October 28, 2010

We Lost More than a Sun Worshipper / and Why it Matters!

Hermann Scheer was more than just a sun worshiper, he was a courageous pioneer for change! This month the world lost a champion. A foremost proponent of Solar Energy. Our future is at stake, that’s why it matters! Will you be one of our next champions for change?

One way to honor the sun - anyone for solar energy?

“The beginning of each alternative is to show its opportunities to as many people as possible. This is what stimulates people to take initiative.” Hermann Scheer

If you look at his life in depth, you will discover that growing up in post war Germany shaped his views and made him one of the most articulate and authentic advocates of social democracy in our modern era.

Berlin in 1945 - after the horror of WW II

Hermann Scheer was 1 year old at the end of World War II – imagine this was the world you grew up in, innocent of the carnage of WWII – how would it affect your view of  wars for power and control of resources? How would it make you think about societies dependent upon fossil fuels?

Through walking his talk, by initiating the Feed In Tariff system in Germany, he demonstrated how we could move away from depending upon fossil fuels; NOW, not 20 years from now. Here is what he had to say when he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, often considered the alternative Nobel Peace Prize.  He would be among the first to help Americans wake up from our dream that for-profit conventional energy companies promoting coal, oil and gas would lead the charge toward renewables!

Witness the current Chevron propaganda and the Rainforest Action Network’s response!


This is pretty slick, eh… It is estimated that Chevron spends more than $100 million annually on its over the top spin campaigns, not to mention what they spend to hire their PR firms and damage control experts. At the same time, they spend millions on their legal eagles fighting and stalling the law suits in Ecuador, avoiding responsibility for cleaning up their mess! If we choose to demonize Chevron (at least make then step up and accept the liabilities that come with acquisitions), Don’t forget, it was TEXACO who was originally the culpable party! For three decades, they trashed Ecuador’s environment while extracting their resources – don’t forget about the corrupt government officials who looked the other way at the expense of their own citizens!  Thanks to a former energy industry friend, I’ve recently learned this little goodie too – Now that Chevron owns Texaco, they are out from under any non-compete clause, allowing Chevron to re-brand and sell their oil with a new label! It can get really ugly when billions in profits are at stake. Just two weeks before Hermann’s sudden heart failure, he revealed, in front of the German Parliament, a 60 Billion $$ scandal involving the private nuclear power industry in Germany. Let’s hope someone is doing a full investigation of how he died.

The geo-political, social and economic soup we’re swimming in will keep us in the pot until we boil – unless we recognize the need for a radical transformation of our energy systems – the current centralized-power-infrastructure. Scheer advocated scrapping the whole thing and starting over from scratch, with very good reason. How ’bout the preservation of life as we know it, for starters?

Can we all drop our short attention spans for a moment or two by diving deeply into the economic and political context from which Hermann Scheer emerged. If nothing else just to gain a little historical perspective?  He was a champion for social democracy and vibrant, local communities, which makes his advocacy of distributed, decentralized, renewable energy generation that much more powerful! Even TIME named him a hero of the green century!

Would you like to help validate one man’s legacy and add your voice to the demand for clean energy now?

Would you like to step up and join  the movement to demand alternatives to oil, gas and coal? Would you like to help stop Chevron from brainwashing the American Public?  Here’s one action you can take among many, starting with changing or habits!

If all this is just too much to manage, seems too heavy, too difficult or overwhelming… chill, with a few moments of  one of my favorite sun worshipping songs. In a sense, it is a fitting tribute and a jolly good-bye to Hermann. Then pick up where he left us!

…and you thought it might be “Here Comes the Sun” or perhaps “House of the Rising Sun” or “Don’t Let the Sun go Down on Me” or John Denver’s heart warming ballad “Sunshine on My Shoulders”; or that obscure Velvet Underground ” Who Loves the Sun”;  or how about “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying”; or perhaps, Walk in the Sun, by Bruce Hornsby?  Did I miss your personal favorite?

You just can’t go wrong with musical tributes to the Sun!

Like some of you, I struggle with constant free associative thought patterns – so here is one more segue to convey… this one is for all our friends in Colorado about to vote on behalf of the SUN and a Clean Energy Future! Vote YES on 2B for renewables.

…and check out this 30 second little ditty on Ken Buck from our friends at the Colorado Conservation Voters.  Thank goodness for Colorado and the nation that climate change deniers like Ken Buck lost in the recent elections. We’ve all still got a lot of work to do, to get on the right track and diminish the damage being done by our industrial growth society. One way is to celebrate art and creative social entrepreneurs!

Onward with Courage!

See related article by fellow Elephant Journal columnist Lynn Johnson Hasselberger:  And hot off the press from the New York Times Green section blog post – read about what the big city folk are pondering.

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