|"Croatian Kirche", oil by Tim Holmes|
It started months ago when I wrote a complaining letter to the editor about NWE and got a call from the CEO. I was sure he was going to take me to the dungeon for a private session, but much to my amazement, he instead came to my studio and spent two whole hours talking to me about power issues. Almost all of what he said sailed over my head, but I found a man who listened, and who said he was willing to meet with my little group. (I must point out I'm a nobody- just an interested citizen and new solar producer.) It took two months to arrange the meeting (while they slaughtered all our clean energy bills in the legislature), and the CEO couldn't make the meeting, but he sent two other officials (and called me from the road just prior!)
The interaction was a clear and friendly exchange of ideas and concerns. Though there were some definite feelings, we all learned from each other and found some common ground to move into. What became clear to me is that we all operate in the tiny circles of our own world-view and rarely move out to view a greater perspective. But history only moves in one direction and if humans survive it will not be because because we won the PR wars or got the best press or amassed the biggest weapons, but that we figured out how to live together in the world that is actually coming. There is only one and we HAVE to agree to arrive there together.
That is what we worked on. It will not be easy and we all want different things along the way, but immediately there are things I see we can do to help each other by addressing solutions rather than the conflict and by avoiding whining. (Cue the Montana Logging and Ballet Co.'s Whine Song:)
I now have solar panels on my studio and create more power than I use, just like a tree! Every day for the rest of my life I'll be giving power away to somebody. And next time an ice-storm cuts the power for a few days there will be hundreds eager to come visit me! I not only don't want to risk being named as a villain in some future classic dramatic tale of this era, but this is the kind of entity I wanna be in this world; open, willing, honest, generous.
We've been drilling for the wrong "black gold". While oil helped us get here, it's clear we need to get off it right away. There's an even greater reserve meanwhile that we can tap into right now that will produce endless benefits. We can only tap it where we're willing to make the leap to a new imaginative model. That reserve consists of a number of assets:
- Savings on energy costs
- Environmental benefits
- virtually endless supply
- a huge constituency of those who will work for a better world
- increasing benefits of tech innovation, the energy internet, miniaturization, etc.
- the growing sharing economy
(I put together a short video here of a vision that came to me of the imaginative leap that must be made).