A “War on Energy” — What Does that Really Mean?

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Recently, Josh del Sol, Director of the smart meter documentary Take Back Your Power, declared in a blog post that there is a “war on energy.”  This is a dangerous oversimplification. I think it would be more accurate to say that there are wars against different types of energy, with very different players and hugely different worldviews and outcomes at stake.

There is certainly a war on solar and renewable energy (as del Sol acknowledges) by corporations wedded to the fossil fuel status quo, who are trying to shut down off-grid electricity systems, to keep the cash flowing in and the black stuff burning.

There is also a separate war, on behalf of scientists, the grassroots and environmental activists, to keep fossil fuels in the ground where they belong.  While we vigorously oppose the war on renewable energy, StopSmartMeters.org continues to be an outspoken proponent of the well-justified war against fossil fuel energy. The cost in terms of our health and the climate is just not worth the few decades of gluttony and waste we can squeeze out of remaining oil supplies.

But no distinction is made between clean, renewable energy and dirty fossil fuel energy, in the discourse coming from del Sol.  Those opposed to smart meters also have an interest in opposing the fossil fuel industry, who promote the smart grid.  The science linking GHG emissions to dangerous changes in our climate is as solid as the science linking RF exposure to cancer and other health problems. The time is now for psychological denial to end on both of these critical health issues, and for us collectively to come up with practical solutions that put science, not the retention of our habits, first.

We must be fighting for renewable energy systems that are locally controlled, affordable, and that disentangle us from the tentacles of big energy corporations clearly hostile to the community’s interests.

According to del Sol, nothing is lacking and life is all one big smorgasbord:

“It is both harrowing and exciting for one to discover that there are major societal programs which are simply manufactured lies fueled by the idea of lack. That there’s not enough energy, food, resources, money. In reality, there is enough for all life to survive — and to thrive. It is provable fact that these truths have been suppressed.”

While it might be a comfortable idea that there is plenty to go around, and that a bunch of government bureaucrats are manufacturing this idea of “lack” to keep us under their thumb, there are some serious fallacies with this point of view. Never mind racism, colonialism, or the fact that the top 1% gets ever richer while the poor starve. What is really harrowing is that the 7 billion people on the planet are overwhelming natural life support systems and that the vast majority of us would not even exist if it were it not for the globalized and oil-powered agricultural system, mostly providing cheap and disgusting food.

Most humans on the planet would die of starvation if the supply of that limited resource were interrupted for any length of time. Most of us are literally eating, and surviving off of oil (to power the farm machinery, manufacture the fertilizers, and get the food to supermarkets). This kind of dependency on a non-renewable resource, from corporate, profit-driven entities, is dangerous and ill-advised. It is also dangerous and ill-advised to rely on a utility grid system for basic life needs, particularly one that has been made vulnerable to disruption by the addition of millions of smart meters. Just ask Ted Koppel.

Sure there are probably enough resources to keep the capitalist growth machine going for a few more years, at terrible expense to the environment and our land base.  But who wants to eat our future to live in the present? Shouldn’t our wasteful consumption patterns and bloated corporate abuses be subject to examination and criticism? Shouldn’t population expansion be at least acknowledged, if not reversed?

Socialism is the opposite of (corporate) fascism, not the same thing. Resources that are left unconsumed are not “wasted” and the planet does not exist to serve only human beings. That is a psychotic, corporate mindset.

It is not a “neoliberal conspiracy” to discuss the practicality of large scale cuts in fossil fuels, and a transition to renewable energy sources. When you consider the disruption that has already been caused, and the threat of worse to come, that is simply common sense.

The problem comes when real problems like climate change are paired with false, corporate solutions like the smart grid. The growing cynicism makes people doubt that real solutions are possible, even ones that would have direct benefits to health and quality of life.

It turns out that del Sol’s “war on energy” discourse would fit very well with the corporate messaging of PG&E, Chevron, and BP.  A similar “all of the above” energy strategy is being promoted by these major oil companies, as a way to delay critical action on climate change.

Not something you would expect from someone who purports to advocate “a more equitable social structure…. and technology which harmonizes with biological life and rights.”

Note to our readers: Though I appeared in the film, helped provide information for the production and promoted it when it was released, for a number of reasons, StopSmartMeters.org has cut ties with Take Back Your Power and we no longer promote the film or the website. The reasons include:

  • being a disruptive and self-serving presence in some local communities
  • opposition to real solutions to climate change
  • promotion of books such as “Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21.” This book denies that climate change is a problem, advocates for the abolition of community rights, against reasonable urban livability measures, and claims that future generations should not have the right to a livable planet. This is diametrically opposite to our values, that human as well as non-human communities possess an unalienable right to a healthy life, and that we need to stop the pursuit of false climate solutions and overhaul a system that continues taking apart the living world.

While we acknowledge the Take Back Your Power documentary has been a vehicle that has raised awareness among many about the very real problems with smart meters, lack of any resolution surrounding the above issues prevent us from further promoting the film.

Discussion of solutions is important to have within the anti-smart meter movement, and in society as a whole.  After all, if we claim that “smart”meters are a false solution, and that we want to “stop smart meters” then what are the solutions we’d like to see, and why? Discussion and debate are positive, and we learn from each other when there is free exchange of ideas.

This entry was posted in Class Issues and Social Equality, Climate Change, Environmental Concerns, Smart Grid. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A “War on Energy” — What Does that Really Mean?

  1. Paul H says:

    Just what the smart grid proponents want…division. Big grins on their mugs as they try and wash the blood off their hands. By the way have you seen that video where Windheim served a lawsuit to SMUD?

    Take Back Your Power has been a valuable tool. It doesn’t matter how Josh ties his shoes. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to put my beliefs on the back burner to advance stopping smart meters.

    Sideline point. I haven’t seen one energy saving device that hasn’t harmed humanity through polluting the grid. Smart meters, solar inverters, CFL bulbs, LED bulbs,dimmer switches, and variable speed motors create frequencies known to cause nerve block in the peripheral nervous system. The electric field everyone is absorbing is toxic due to “energy saving” devices. Period! UN Agenda 21 wins. Off the planet you go!

    Climate change? Of course the planet’s weather will change. Variation is good. Do you really think man has the power to change it? Really? Wasn’t this point made in the Chicken Little story? just sayin..

    • Hi Paul,

      There are obviously differences of opinion in the anti-smart meter movement, and that is healthy. It would be boring if everyone agreed on everything! If the way Josh ties his shoes had an impact on the livability of the planet I would probably want to discuss that also!

      Most corporate “solutions” to climate change don’t work, and create some seriously negative side effects, but real solutions like off grid renewable energy, development of non-motorized and public transportation, better land use planning, efficiency improvements, etc can reduce costs, fossil fuel use, and Electrosmog pollution at the same time. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater!

      Pretending differences don’t exist is a good way of making sure that those differences fester and worsen and eventually drive people apart. Discussing and debating is healthy, as long as it is done in a respectful way.

      Just look at the Democrat and Republican primary contests going on right now- and how bitter and divided they have become— however when there is a nominee most people unite. I think our movement is strong and diverse and will come together when it matters.

      Do I think that humans have the “power” to change our climate? When you look out an airplane window and see how we’ve altered the surface of the planet, and think about our thin layer of atmosphere, it’s hard not to admit that possibility. That, combined with a vast mountain of peer-reviewed science, and the funky weather we’ve been having and you would have to be in some pretty major psychological denial to refuse to admit there is a serious risk. Aren’t you all about the peer-reviewed science, and the precautionary principle Paul?

      I don’t believe that debate or discussion is stifled in the name of unity. That’s not real unity but a pretend, sort of “fantasy unity” where people don’t know the boundaries of agreement. When there is a choice, we should all err on the side of open debate and discussion. Suppression and censorship, even when well-intentioned, always backfires.

    • Mia Nony says:

      “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” – Richard Feynman

      1871 Climate Superstition
      According to the IPCC, temperatures were cold in 1871, sea level was much lower, and the climate was much more stable. All of this utter nonsense – nothing more than well financed superstition. The same mindless superstition which infected academics in 1871.

      January 10th, 1871

      We have often noticed that in the tabular statements of those compilers of weather records who write to the Times, useful and welcome as their communications are, every season is sure to be “extraordinary,” almost every month one of the driest or wettest, or windiest, coldest or hottest, ever known.
      Much observation, which ought to correct a tendency to exaggerate, seems in some minds to have rather a tendency to increase it.

      10 Jan 1871 –
      IMAGINARY CHANGES OF CLIMATE.
      (Pall Mall Gazette.)

      http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/1298497

      In 1871, the New York Times was worried about climate change, just like they are now. Nothing has changed

      http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/77576374?searchTerm=peshtigo%20fire&searchLimits=

      https://www.sandiegohistory.org/timeline/images/80-2860.jpg

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/090207-LaJollaCove.jpg

      America’s largest and deadliest forest fire occurred this weekend in 1871, after weeks of intense heat, drought and wind.

      http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wioconto/PeshtigoFullFireMapOnly.jpg?cj=1&sid=skim725X619873X8ba8160689ee2b73ce5bc200b2f009e5&netid=cj&o_xid=0003662453&o_lid=0003662453&o_sch=Affiliate+External

      http://query.nytimes.com/

      http://news.google.com/newspapers

      https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/1871-climate-superstition/

      • And it must just be my “imagination” the rain in the sierra when all anyone can remember is lots of snow (not to mention very very strong and overwhelming peer-reviewed science). I’m sure all the billions of tons of gases we are emitting into our thin atmosphere, have nothing to do with the melting poles. Same energy companies as are pushing the smart grid (with more CO2 being emitted as a result) are the ones profiting from continued dithering and fossil fuel dependent projects.

        False solutions like the smart grid help perpetuate the increasingly serious and dire situation we find ourselves in wrt climate. We all have our blind spots and areas of denial, myself included I’m sure, but let’s all take a look at the facts and see the harm being caused by fossil fuel and microwave technologies (including synergistic effects between the two). People love their cars and their cell phones and their fossil fueled comforts and conveniences but let’s not kid ourselves that the widespread use of these technologies isn’t leading to a very dark place indeed.

  2. Paul H says:

    Obama and Gore would be proud of you. You bought all their lies and now have stopped support for Take Back Your Power.

    http://business.time.com/2012/07/26/obamas-smart-electrical-grid-plan/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/business/energy-environment/03gore.html

    Don’t try and pull a needle out of someone’s eye when you have a log in your own.

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