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Open Forum: Renewable illusion

The renewable energy crowd creates a dangerous illusion. The illusion that middle class life can continue at some level of luxury and ease. That electricity for motors, electronics and lights will be available continually.  That using “renewable” energy, we are not assaulting the earth’s resources and other life forms.  That because it is “renewable,” it is clean and green. That because it is “sustainable,” it can go on indefinitely. 

The belief that so-called renewables can replace fossil fuels does not look at the total process. To create the devices that capture the sun or wind, we use fossil fuels and toxic chemicals to mine, process, fabricate, manufacture and transport materials.  The earth is gouged, rivers polluted, and air sullied.  Given the amount and type of energy needed to get the end product, these devices are not renewable or green or clean or environmentally safe or sustainable.

This illusion of sunshine “business as usual” blinds the future. I lived off-the-grid for 30 years. At no time was I ever disconnected from the fossil fuel world.  From my cook stove to my farm pump to my wind generator and tower to the photovoltaics, batteries, copper wire and electronics. I thought “renewable energy” was the savior then I took a deeper look.

Believers continue the myth of renewable, sustainable, green and clean - some for belief; many for profit. They range from private sector entrepreneurs to nonprofits living on tax money to subsidy beneficiaries to the simply wishful to gurus. They live in the 1970s, a 20th century view in a Twenty First century energy, resource and environmental reality. Their illusions create a false hope instead of realistic action.

See: Energy in the Real World with pictures of proof at  

John Weber    


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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