Wind Power

Tehachapi Pass - click to view larger imageWind power is cool, clean, quiet, inexhaustible and free. The cost of building a wind farm is not inconsiderable. Bypassing well-known and combative partisan arguments for and against wind, nuclear, solar and hydroelectric power, we need more and cleaner power. Wind power is already here. I photographed this installation (right) from Interstate 10, near Tehachapi Pass – approaching Palm Springs, California. Wind is here to stay, already connected to the grid, and already contributing to a reduced dependency on fossil fuel solutions.
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California’s Energy Crisis

California’s Energy Crisis: Letter – Still in Denial: I met some co-workers from out of state today, and we talked about how the news of California’s energy crisis is in the news, but not in the same way that it’s in the news in California!

In this state, perhaps, we’re still far too preoccupied with finger-pointing to start reaching any clear consensus on how to produce more of our own energy. There are interesting parallels to the oil shortages of the 1970’s; in that decade we became abjectly dependent on “foreign” oil producers because most of us really believed we had a virtually unlimited supply of cheap oil. We paid for this fantasy accordingly. Today, starting with (but not limited to) California, we are witnessing a repeat of the same “day late, dollar short” mentality, but, this time, the “foreigners” are us!

This letter to a friend is the first attempt we’ve made to address this situation at It may not be the last. You may not think private enterprise, certainly not the kind we are witnessing today, can possibly participate in a solution to the energy problem. Or, you may think the “Greens”, the religiously environmental groups, are to blame. And then, of course, it’s always fashionable to blame “the government”, but it’s another thing entirely to show just how the mechanisms operate. This is our modest and incomplete start. In case you get hot under the collar, keep an energy-efficient fire extinguisher handy. Enjoy! March 20, 2001

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Dear President Bush

California Energy Crisis

It was February 28, 2001. President Bush had recently remarked that California had gotten itself into its own energy crisis, and he didn’t think the government should intervene to bail it out. A lot of readers may agree. in principle. I lost track of how many Californians live in this state today. Few of them deserve to be “blamed” for the current energy problems, and no one voted for energy deregulation. It was legislated upon us.

Whether you support laissez-faire free enterprise, or the strictest government regulation of “public utilities”, one thing’s for sure: Californians have the worst of both worlds. Since then, other states have suffered a couple of bona-fide natural disasters, and President Bush has agreed to look into helping California bail itself out of its own long-term energy shortfalls.

In the true tradition, we asked ourselves this question: if we take President Bush at his word, how would this work? The following letter, privately circulated to date, is our tongue-in-cheek answer:

Dear President Bush,

Just a note to thank you SO much for your recent observation that we Californians got our self into our so-called “energy crisis”, and we can jolly well get ourselves out of it without no federal help, thank you.
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