Think twice before you adopt the belief that we live on a planet of scarcity. Abundance exists! My solarpunk novel called The Carbon Coast is set in a future where renewable energies are everywhere and the planet has a chance to breathe. Why am I imagining this future?
Because we can replace fossil fuels with renewable, abundant energy. It will cause growing pains, but we have to make this change, and I hope my novel will inspire people to believe in that future
Donald Trump is trying to destroy solar energy in America.
As someone who has been using 100% solar energy to power everything but my apartment and car for nearly eight months, and frequently has too much energy and too little storage, I feel the need to comment on this.
So Trump put a 30% tariff on importing materials used to manufacture solar panels. More than 50% of the world’s silicon production (the element that best allows for the photovoltaic effect) is in China, whereas less than 5% of production is in the US. Not to mention other imported materials needed to make solar panels.
Before anyone says “then why don’t we just make this stuff in America,” we do, but in very small quantities, because the resources to create these materials are scarce in North America. It’s called GEOpolitics for a reason.
So, higher tariffs on imported materials required to manufacture solar panels means fewer American companies will be purchasing foreign materials, because foreign materials will be jump in cost to account for the tariffs. The countries trading the materials will also trade less material so as not to incur these tariffs at their own expense, which could stem the flow imported goods to a trickle. These same countries will begin trading with other countries that don’t have as high a tariff and whose governments actually encourage renewable energy and solar production (unlike, obviously, the shitty assholes in our government whose paychecks come from the Koch Brothers and Big Oil, all of who don’t give a damn, because only socialist countries use renewable energy, afterall).
More solar production in America = less cost to consumers (free energy for immediate purchasers and long-term users)
More production = overproduction
Overproduction = manufacturing and innovating better storage
Better storage = longer usage, more energy to drive more industry and innovation in technology
More industry and technology + cheap/free energy = more money in individual pockets, more job creation, boost in economy
Boost in economy + more money to individuals + high skill job creation = better education and rise in quality of life for lower and middle classes
Better education and rise in quality of life = better social values and more intelligent citizens entering workforce and entreprenurial sector.
So why discourage solar production? Why not lead the charge and prioritize solar production, instead of speaking out against it and making it more difficult to obtain solar in America? Why not make it more difficult to import oil to encourage a transition to cleaner, more reliable, and cheaper if not FREE energy? Why?
Transitioning to solar and renewable energy should absolutely be one of the highest priorities for our government, but it’s not. We have all these individual companies and cities saying they’ll phase out coal and oil and go all electric and renewable, and you’re going to see an increase in profits, an increase in the quality of life in those cities, better income, and more innovation. Oil companies know this is happening – and they are going to fight as brutally as a wounded animal, and they will fund campaigns of people who support coal and oil, even though they are dying.
Yes, oil isn’t just used as fuel. It’s in clothes, and soaps, and ink, and whatever else. Obviously. That’s completely beside the point. Because our transportation is the #1 source of our carbon emissions. We have heat islands in cities for a reason. You wouldn’t breathe in a tailpipe FOR A REASON. If we could completely eliminate transportation emissions in the next 10 years, and household and structure emissions in the next 20, why isn’t the government even voicing support for that? The government doesn’t have to regulate everything and lead the charge, but Trump and his cronies literally and forcefully OPPOSE renewable energy.
I have six solar panels and three large battery packs. I have been using these for eight months. Five hours of sunlight gives me more than a week’s worth of energy to use. If I had the resources to store ALL of the energy I could generate per day, I would be able to generate about two weeks of energy in a SINGLE DAY. In one week, I would have enough energy to use for more than six months. So don’t tell me solar doesn’t work. Don’t me it’s bad on a cloudy day, or during snowstorms, or at night, or when it’s raining. I have gone nearly two weeks without sunlight and been completely fine. Mine are just the small scale. I haven’t even used a wall plug for anything but my computer in eight months (and computer is just emergencies). But I don’t even put them out every day, because I just don’t have the storage capacity for the energy I *could* generate. Solar works. Solar is infinitely better than coal and oil ever will be. We need to be funding it. We need to be pushing ahead with it. We can’t be punishing it just to cling to some outdated way of thinking. If you claim to want a better America (let’s be real, Trump doesn’t give one single shit), you need to understand #1 that we NEED these materials and #2 they don’t magically appear in the ground where you put your shovel. The rest of the world, ESPECIALLY CHINA, for god’s sake, is pushing ahead with developing solar infrastructures. So why aren’t we even trying? And “because it’s not the government’s job” isn’t an excuse. Know why? Because the Donald Trump and the government is SUPPRESSING it.
Be it known that I, NIKOLA TESLA, a citizen of the United States… have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Apparatus for the Utilization of Radiant Energy…
It is well known that certain radiations–such as those of ultra-violet light, cathodic, Roentgen rays, or the like–possess the property of charging and discharging conductors of electricity, the discharge being particularly noticeable when the conductor upon which the rays impinge is negatively electrified. These radiations are generally considered to be ether vibrations of extremely small wave lengths, and in explanation of the phenomena noted it has been assumed by some authorities that they ionize or render conducting the atmosphere through which they are propagated. My own experiments and observations, however, lead me to conclusions more in accord with the theory heretofore advanced by me that sources of such radiant energy throw off with great velocity minute particles of matter which are strongly electrified, and therefore capable of charging an electrical conductor, or, even if not so, may at any rate discharge an electrified conductor either by carrying off bodily its charge or otherwise.
My present application is based upon a discovery which I have made that when rays, or, radiations of the above kind are permitted to fall upon an insulated conducting-body connected to one of the terminals of a condenser while the other terminal of the same is made by independent means to receive or to carry away electricity a current flows into the condenser so long as the insulated body is exposed to the rays, and under the conditions hereinafter specified an indefinite accumulation of electrical energy in the condenser takes place. This energy after a suitable time interval, during which the rays are allowed to act, may manifest itself in a powerful discharge, which may be utilized for the operation or control of mechanical or electrical devices or rendered useful in many other ways.
Figure 1 is a diagram showing the general arrangement of apparatus as usually employed.
Fig. 2 is a similar diagram illustrating more in detail typical forms of the devices or elements used in practice.
Figs. 3 and 4 are diagrammatical representations of modified arrangements suitable for special purposes.
…It will be found that when the radiations of the sun or of any other source capable of producing the effects before described fall upon the plate P an accumulation of electrical energy in the condenser C will result. This phenomenon, I believe, is best explained as follows: The sun, as well as other sources of radiant energy, throws off minute particles of matter positively electrified, which, impinging upon the plate P, communicate continuously an electrical charge to the same. The opposite terminal of the condenser being connected to the ground, which may be considered as a vast reservoir of negative electricity, a feeble current flows continuously into the condenser, and inasmuch as these supposed particles are of an inconceivably small radius or curvature, and consequently charged to a relatively very high potential, this charging of the condenser may continue, as I have actually observed, almost indefinitely, even to the point of rupturing the dielectric. If the device d be of such character that it will operate to close the circuit in which it is included when the potential in the condenser has reached a certain magnitude, the accumulated charge will pass through the circuit, which also includes the receiver R, and operate the latter…
What would it take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by
two to three percent in five years? For Donnel Baird, the
solution is simple: bring green power to those who need it most, block by
block. Baird is the founder of BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based startup working
to green American inner-cities using cutting-edge data analysis and green
energy solutions. Start asking Donnel your questions now and join him tomorrow 4/17 at 3:30PM EST for an Answer Time.
I’m proud to say that 100% of my devices are now solar powered!
My GoPro charging cable plugs into my computer (which I *didn’t* know prior to purchasing either), so by that timely stroke of luck, my entire mobile device and accessories life is completely solar powered. It took less than 6 months (June 1st - November 20th) to get everything I carry around with me off the grid! I haven’t plugged anything but my computer into a wall in 6 months! (I literally no longer own wall outlet adapters)
My phone, my wireless headphones, my Bluetooth speaker, my Amazon Echo Dot, my GoPro, my video camera, my running headphones, my roommate’s PS4 controllers, and now, finally, my laptop.