If the world stopped burning fossil fuels for energy RIGHT NOW and carbon emissions came to a full stop, we would survive as a civilization. It would take decades, perhaps even centuries, for Mother Earth to begin correcting herself and we would still face climate change disasters in the short term as the planet would continue to warm based on the amount of warming gases that are already in the atmosphere, but humanity and civilization as we know it would likely survive. Right?
What if we came to a full stop in 5 years? How would we fare? Not as well compared to stopping today but we could still prevent a full on extinction event within that time frame. We can do it. It is entirely within our reach via technology available now to power the planet exclusively with solar and wind power, yet we just sit back and "wait" for the powers that be to do it for us.
I have news for you: if we wait for them to save us, we are most certainly doomed.
So what exactly is preventing a full on switch to green energy sources? I see four main barriers:
1. The choke hold the fossil fuel industry has on governments around the world restricting political will. They have the financial and political power. We don't.
2. The vast majority of humanity has been lulled into a false sense of security and are apathetic (thanks again primarily to the PR machine of the fossil fuel industry using their wealth to promote climate denial and ensuring the ignorance of the populace).
3. Costs in dollar terms.
4. Fear and resignation from those who recognize the problem but are convinced they don't have the power to change it.
Until six months ago, point 4 was my excuse and SolarCoin gave me hope and determination about a potential path forward that holds within it the solution to overcome points 1 and 2 with order instead of chaos. It was just a glimmer of hope but one small spark in the darkness is sometimes all it takes to breathe life into a vision.
How can SolarCoin help to provide a solution? Let me lay it out for you:
1. It is a currency. A currency that is issued to those who generate solar power. You get 1 SolarCoin for every MegaWatt hour of solar energy produced. (§1 = 1MWh)
2. There is enough SolarCoin available to grant to generators over the next few decades to reflect 97 billion MWh of solar electricity.
3. You can transact with it in a secure, decentralized environment similar to bitcoin.
4. It contains within it its own positive feedback loop. The more people who claim their SolarCoins, the more users there are, and the more valuable they become in terms of utility (for transactions) and stability (money supply tied to 1 MWh of electricity).
5. As that value grows, there is more financial incentive for those who already generate solar electricity to claim their coins and for new solar advocates to hop on board the solar train and purchase a system to begin generating and claiming their SolarCoins as well. Thus amplifying the cycle and encouraging much needed exponential growth in solar electricity around the world. The kind of growth NEEDED to rid us of our dependence on fossil fuels forever.
6. The parity relationship of §1 = 1MWh helps to ensure utility of the currency (reflective of economic growth based on electricity usage) and stability (growth in money supply of SolarCoin is controlled by growth in solar adoption). See the white paper by the founders for the economics of a currency that uses electricity to back it: DeKo: An Electricity-Backed Currency Proposal
7. Anyone in the world who generates solar power can claim SolarCoin. This is something practically everyone on the planet can do and it does not require approval by governments or the fossil fuel industry. Some countries are obviously more restrictive than others but the key point is: We don't need approval from the "powers that be" to make this happen all on our own.
When I first stumbled across SolarCoin during my research into bitcoin technology, this was the vision of the future that I could see being made possible. I am still concerned that the planet doesn't have enough time to execute such a strategy and the barriers to doing it are still massive, mostly in terms of people's lack of knowledge concerning cryptocurrency technology but also due to skepticism and the general lack of will to help make it happen.
I was also a skeptic in the beginning. I had all of the questions running through my head about this that all of you likely have right now. And guess what? I still have questions and concerns. But the risk to the planet far outweighs any personal risk I face by sticking my neck out as an advocate for SolarCoin.
In terms of financial risk, there is practically none at the moment. For those who do generate solar electricity, they can claim their coins right now at no cost to them other than the 5 minutes it might take to fill in the claim form. If you don't generate solar electricity yourself, there is a small supply of SolarCoins available right now so you can actually buy some as a means to support the idea. And given the current ridiculous price of half a penny each, it costs very little to acquire some now and become a supporter for the future.
My sincerest hope is that the value rises to a point where I can use those I've acquired already to finance the purchase of a solar system for myself. Better yet, if the value were to climb enough such that solar energy providers would accept SolarCoin as payment for systems, then we could easily turn this vision into a reality.
So what's stopping all of you? This can only work if we make it work. In this era of social networking, it's easier than ever to advance an idea like this and help it grow. Mother Earth isn't about to hit the pause button for us while we sit back dilly-dallying and obsessing over every little hiccup. She is on a path of destruction to eliminate those who have done her such harm. Frankly, I don't blame her one bit. This is something I CAN do in my limited capacity, so I'm doing it. So can you.
Do your research. Take the next step. Spread the word. The choice is yours.
Only we can make this happen. SolarCoin isn't the only solution but it can be a big contributor to getting around the first three barriers identified above. The fourth barrier is the only one each of us can control right now. Take the bull by the horns and go for it. What's the worst that can happen? I think we all know the answer to that question.
Let me end this with a quote from a very disturbing article concerning water:
As soon as 2020, 30 to 40 percent of people around the world won't have access to drinking water unless the competing issues of creating energy and supplying clean water are addressed, according to research by a team from Aarhus University in Denmark and the U.S.'s Vermont Law School and CNA Corp.2020. Think about that.
Interviews with myself and the two creators of SolarCoin
SolarCoin Facebook Group
Bitcointalk (mostly technical discussion related to the cryptocurrency aspect)
Bittrex (exchange to buy/sell)
Allcrypt (exchange to buy/sell)
SolarCoin Blockchain (transaction ledger)