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There's a good Op-Ed over at 'Truthout' on the rapid advancing alternative energy industry that's been happening in Europe. Plenty of news over the past couple of years about the other side of the planet, China and the other countries in that sphere.

And to think it was us, in the U.S., that had started down the road with alternative energy development some forty years ago, manufacturing and installing, how do I know I was helping install a few or on jobs sites where they were being installed by forward thinking people. We were quickly blocked from developing another possible huge advanced industry by the well-financed, even then, of the special interests groups that saw it as a threat, they now heavily fund the climate change deniers.

and Why We're {the U.S.} Being Left in the Dust

12 December 2012 - Americans' greatest challenge in energy generation is appreciating what is possible because too many of us don't know what is already happening in other parts of the world - for example, the powerful story of Europe's energy transformation.

When residents of the small city of Freiburg, Germany, go to school or work in the morning, they pass dozens of solar installations. There are solar panels on homes, on churches, on the facade of the main train station, on the soccer stadium, throughout a "solar housing development" and a "solar business park" and on the roofs of schools.

All told, Freiburg's solar photovoltaic (PV) installations produce enough electricity to meet the needs of tens of thousands of homes.

Additionally, five large wind turbines are situated on hilltops within the city's boundaries and contribute to the town's energy supply. Small hydroelectric plants sit on the river, as well as combined heat and power plants and biomass plants that burn biogas and rapeseed oil, along with other facilities that burn wood chips and pellets. read more>>>

We once built a powerful and growing economy in other industries over and over in many area's and were envied by much of the world. As we not only built them our innovative work force quickly advanced the products made to better quality and at fair prices so the rapidly growing middle class could easily afford to own to make their lives easier and more enjoyable and more. Well paid jobs, growth in manufacturing safety and customer service and much more led to many companies becoming well known corporations. That blocking back then also came with the start of our shipping our innovative and experienced trades to the countries that envied us. They now are quickly moving forward with what we started and are rapidly bringing innovations to the products that should already be in existence and working for a better cleaner world and their rapidly growing economies.

There's some good news coming on the subject for the 113th Congress from Sen. Boxer.

Sen. Boxer announces plans to form ‘climate change caucus’
12/11/12 - Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that she’s forming a “climate change caucus,” and argues that Hurricane Sandy “changed a lot of minds” on the topic.

The move signals that Democrats might again be ready to aggressively promote bills to curb greenhouse gas emissions, even as the political prospects for global warming legislation remain remote in Congress.

“I am going to form a climate change caucus, because people are coming up to me, they really want to get into this. I think Sandy changed a lot of minds,” Boxer told reporters in the Capitol.  read more>>>

There is bad news, and worry, in the manufacturing community. Specifically the manufacturing of wind turbines. I caught an article on earlier today but can't find it now, sorry. But it said that companies are already cutting back on workers hours, from 40 to 32 a week and may start layoffs soon, some 37,000 jobs could be lost, if Congress doesn't pass the tax credit put in place to help these growing small businesses by the end of the year or very quickly, though layoffs will probably already have happened and some companies may have already folded, in the 113th Congress when it gets in session.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:31:44 PM PST

  •  F.I.T's are great. (4+ / 0-)

    Especially now that they can be set pretty low and still work due to the fact that solar and wind power are so much less expensive than they used to be and are getting less expensive all the time.

    I don't think that a federal F.I.T. would be right in the U.S., as electricity rates vary greatly, but Congress should require that states set F.I.T. rates either by themselves, or in conjunction with other states, where that makes sense.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:55:01 PM PST

    •  We used (5+ / 0-)

      To just do things, most very successfully, not worried about any alphabet soup, and the country prospered from the innovative workers right up to the corporate exec offices and their investor class, why even many of those workers were investing and grew wealth in healthy companies, as we were bringing in the poorest to the middle class!

      Not perfect, but that first some thirty years of my life was pretty good, second some thirty not so but at least I got great personal satisfaction, as many did, out of the completions and knowing I helped to bring them about, with quality, though the respect started waning about the time the economy did!!

      Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

      by jimstaro on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:10:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  indeed (8+ / 0-)

    Germany gets 26% of their electrical energy from renewables and the southernmost point of that nation lies at a latitude north of Fargo, ND.

    •  And they're now getting over 5% of their (10+ / 0-)

      electricity from solar power.  Solar is the fastest growing sector in the electricity production sector there, despite it being a very densely populated, heavily industrialized nation with less than favorable solar resources.  

      To think that it all wouldn't have happened if the progressive Social Democrat - Green coalition govt. hadn't pushed so hard for the renewable energy feed-in tariff back  in the beginning of the Millennium...

      They basically managed to outfox Big Oil and Big Energy at their own game and the result is that traditional fossil energy production industries worldwide are now having an increasingly hard time competing against renewables.

      Add the Obama Admin's strong push for vehicle electrification to the mix and even Big Oil will be steering into some stormy waters in the not-too-distant future.

      We do need to keep pushing on this issue as hard as we can, though.  The quicker renewables take over, the better it is for our planet and for kids and grandkids.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:22:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is (7+ / 0-)

        may be one thing we the old greens of the first generation can be proudest of. We managed to change society so much that it is now the very settled center right bourgeoisie of the conservatives that implements what we were once derided for as irreal dreamery. The Schroeder-Fischer government has had a lot of faults but it has also had lasting achievements and this is one of them.

        I wish the social democrats got over their identity crisis; in my mind a green-SD alliance remains amongst the best options available for progressive development anywhere.

        In most places, that will mean the Greens have to grow. Currently where i live the Greens have imploded and the social democrats are disoriented and the result is a drifting, listless society that tries as hard as possible to pretend there were no world beyond the margins of the flat screen TV´s.

        •  Yes, the f.i.t. was the greatest achievement of (0+ / 0-)

          the Red-Green coalition, imo.  I think it actually even may have been the greatest achievement of any German govt. in the history of the German Federal Republic.

          Sadly, I think that the Social Democrats won't recover as long as they keep nominating people like Peer Steinbrück for chancellor instead of nominating someone like Hannelore Kraft.

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:24:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  TnR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:23:00 PM PST

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