A Call to Clean Energy


I’ve been reluctant to post about climate change recently, for a couple of reasons:

One is that it is getting so obvious that it seems like rubbing it in to climate deniers to point it out.

And the second is that the effects are so great and the widespread pessimism (“We must do something about this. But we won’t.”) so profound that it is depressing to think about.

But Bill McKibben makes an intriguing argument for a two prong attack on climate change: one being carbon taxes, and the other being  divestment from oil companies, similar to that which helped end Apartheid. I think that it could work, if we strongly support both.

I would like to add a prong though: building wind turbines.

Nearly every college and university the world over has engineers, wood shops, metal shops, and all of those institutions have energy needs. If we could organize building wind turbines for our universities and colleges, and then spread from there to libraries, statehouses, K-12 schools, nonprofits, homes and businesses-we could to a great degree reduce our energy overheads, increase the supply of clean energy, and reduce the demand on and price of oil. That last means more oil stays in the ground where it does no harm.

I’d love to start this, but I’m not an engineer: if anybody is an engineer or a Maker -or both- and can recommend designs which could be put together fairly cheaply for the energy output, I’d love to make one for the college where I work, and hopefully use it to inspire clubs on campus to make more.

Bill McKibben’s article found through Political Irony.

(Edited to add more examples of pessimism related to climate change, as I’m not trying to pick on anyone)


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2 Responses to “A Call to Clean Energy”

  1. klem Says:

    “If we could organize building wind turbines for our universities and colleges, and then spread from there to … homes and businesses-we could…”

    Kill billions more birds every year than our present wind industry already does. And that’s about it.

    • David Byars Says:

      Fewer dead than from pollution otherwise. In any case, even if it was Us vs. Them, I’d pick our survival over that of the birds which have that habit.

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