The Power of Energy: Motivation for this Website

sunset.jpg Every day, an enormous amount of energy arrives at the earth from the sun. Energy from the sun builds balanced and resilient ecosystems, enabling millions of species to coexist and evolve.

Every day, a tiny amount of energy is pulled out of the earth. Energy from oil, gas, and coal is used to build systems so destructive that millions of species are now threatened.

Is there something in the nature of these energy sources that accounts for the different results? Can we identify any characteristics of the sun’s energy that contribute to its propensity to build robust living systems, or find characteristics of hydrocarbon fuels that tend to build imperiled ones?

This website examines the parallels between energy infrastructures and social structures, and looks at the ways energy policies shape society. Centrally controlled energy systems are essential for maintaining centrally controlled political power, and those with a hand on the switch control the power. Although this is often acknowledged, the reduction of it is rarely uttered: if we want power to reside with the people, we must literally put the people in charge of the power. Democratic energy policies are essential if we are to have democratic governance.

Throughout the world, communities are empowering themselves by building energy systems that are owned and managed by the local community. Entire regions are becoming more secure not through military or political means, but by building community-based energy systems fueled by locally available resources.

There are no fuzzy green solutions to the energy predicament we are in, and we need to get beyond the point of talking about minor course corrections. Instead, the energy discussion needs to be reframed around building communities that can once again live in harmony within the larger community of life on the planet. This is the challenge of our times.

I hope you enjoy the site, and I look forward to hearing from you!

   - Mark Sardella


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