This Could Be Our Future . . . Take A Look

The image above is similar to the ‘Topaz Solar Farm’ which is located in California. Construction began in November 2011 and was completed in November 2014. It has 9,000,000 solar panels within it’s boundaries and came at a cost of 2.7 billion dollars. It is called a 550 Megawatt facility. During it’s construction it created approximately 400 direct jobs. It is an amazing place and if you are interested in knowing more about what we need to be doing or at least planning right now just type in Topaz Solar Farm. This particular facility is among the largest in the world, with many more of these projects planned or under way. The company that maintains and operates the Topaz site is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway which is run by Warren Buffet. This ‘farm’ produces enough energy to power 160,000 homes for a year, reduce the number of cars by 73,000 and would reduce the amount of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere by some 377,000 tons each year. This is just ONE farm. The really interesting part of this is that the cost of energy to homes is or would drop by 30-50%. The technology is developing so fast that in ten years time the size of panels would decrease markedly thereby lowering the cost of energy even further but also allowing room for more panels to power more homes and businesses–with NO pollution–clear air renewable energy. This is the future. The question is when will this become our reality.

Let’s imagine, for a moment, some contrasting information that is quite remarkable and not in a particularly good or positive way. Our provincial government has just spent over a billion dollars getting us out of a bad deal and got zero for our investment. That money could have built a farm, at the US rates, containing approximately 3,600,000 panels powering  approximately 61000 homes for a year. It also would have provided jobs for 150 folks for at least 2-2.5 years. Why aren’t we doing this-now? Why aren’t we using provincial lands for solar farms? There will be a place for wind power at some point to be sure but not now and not where they are presently being erected. Kathleen Wynne insists that windmills are still the way to go. I’d say the recent examples of how to create solar power south of us say otherwise. We continue to recirculate old ideas with a `fresh coat of paint on them`and think that we are really doing something. Much time poorly spent trying to re-invent the wheel is making us physically more ill and placing more and more burden on a health care system we are told is working to capacity.We are dying because of the money that is being made at our expense.

Let’s also consider that, in the US it costs the US people close to 9,000,000 $/day to wage war in the Iraq region. Apparently this is a conservative estimate and, as well, they have spent upwards of 3 trillion dollars (no one can say for sure how accurate that figure is or if it’s more) since it began. Three trillion would build a few of these solar farms and put many people to work able who could then purchase goods and services without government assistance. Approximately 40,000 world wide jobs are connected to the Topaz Solar Farm when considering manufacturing panels, installing, servicing, shipping and so on.

What would it be like if the great deserts of the world became giant solar farms creating no pollution and cheap power that is unlimited in terms of resources needed to produce the power–no coal, no uranium, no oil. Ah and there is the problem. All those businesses would take enormous losses because demand for their product would be greatly reduced. Imagine the shift in the global balance of power. Because the cost of energy would continue to drop more of the poorer nations could become producers of goods and would be able to compete in the world marketplace. They could grown their own food, feed their poor and enjoy more of the earths’ abundance. Health care would be more affordable around the world and the overall quality of life would increase dramatically. The only thing that stands in the way of this happening is the obscene amounts of money that are currently being taken in by those who crave it and have the means to take it but don’t share much of it with others who could use it.

If the production of solar power became our focus we could train some of our human resources such as those currently unemployed or youth who can’t find work to build and install the panels. Now the recipients would be receiving less social service dollars and still making a much greater wage as well as working in an industry that only has an upside. The money governments would save in benefits would pay for much of the cost of building the farms–win-win.We have the solutions to many of our problems staring us in the face. Why aren’t we moving toward creating something we can all benefit from.

I`m certainly not against capitlaism. It is the driving force of innovation and progress and all the good things that help the world to continue to spin on its axis. However, we need to make things like this our first priority and we need to do that NOW. It takes 7-10 years to plan and create a nuclear plant at a huge cost and we still have some pollution and waste to deal with. With things like the Topaz Solar Farm more countries would be able to share in the true human experience and could offer that to their constituents instead of the misery that currently exists for the bottom third of the worlds economies.

Anyways, that`s how I see it, all the best Jim

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Were These Parents For Real Or Was I Just Hearing Things?

Having Kids . .. Quote

There are times when I just happen to overhear conversations between folks and I can’t resist wondering what are they talking about? Did I just hear what I thought I heard? I don’t mean to get all judgemental on people but I can’t understand the rationale of some parents when they are talking about their kids and some of the decisions they make regarding the use of alcohol and drugs. On one occasion a father and a mother were discussing a particular holiday function that their 16 year old son was hosting. The question was whether or not they should allow him to drink at the gathering since it was going to be at their home. The rationale was that they would rather have him drinking and celebrating in their own home than be out ‘there’ taking needless risks with the police and/or perhaps being in a car under the influence and running the risk of being in an accident. My inner voice was screaming “are you guys out of your freakin’ minds?

I couldn’t leave it alone and so I began to search around to see what other parents might do and, to my surprise, there were a few that saw it the same way albeit for a multitude of reasons. There were those who wanted to ‘teach’ him how to respect alcohol and not to let it get out of hand. Another person said that it would be fun to party with his son and bring him into the realm of manhood the right way. I remember this same argument a father put forth for having his son visit a prostitute at 18 in order to initiate him properly. Wow!! And then there was the mom, not too long ago, who had ordered a couple of exotic dancers to ‘crash’ her son’s party to provide a bit of ‘light’ entertainment. He was 16 I believe. We may need re-visit the whole argument around needing a licence to drive a car but how easy it is for anyone to create a human life.

So let’s look at the upside of this question. First of all there is ah-ah-gee I just can’t see an upside. My answer is quite simply NO. No it is not OK for anyone who is under age to be drinking at home or anywhere else for that matter. Especially when his/her parents are saying it’s OK.They are the adults-they should know better. What is it they want their kids to learn from this?

Why ‘NO’?

1. The obvious one is that it is illegal regardless of where it happens especially if ‘Junior’s friends’ are also drinking.
2. If anything should happen and someone gets hurt the parents would certainly be eligible for a giant lawsuit and criminal charges.
3. What kind of a message does it send the kids who attend the party? In this case 16 year olds about the reasoning and the respect for the law.
4. This relaxing of the rules of law also points out that it’s OK to defy the law as long as it happens behind closed doors and that it is OK to ignore the laws of the land if Dad says so.
5. It goes to show the parents inconsistency and hypocrisy. It says it is OK to make exceptions to the law if it suits our own needs. Dangerous for a kid to hear this message at any time.
6. How does a kid that old learn to trust his parents when the rules can be bent at any time and its OK.
7. If its OK to use alcohol prematurely then is it OK to gamble or use drugs or employ the services of a sex trade worker or be a bit more than forceful when encountering a young woman who is unsure about what she is doing or about to do? Does ‘No’ really mean ‘No’ in this case? It must be ‘OK’ if its happening behind closed doors. Right?

The part of this that I found hard to comprehend was the reasons parents came up with to allow ‘Junior’ to drink openly in the house. The one thing that most parents made clear was there could be no drug use. I guess they missed the discussion at Parents School about how alcohol is a drug as well. Parents, especially Dad, thought it would be cool to party with his son. He thought that it would be like a male bonding experience. NO it is not! What it is is a misguided attempt to stay close to ‘Junior’ and feel as though he is cool in his kids eyes and the eyes of ‘Junior’s’ friends. ‘Junior’ doesn’t need more friends. What he needs is a father who loves his kid enough to say ‘NO’ you cannot drink at the party. He needs to set some boundaries about what is acceptable and why. If ‘Junior’ threatens to go elsewhere and drink then help him understand the ramifications of that decision and that there are consequences to those decisions as well. Then Dad needs to be consistent should it come time to be so. The trick is not to make the consequences so unrealistic that a major crisis occurs but strong enough for ‘Junior’ to understand what is expected of him. He might be angry for awhile but he will come to understand there are rules for living that he needs to adhere to just like everyone else. The earlier this practice begins the easier it becomes and the more trust is likely built between sons and father/parents. Another reason I heard a great deal was the concern about being old enough to make those decisions for himself. The truth is more likely he is not mature enough to understand the nature of the situation and he likely doesn’t possess the maturity to handle the situation with anything other than self serving thoughts and feelings.

–‘Junior’ needs his parents to be his parents an not to be his friends.
–He needs consistency from his parents so that the same messages are being heard all the time–no exceptions and no ‘extraordinary’ circumstances.
–He needs to see his parents model appropriate behaviour when they are having a few.
–He needs to be encouraged to have some respect for the laws of the land. He doesn’t have to like them but he does have to learn to live with them.

Anyways, that’s how I see it–Jim

Please send me your comments whether you agree or not. I’m always interested in hearing from people who take the time to read my articles, give them some thought and then let me know how they feel about what they read. Pass this on to your friends as well–thanks

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