We Don't Have to Take This Anymore
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
August 28, 2003

With the heralded hikes first in utility bills and now in our gasoline bills, I am reminded of the saying, "If I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all."  But my fellow Bexar Countians, take note: we absolutely must be the ultimate masters of our own destiny and not just sheep to be fleeced by the monopolies and cartels that are getting way too much of our valuable personal and public money!

The only price we have to pay is the willingness to change.  Some call it a paradigm shift.  According to T.S. Kuhn, author of The Structure of Scientific Revolution (1970), a paradigm is the total pattern of perceiving, conceptualizing, acting, validating and valuing associated with a particular image of reality that prevails in (a given profession) a science or branch of science.  For our first energy paradigm shift, let's take the example of the automobile.  With little exception, the way they are being built today, one would think that we have an eternity of gasoline supplies.  We don't!

Though often thought of as being an energy State, Texas is a net importer of energy.  What's more, according to Amory B. Lovins, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, the United States has 4.6% of the world's population, produces 21% of Gross World Product, but uses 26%, produces 9%, and owns only 2-3% of world oil! 

No matter how long us Texans have been under this hot Texas sun, there is still plenty of complaining about its strength.  Hey, that's just what we need to fuel our economy, especially the cars of the future.  All we need is inventors who are gutsy enough to harness the sun with existing and developing solar technologies.  "Homegrown" energy possibilities abound!

According to at least one energy expert on solar energy, we will experience a 10% annual decrease in the prices of solar panels for as far as the eye can see into the future!  This is the normal experience most of us have had with technology-driven equipment such as the computer.  Still, an increase in our federal government's commitment to research and development will only accelerate the advancement to cheaper energy.

And while we are in search of a way to say goodbye to those fleecing our wallets with regularity through rip-off energy prices, let us acknowledge just what it is that we need: clean (no emissions), cheap (renewable at little cost) and quiet (noise-free).  Enter the solar energy car!

Although the current and local, all-solar electric prototype being developed here in San Antonio has a ways to go, plans are underway right as you read this article to introduce this vehicle to short-distance and less demanding applications for starters.  But the technology needed to "mainstream" this vehicle into our every day use is already here. 

So if this is the case, why do we not have this vehicle already?  Momentum.  Ingrained interests.  Habits.  The list goes on. 

But, do stay tuned!  When the best of our community is brought to bear in the very near future, we will be national leaders in the acceleration of the shift to sustainability, energy independence and economy for our consumers.

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