The Irony of $4.00 Gas & 100-Plus Degree Weather!
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
December 11, 2008

If this isn't a message from God, I don't know what is! We have gas prices going through the roof and weather with heat which only a true Texan can fully appreciate. The old western proverb comes to mind: "If you're riding a dead horse, get off!"

It is far too soon to write off fossil fuels as a necessary ingredient to our quest for energy sovereignty, but it's getting later and later for us to develop some serious options to what the petro states are delivering to us! That's why nearly ten years ago I thought that we were painting ourselves into a proverbial economic and national security corner. My answer then and now is accelerate the shift to sustainability in all its facets, but most especially solar!

That's why I advocated for our County to hire Golda Weir, who is one of only two certified managers working for a large county in the entire State of Texas! As Warren Brown, writing for the Washington Post.com said, "Our demands for cost-free fuel economy were unrealistic in a world struggling to meet growing demand for oil.

"But we didn't want to hear any bad news and elected politicians wouldn't give us any. They were enablers, setting us up for another round of self-destructive behavior -- consuming oil like crazy at the cheapest retail prices in the developed world. But the world caught up with us and changed all of that." Brown goes on to say, "The market is doing what Congress would not do, what regulation could not do, and what consumers would not do without cause. It is forcing us to make realistic choices about how we use energy -- particularly in the matter of personal transportation."

Fade the heat of change and implement solar solutions as never before. Among other tactics, your County will place at least for consideration, the purchase of seven ZAP (zero air pollution) vehicles into next year's budget. This small vehicle which is licensed for the road uses solar and/or plug-in electricity together.

Elsewhere electric transportation plans are found throughout the auto industry. GM plans to sell a sporty plug-in hybrid known as the Chevy Volt, scheduled for launch in 2010. GM has found that 78 percent of U.S. commuters drive 40 miles or less in a day. The Volt will be able to cover that ground on electricity alone, after charging for six hours from a normal electrical outlet. No mention is made of solar power, but it will be a part of the energy solution.

The late Rice University Professor and recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Richard E. Smalley, said in his article, "Future Global Energy Prosperity: The Terawatt Challenge", that "we enjoy the effect of 165,000 terawatts of power hitting the earth's disk every moment of every day." That's 1,000,000 megawatts! As a comparison, CPS-Energy has a total generating capacity of 5,100 MW (megawatts).

With vision and guts, we can secure our energy future today!

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