by high oil prices. T. Boone Pickens is leading the charge here in America similar to the path many European countries have been on for 10-20 years. Most countries there have always had expensive fuel.
I wish everyone could take a trip to Germany to see the solar and wind initiative that they have fostered in their society. It is mind-boggling! This commitment was jump started by a place called Freiburg, Germany. Denmark started with a huge program in clean energy from wind. These are websites that I would recommend seeing where you can read about these programs and see examples of what they have done and are continuing to do - examples of where we should be heading.
1) The Solar Village – Freiburg, Germany. See: http://www.thesolarvillage.com/
2) The Folkecenter for Renewable Energy – Denmark.
Under VARIOUS, read: The transition from Fossil Fuels to the Renewable Energies
The whole website is excellent and you could spend hours there.
3) Google: Samso, Denmark. This is an island off the coast of Demark that is completely self-sustaining. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_kolbert
4) Read the article written by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. titled: “Global Warming: A Real Solution”
Our issues with energy aren’t just about lack of oil to go around, they are on a more grand scale about the issues of global warming and national security as well. What you will see in the above references is information that deals with a quest of becoming carbon neutral. Not only can our government and businesses move in that direction, individuals can participate as well like they have in Germany. In Germany and Denmark it is all about tax laws that encourage every homeowner to become an energy producer. (Germany has 19,000+ wind turbines and millions of solar panels). The incentives make it worthwhile and at the same time direct these countries toward energy independence.
Unmentioned above are recommendations for a few good documentaries to watch – “Saved by the Sun” a PBS NOVA video, and “A Crude Awakening” by Basil Gemlpke, et al. Americans need to mobilize and pressure our government representatives both on the state and national level. The Pickens Plan is a good place to foster discussion and share ideas and PUSH this plan! Good luck in your quest for a better America….. Lee