Today I had the privilege of traveling through time. Not physically, but my travels were done in a way that was both metaphorical and symbolic. They led me through a time warp.

My path took me up a hill to a nearby wind farm, whose turbines were owned by FLP. Even underneath its base, there was no grating noise, only a minute squeak after every 5 revolutions. The hilltop had been cleared, allowing for a maintenance road to traverse the ridge line. On two distant ridges I saw more rows of turbines turning.

The city of Meyersdale, PA was surrounded by wind turbines.

On the way down, a narrow two lane road, I passed a double horse buggy, of man and wife headed across the mountain. I had often wondered how pioneers had navigated mountains with horse pulled wagons, and now plodding up the hill towards me, I saw it could be done. Thinking I wanted to talk, (my window was down due to the springiness of the weather) he stopped his horses on the 5% grade, and feeling bad for what I had caused him to do, I traded pleasantries with them. Pulling away I saw the horses start their walk up the steep hill, probably grateful for the brief minutes rest.

Now there is a self sufficient community that will not feel the crunch caused by the rise in energy prices, nor feel the inflation of high food prices caused by the rapid devaluation of the dollar. Plus any of their surplus items sold from their farms, should fetch a fair penny, too. And we and weird Al Yankovich use to think they were living in the last century, and not the next one……..

Later while on my drive a news station brought up the Iranian oil and gas crises. The crises is not with the Iranians. It is with the United States which after having vilified Iran and will now receive none of the abundant cheap energy that Iran has now to offer. China, India, and Europe are extremely interested in Iran’s natural gas, to such an extent that a 5 billion dollar pipeline will eventually stretch from Iran through Turkey, the Balkans, Hungary, and into Western Europe. This will give Europe a hedge against the Russian propensity to shut off their gas lines whenever the West practices politics the Russians do not like. In the other direction a pipeline to India and China will give those two giant energy starved nations the source of energy they need.

Unfortunately, the US is not even allowed at the bidding table, due to the politics of the Bush administration. The State Department has condemned the deal, but Western Europe, China, and India, have decided that the State Department, as long as it is being run by Condi Rice, is irrelavant at best. We can’t even get Europe to assist us in Afghanistan anymore, due to their previous perilous treatment from the hands of our own neocons……

The bad news is that gas will be available to other countries, but not us…..The fear is that we will be left with no choice but coal. Dirty coal will burn and give us our electricity.

Unless we forswear off fossil fuels altogether. Wind is a valid source. So is solar. These two sources together could theoretically power our nation’s entire grid, with ample investment. What if we let the rest of the world fight over carbon sources, while we go green and clean, cheaper than our competitive nations could with coal or gas? Eventually they too will be forced to seek out our technology.

Electric cars are the best bet for the future of automobile travel. Plug into a grid supplied by renewable sources of energy, release, and drive. Neither pollution, nor CO2 would be released for either our principle source of power or our transportation.

With electric cars, will still be able to afford to drive, while the rest of the world idles their cars until they catch up to our technology. They have to; they will have no choice when gasoline shoots to 25 dollars a gallon.

As one hears how much global demand for gas, coal, and oil is expected to rise, ( look at China’s growth the last ten years and apply that to India, Africa, and South America) it is imperative that we aggressively work to abandon our dependance on all carbon fuels.

The establishment of Delaware’s wind farm off of Rehoboth Beach, is certainly a cheap step in the right direction. We know there will need to be many more wind farms up and down our coastlines, if this nation is to remain solvent. Delaware’s expertise at building a wind farm off U. S. shores, can boost our local economy beyond anything we have seen up to this point.

So…….. by seeing the future, talking to the past, and listening to the present, it became obvious to me, (and hopefully to you, reader, as well), that like the Amish, if we make ourselves self sufficient when it comes to satisfying our energy needs, harnessing what nature has given us, we can weather our future energy shocks with hardly a problem…………
Wind turbines looking down on Meyersdale PA

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