Normally, I’m clacking away in my favorite Denver coffee shops, writing about the recent explosive growth of the solar industry, and I’m more than happy to do so. But in the U.S., the industry now faces a red tide in an election season that would force it back into stagnation. This would happen even as other nations realize the virtues of renewables like solar and wind and adopt them at breakneck pace.
So I’m urging all of Clean Energy Authority’s readers and their friends to get out there and vote for solar power and renewable energy in this mid-term election. It’s to keep the industry from being forced back into dormancy by those who oppose renewable energy and those who deny climate change.
That’s why I dropped my typewriter—well keyboard, packed up my mobile office and headed to Eugene, Ore., to help direct a get-out-the-vote campaign, supporting progressive issues like renewables and funding for Oregon’s state parks. I thought I’d have time to continue writing throughout the month and to keep up on the solar industry, but I’ve been cooped up in a small office for up to 14 hours a day making sure Oregonians vote this year.
The U.S. renewables industry has seen remarkable growth in the past two years. It’s been employing hundreds of thousands across the nation and could employ millions in the short-term as we recover from this recession. But that’s only if we truly embrace it and encourage its growth with federal and state support. While some argue that renewable energy has expensive up-front costs, it also provides unparalleled benefits like long-term, predictable energy production and pricing stability unmatched by other forms of energy production. Most new solar technologies last longer than their 20 to 30 year life expectancy and continue to produce power for free after they exceed those expectations. But right now this vital burgeoning industry faces a familiar foe, an election season rife with candidates that would cut funding to renewable energy programs and instead refocus their efforts to support the fossil fuel industries.
To this day, many candidates deny that global warming is a problem, despite decades of conclusive evidence showing the real and present danger posed by not taking action to reduce the world’s carbon footprint, which is caused primarily by our energy needs, which now are met largely by fossil fuel forms of power. To add insult to injury, these same candidates largely ignore that renewable forms of energy provide a viable alternative to coal, gas and other pollution-creating technologies.
This year, by voting for progressive candidates and ballot initiatives, you can to make sure that funding for this still youthful industry continues to enjoy the nourishment of recent years to make it a fully fledged viable competitor of the fossil fuels industry and that it creates jobs that put your neighbors back to work in our time of need. Vote now; vote for solar; vote for a clean energy future, before it’s too late.