Happy Earth Day.
The need for energy drives global warming, as well as wars and pollution.
Clean, inexpensive, accessible energy would go a long way towards not only a healthier and cleaner planet, but towards global peace.
So, naturally conservatives HATE it, in any form, but most notably at the moment in the renewable energy of solar power.
The radical right - Grover Norquist, the Koch Brothers (of big oil fame) and the other fossil fuel special interests that OWN conservatives through the tentacles of ALEC - are attacking the expansion of solar energy.
Who else could hate clean, readily accessible, renewable solar energy? It goes back a long ways. Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the roof of the White House when he was president. Ronald "Ray-gun", who only loved science and tech when it was weapon-izable - took them down.
They've come a LONG long way since the third quarter of the 20th century. NOW solar energy is becoming more high tech, more viable, MORE COMPETITIVE.
As Truth-out noted:
Solar, once almost universally regarded as a virtuous, if perhaps over-hyped, energy alternative, has now grown big enough to have enemies.
The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states.
Alarmed environmentalists and their allies in the solar industry have fought back, battling the other side to a draw so far. Both sides say the fight is growing more intense as new states, including Ohio, South Carolina and Washington, enter the fray.
At the nub of the dispute are two policies found in dozens of states. One requires utilities to get a certain share of power from renewable sources. The other, known as net metering, guarantees homeowners or businesses with solar panels on their roofs the right to sell any excess electricity back into the power grid at attractive rates.
Net metering forms the linchpin of the solar-energy business model. Without it, firms say, solar power would be prohibitively expensive.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a membership group for conservative state lawmakers, recently drafted model legislation that targeted net metering. The group also helped launch efforts by conservative lawmakers in more than half a dozen states to repeal green energy mandates.
"State governments are starting to wake up," Christine Harbin Hanson, a spokeswoman for Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, said in an email. The organization has led the effort to overturn the mandate in Kansas, which requires that 20% of the state's electricity come from renewable sources.
"These green energy mandates are bad policy," said Hanson, adding that the group was hopeful Kansas would be the first of many dominoes to fall.
The group's campaign in that state compared the green energy mandate to Obamacare, featuring ominous images of Kathleen Sebelius, the outgoing secretary of Health and Human Services, who was Kansas' governor when the state adopted the requirement.
Kansas, home of Koch Industries, failed to push through anti-solar legislation. But they spent a LOT of money trying. A grass roots movement thwarted them - a REAL grass movement, not one of the Koch funded astro-turfed versions of populism.
But Oklahoma DID pass that kind of anti-solar legislation described above, and the governor signed it. Not surprising really; Oklahoma is a backward very red state pretty much owned and operated by the fossil fuel industry.
We have a battle to fight; the benefits of winning it are huge, even life itself on this planet. The enemy is conservatives, the enemy is big oil, the enemy is the fossil fuel industry.
Or maybe we should just abbreviate that to 'the dinosaurs and the old fossils' who hate and fear change, and who are stuck years in the past, even millennia.
And let us not forget the fools, including this one below, who made the incredibly stupid and factually inaccurate statements below, a little over a year ago. He is as big if not a bigger shame to the state than Michele Bachmann.
NO. WRONG. BAD. STUPID.
And sadly - OURS.