Well that worked. Facebook spread the word and a Stubborn old man was forced to move on. Good for him, and good for young Zuckerberg, and good for the couple of million Egyptians who took to the streets despite their nation’s long history of brutality. Could it be that we are making progress? Could it be that other despots will be forced to move on. We quoted Victor Hugo just recently but it is worth mentioning again that: “One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.”
While on the subject of armies it is also worth reminding ourselves that the Pentagon is greening its war machines in order to reduce its dependence on fuel supplies. If the military can do it, we, as individuals, can do it. We don’t have the supply difficulty of the mighty warriors, but we do have our awareness: our constant reminder that every time we hit the road, or the airport, we are contributing to the pollution problem and warming up the planet. That has not been enough to stimulate the majority so far, but it will. It will when the proletariat overrun the kings, sheiks, and dictators who control the lion’s share of the oil supplies. When the Americans, Europeans, Chinese, and Indians are all waiting at the pumps for their weekly 5 litre ration, there will be enough stimulus to motivate us to use the sunshine to charge our batteries, and to fill our hydrogen tanks. When the newly freed citizens of Saudia, Jordan, Yemen . . . are screaming at each other across the brand new, parliamentary, aisle dividing their secular from their various religious faction, we shall have our stimulus. When the oil is stuck in the terminals, or in the ground, because these infant democracies have yet to grow into functioning administrations, we shall have our stimulus.
Until then the oil dependent nations will continue to show whichever face creates the least pain for its electorate as they tiptoe through minefields that might exist only in perception.
Until that time we have to wait while democracy takes its ponderous, winding, course. The day will come though, when the demands of industry, and the profit margins of the financial institutions, have each received their due and finally yield to the fact that compared to the energy stored thermally in the Earth, in the Sun, and is sitting topically in the oceans, subterranean coal and oil stores are but crude thimbles that can never match our growing needs.
Budget cuts are gnawing away at Obama’s grand renewable energy plans, and will likely succeed, so let us hope that the new world leaders, the folks in charge of the massive engines of China and India, can spare a dime to save the rest of us. Let us hope the greed running, hot foot, behind the struggle for life itself in those long poor nations, can be held in check while their leaders come to see what Western leaders cannot. Let us hope the Chinese in Africa can harness the sunlight there. Let us hope the Indian government can overcome their people’s religious sentiments and can gear up regional hydro, geothermal, and solar energy stations throughout the rich land that is India.