To Save The Earth, Are YOU a Solartopian?

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CommonDreams.org

To Save The Earth, Are YOU a Solartopian?

by
Harvey Wasserman

In the global campaign to save the Earth, a shared vision is vital.

"Solartopia" foresees a democratic, green-powered 21st Century civilization. Our economic and ecological survival depend on it.

Technologically, the vision rests on four simple pillars:

1. Total renunciation of all fossil and nuclear fuels. In a sustainable, survivable future, they are a 20th Century pox, neither green nor clean.

2. All-out conversion to renewable energy, led by the "Solartopian Trinity" of wind, solar and bio-fuels. Mother Earth gives us the natural power we need.

3. Complete commitment to maximum efficiency, including revived and solarized mass transit and passenger rail systems. Our automotive "love affair" is a hoax.

4. Zero tolerance for production of anything that cannot be re-used or recycled, including chemical-based food. Solartopia is an organic, post-pollution world.

Along with wind, solar and bio-fuels, Solartopian energy comes from the waves, currents, rivers and tides; from the geothermal heat beneath the earth's crust; from the interplay of solar-heated water at the oceans' surface and the frigid deep.

Hydrogen and electricity are the chief power carriers, but they are always produced by clean Solartopian means.

The efficiency revolution drives Solartopian energy consumption levels ever downward. Compact fluorescent bulbs are transcended by Light Emitting Diodes. An evolving armada of efficiency devices, many invented in backyards and garages, spreads at warp-speed through a hyper-linked global community.

Advanced methods of organic food production get us past the "silent spring" of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and genetically modified crops.

The ever-evolving Internet fuels a geek-driven torrent of Solartopian innovation---and the raging e-network of green grassroots democracy (http://solartopia.org/Links.php).

In our 21st Century global economy, renewable technologies are already on the whole more profitable than the obsolete King CONG "alternatives" of coal, oil, nukes and gas.

But from bio-fuels to wind, from hyper-efficiency to organic farming, no green technology is without costs and limitations. All demand vigilance, limitation, regulation and innovation to stay clean, current and useful.

When done right, the Solartopian revolution spawns the decentralized wealth, full employment, and community-based economic power of a prosperous, socially democratized society.

Homes, buildings, communities and farms control their own energy. Power and prosperity are widespread, not concentrated in the hands of King CONG and its corporate minions.

Indeed, Solartopia can't happen without transcending some primary barriers:

5. Corporations can no longer enjoy human rights without human responsibilities. Revised corporate charters must break the grip these giant economic organizations have held on our political, economic and ecological systems.

6. Population is the province of women, who in Solartopia are empowered, educated and equally paid. In synch with Mother Earth, they bring us the number of children She wishes to accommodate.

7. Where everyone has a right to the basic necessities of life, including free education, nobody starves. The Solartopian rich may be plentiful, but no civilization thrives unless all have access to sustenance and dignity.

8. Big Money is barred from the campaign process. Free and fair elections and referenda power non-violent community-based evolution. The universal right to ballots on recycled paper means accurate vote counts and recounts for all.

Solartopia demands that business serve society and the planet, rather than vice versa. Capitalism may be one thing, but Enron cannibalism is quite another. Balancing competition and the profit motive with human and ecological need, the Solartopian vision demands accountability, efficiency, service and justice.

The switch to renewables defunds global terrorism. Atomic reactors are pre-deployed weapons of radioactive mass destruction. Shutting them ends the fear of apocalyptic disaster by both terror and error. Transcending coal and cars cures much of global warming.

But everywhere we turn, the King CONG corporations build barriers. They use government subsidies and media disinformation to prolong their failed investments in obsolete technologies and the fossil/nuke fuels that run them.

Inseparable from those fuels are authoritarian power structures that produce wars for oil, financial imbalance and social chaos, leading to biological extinction.

By contrast, Solartopia is the diverse, democratic, organic place we go to survive and thrive.

Born of hyper-linked grassroots non-violence, empowered by post-pollution prosperity in synch with Mother Earth and all her children, Solartopia is the 21st Century vision of our necessary future.

Are YOU a Solartopian?

Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org. He is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information & Resource Service, and writes regularly for www.freepress.org, where this article first appeared.

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