I warned you yesterday that Jonathon Porritt’s book had given me a list of things to go away and think about. Here’s one of them already. Towards the back of The World We Made is a little section on the politics of renewable energy that caught my attention:
It’s not just that solar energy is clean and cheap; it’s also ours. Reserves of oil, coal and gas were owned either by governments or by multinationals. As owners, they exploited those sources of energy for their own national interests and for profit. Sunshine isn’t like that; it’s ‘owned’ by the whole of humankind, to be used in the interests of every single citizen on earth. Which makes solar the greatest ever technological leveller in the history of humankind, bearing down on those divides between the haves and the have-nots.
Interesting, don’t you think? Of course, by pursuing solar power we’re only bringing our machines into line with nature. Every living thing is already solar powered, either through photosynthesis or eating the results of it. The sun is the external energy source of nature. It was our main source of energy too until relatively recently, and it will be again.