By Karyn Pichnarczyk
Solar Powered Auto !
If you’re reading this blog, it’s likely that you believe that a greener world is both a better world and an achievable goal. There’s also many who aren’t convinced. This group includes local and national politicians, businesses, and investors, as well as your next door neighbor. Foster M Russell is famously quoted “There are three sides to every story: Yours, Mine, and The Facts”. It’s imperative to be aware of the issues raised by your opponents to enable you to address potential problem areas that might stifle our ability to help produce a greener world. In short: Know Your Foe.
Put yourself in your opponent’s mind: Why do they object to a greener world?
There are a myriad of reasons; here’s a few that I have thought up.
A. Fear of the unknown.
People are comfortable using known methods of creating energy. Gas Stations abound for filling automobile tanks. Oil and/or natural gas is either piped directly to homes for heating or delivered transparently. Detractors state that compact fluorescent light bulbs cause health problems . Engineered Geothermic Systems (EGS) potentially can cause earthquakes Wind Turbines have potentially dangerous moving parts; solar panels on homes need attention during snow storms, hydrogen fuel cels remind people of the Hindenberg, etc.
B. It’s not a problem.
Petroleum products are a well known commodity, they haven’t disappeared, and any shortages ever experienced were resolved to be methods to raise the price. Articles state that there’s enough undrilled oil to last 2000 years Noone’s ever “run out” of electricity for your home. After nuclear power disaster events, there’s still power to local homes and businesses. This is the “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mindset.
C. The cost is too high for the value received.
A GAO report stated that using Wind Turbines produced less than one tenth of one percent of the total energy in 2003. There’s a supposed shortage in silicon for solar panels. After you put money into the project, how many years before these new devices need to be demolished/replaced?
D. They really aren’t “green” after all.
Metal and concrete are used in building Wind Turbines. Offshore wind turbines have had reports of hurting marine life. Solar panels are not often recycled, and are toxic to create.
E. No solution is better than a green solution.
Often opponents will knock down an idea with no alternate plan presented to improve the matter under discussion.
What can we do to stay on top of our foe’s concerns?
The answer is simple: Blog about them. Respond to this blog with pointers to articles written by detractors.
Also point to studies and articles which can be interpreted as negative.
Devise potential points of action on how to address their issues.
To start off this blog, I can direct you to an example article from the Wall Street Journal posted May 21, 2011.
One example is how burning wood for energy depletes rain forests, and how building wind turbines utilizes concrete, which is a “non-green” solution. It’s a classic example D above, yet since it is in the Wall Street Journal it is given high visibility.
How can we productively discuss the fallacious “facts” presented in this article?
We can’t simply dismiss them as foolish, because they have the assumed backing of a prestigious publication behind them.
What can we do?
And what other articles are out there hurting our cause?