Deep Economy

Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Bill McKibben, a local energy production advocate. He has just released a book called Deep Economy on the topic. Read more at

We can get off our power grids
For decades, our model for generating power has been highly centralized: We produce electricity in a few huge centralized power plants and then ship it around the country via a network of wires. As long as you don’t worry about the side effects, such as carbon emissions, and as long as you have abundant fuel to run it on, then you can provide relatively cheap electricity, and the few people who own the plants can make a great deal of money.

And — partly because of the lobbying power of these big players — most attempts to “fix” the energy sector to deal with global warming or peak oil involve marginally improving these giant, centralized plants: For instance, subsidizing utilities to explore “clean coal” plants that might someday capture carbon emissions and pump them into old mines for storage. The federal government also underwrites loads of research on nuclear power, because reactors, despite their ruinous expense, fit neatly into the familiar centralized scheme.

We may need some such technologies in the years ahead; the fight to slow carbon emissions is so desperate that it’s wrong to rule anything out, especially as a bridge toward some better future.

But that future’s more exciting possibilities lie elsewhere, in smaller community-scale power systems.”

Chock full of good reasons for you to go solar today!


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