I was channel surfing this past weekend when I came across Ralph Nader on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, must have been around 1978, on Antenna TV. Nader was championing Solar Energy and I was intrigued by what Young Ralph Nader was saying.
Long story short, because it was NBC, not NPR, Nader was playing to the crowd a little bit, he basically said that Oil and Coal industries should act like Energy Companies and not, well, Oil and Coal Companies. The gist of what Nader was getting at is that what’s best for the planet is a clean, renewable energy source that all countries have access to, but no company was going to provide it because they don’t control the source. They don’t own, so they can’t monetize, the sun. And, inversely, the sun would kill oil and coal. He hinted that the government needed to champion the technology to circumvent the self-serving interests of multi-national corporations. You could see the seeds of his Green Party efforts in the twinkle of his eye.
His logic was simple, but my question is, in 40 years Americans have learned to monetize just about everything. If the solar power technology exists today, how is it not in casual use?
I wanted to write a long-winded missive about how Ralph Nader was a visionary, but I’m just too bummed out about it.
In 1978, Nuclear Energy was about 30 years old, and today it’s about 8 ½ % of Total Energy Consumption. Somehow, Solar Power has been in use since the 1800’s, and man has been known about the sun since time itself, but only ½ of 1% of America’s Energy Consumption is Solar.
I could rant and rave and cite more statistics, but the answer is American Corporations are just plain Greedy.
Just think about how bad it would be in this country if a cutthroat CEO Billionaire was in charge.