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Energy & Theology

August 6, 2013

Let’s take a little trip back in time.  Way back.  To the first time a hairy biped threw a beast on the barbie.  No, further still, to the first time one of those pathetic pink creatures, without armor, fang, or claw, saw lightning set a tree on fire and all his enemies flee.  When he realized life didn’t have to be dark, cold, vulnerable, and raw.  Fire.  It made all the difference.  Making a tool of it elevated man above his fellow animals.  Quickly enough, setting stuff on fire became child’s play.  It’s easy.  Ask any fire fighter.  But there is only so much stuff to burn.  And it befouls the air and the water, which are, frankly, more vital than traveling fast, all-nite drive-thrus, or even a hot meal.  Those commodities ~pure water and clean air~ are biologically necessary for every individual’s survival.  Every.  Day.

So, burning a finite resource sounds like a stop-gap for the technologically immature.  A gift to hold a species over until it learns how to harness the unlimited energies flowing down on and all around the planet.  Energies that don’t leave filth, destruction, and poison in their wake.

What?! Solar? Wind? Hydro?  That’s crazy talk.  It’s too hard.  They’re too expensive.  They wouldn’t be if a few more people had had the guts and foresight 50 years ago to pursue the technology, do the research.  But no, for financial and political reasons which I don’t have the stomach to detail here, we decided to squeeze out the last drop and frack up the last gaseous belch, keep those blinders on, and push the day that it all runs out onto our children’s children.  This a worthwhile website, a tidy layout of the history of alternative energy.  The first alternative was coal for wood, by the Chinese in 2000 B.C.  But even in 200 B.C., Europeans were using hydraulic mills.  History plays back and forth between burning stuff ~including uranium~ and catching what goes by and never runs out.

See, here is my theology.  God put it all here for us.  His intention was to give us an easy but temporary way to survive, improve our quality of life, grow up enough to use these huge brains he put into our skulls.

How obvious is the power of the sun?  Plants thrive under its glory.  Lands bake under the same impartial heat.  As long as mankind survives, the sun will shower the planet with more energy than we can ever use.  (When the sun goes, Game Over, regardless of anything else) His compassions are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).  Wind and waves?  Ask a sailor about the power there.

Yes, it’s new ~but it’s not*~ and expensive ~only because we bet on fossils lasting forever and whaddya know? They’re not making new fossils anymore~ and weird and I’m uncomfortable with change, he whined.

*1860: Worried by the possibility of fossil fuels, such as coal, running out, Augustine Mouchot develops a solar powered steam generation system to drive industrial machinery.

But adapting to change is the best survival strategy going.  It’s what humans do… when we don’t bow down to those in power, to those who are invested in the status quo.  We’ve managed to accept oil and gas over coal and wood.  It’s well past time to grow up and stop … there is a vulgar phrase about where dogs will sleep in relation to their excrement… being lazy, filthy, greedy, short-sighted, and doomed to degradation.  We can do better than we are doing.  We can be better than we are.

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