ENERGY RUSH! – Mega-corporations Scramble to Profit from Climate Chaos
by James Heddle
Like the proverbial ‘Old Soldier,’ climate change denialists may not have died, but they do seem to be fading away as a global energy rush takes shape in the early years of the 21st century.
Cartoon by Brian Narelle
Now that non-carbon-based energy sources are all the rage, the Boardroom Boys of Big Nukes, Big Solar, Big Wind, Big Telecom, Big IT and Big Banking have dollar signs in their eyes and grandiose wet dreams in their heads over how to cash in on their combined ‘competitive advantages’ and make sure their self-serving roadmap is seen as the only alternative for ‘saving the planet.’
PG&E’s currently attempted ‘SmartMeter’ build-out caper in California, and the international wireless ‘SmartGrid’ fantasy of which it is a part, are both manifestations of this corporate mega-tech delusion – a kind of technocratic totalitarian Promised Land with ‘smart’ wireless appliances serving as Big Brother’s corporate and governmental eyes and ears in every household and enterprise.
For the record, EON’s position on this is that Schumacher’s and Kohr’s dictum ‘Small is Beautiful’ is now more relevant than ever. Small and mid-scale, local micro-grids – or ‘WiseGrids’ – communicating ‘through-the-wires,’ and based on regionally appropriate mixes of renewable energy sources, guided by efficiency and conservation, represent the wisest, softest, most democratic path through the inevitable energy transition to a post-carbon culture.
Such WiseGrid solutions can be realized without the looming health, environmental, privacy and security hazards posed by wireless, hackable, invasive metering systems and by giant-scale, centralized, corporately-controlled wind, nuclear and solar installations. The WiseGrid path is way smarter than a ‘SmartGrid’ path – better for humans and other living things, better for the planet and better for democracy.