Yardley Voice – Going Green Solar Column – September 2013
by Mark Bortman
We have had a lot of good news in the solar industry lately. President Obama just had solar panels installed on the White House. Around the country, it is estimated that a new solar energy system is installed every four minutes. Right here in Pennsylvania, the state grant program is helping homes and businesses cut up to 35% off the cost of a system.
This is all great, but there is more that can be done and needs to be done. Our dependence on fossil fuels is ruining the planet for our children and grandchildren.
While many of the signs of our overuse of fossil fuels seem remote – melting of the polar ice caps, a few degrees of global warming, there are serious consequences right here in Pennsylvania. Bleak, sterile moonscapes are created by mountaintop removal coal mining. Ground water is contaminated by fracking. Nuclear waste and spent fuel rods pile up with nowhere to go.
We need to recognize that we are at a turning point in history. Do we continue down the same path we’ve been on for the past 100 years or is it time to change directions?
There are some signs that the tide is turning. Is this the beginning of the end for the traditional energy sources and the start of the age of renewable energy? This is what we need to decide.
The entrenched powers of the traditional energy monopolies are not going to go easily into the new age. It is up to us to push. We owe it to ourselves and our future generations. We can slowly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power for our energy needs.
Let’s reduce the amount of energy we use and take advantage of the power of the sun and the wind – energy sources that will be around forever.