I’m a believer

In 1979 I’m nine years old. Sony releases the “Walkman” making  personal portable music a real thing. President Carter has solar panels installed on the White House showing the world the United States was using the Sun to collect energy. My family has a microwave to zap our food just like on the Jetsons and I blow up hot dogs in it regularly. I have seen the original Star Wars in the theater at least ten times by this point and now believe all things, including mind blowing space fighter jets, are possible.

Technology is amazing.

I have lived most of my life in the hottest parts of the United States. Born in Las Vegas, raised in the deserts of S.California and now in Arizona. I have asked this question my entire life “Why are we not covered in solar panels by now? There is plenty of open desert. We could power the whole United States with the amount of sunshine we get!” (still with the enthusiasm of my nine year old self)

PBS recently aired this amazing show about scientists using origami folding patterns to send huge, complicated and ridiculously expensive equipment into space. Trust, we have the technology.

Then just the other day I hear the current president talking about coal and using coal. It’s 2017. Coal? Really? I know so little about coal that the first thing that pops into my head is Derek Zoolander complaining about the black lung after less than a day in the mines.

Coal? Isn’t mining dangerous and bad for the workers? Isn’t burning coal bad and causes pollution? The argument in favor says it’s cheaper we will always need to use coal and well, see, there’s new technology…

Imagine that.

I am not familiar with the hazards of solar panels. Nor am I familiar with any deaths caused by solar panels, the collapsing and trapping of workers or the pollution solar creates. Honestly, I have never heard of anyone dying because of their solar panel. But as I type that I am aware that somewhere out there, Uncle Bob decided to install his own solar panel he got half priced at the swap meet and fell off the roof carrying it and his six pack. That doesn’t count.

I am fully aware there are parts of our country that have had industries leave destroying once thriving communities. I still believe all things are possible. Why can’t we get over any hurdles in the way of moving us forward? We have the technology.

People have to be trained to go work in a dangerous mine. Explain to me why those same people can’t be taught a different, safer, better system where they can breathe fresh air?

Coal is the only way? Yeah so was my 8 track player 50 years ago.

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