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Renewable energy must be our future
Clay Sikes
Clay Sikes is a Liberty County native and founder and CEO of Hinesville-based Coastal Solar Power Co., which offers solar installation services for residential and commercial sites. - photo by File photo

Earth is not ours to simply take from and destroy. Do we not share responsibility in stewarding what God has provided? During this now lengthy life, I have learned a few lessons: What I take for granted can be taken away, awakening me to improper care and attention to matters of great importance.

The road less traveled is often the exact road that should be considered. But convincing the protectors of the old paradigm with "better arguments" will not work. The only way to change the paradigm is to be the paradigm. To take such drastic action is to see an emerging event and choose to take part. Only those with fresh eyes can see it! Those married to past methods and apathy never will. Renewable energy is our future (individually and collectively). This is a heart issue, not a head issue.

The strength of the oppressor lies in the ignorance of the oppressed. If a lie imprisons, only the truth can set us free. We, as a society, have come to a fork in the road. Which avenue will we take? As a lifelong conservative, I’ve been on the wrong road with this issue for a long time. Ignorance often comes disguised as tradition, and gross insensitivity and the traditional voice of my politics had me bound. As the song says, "I was blind, but now I see," and there is no one less tolerant than one who has just been reformed. So please, I ask in advance, forgive my passion.

Climate change exists, and Earth’s potential early demise will be the result if politicians don’t get their heads out of the sand (kinder word than I intended to use) and Big Money’s hands out of their pockets. Renewable energy is our part in fighting against the money (mammon) controlled Big Oil, Big Energy, big lobby in D.C. and state capitals across this land.

Financial interests control much of the public narrative concerning this issue — advertising, lobbyists, paid scientists — but that is changing with the emergence of a younger generation that seems more geared to truth and less influenced by the normal channels. In short, truth matters to millennials. Every generation possesses a unique characteristic, and theirs is especially unique at a critical time in Earth’s history. We have managed to do much damage in a short time, both literally and figuratively.

Another force is also emerging with the grassroots of America. Renewables make financial sense, so much so that nothing can stop the critical mass now assembling around the globe. Solar is growing at rates far surpassing expectation as costs have fallen while efficiencies have increased. Storage (batteries) have added the missing link during nonproductive solar hours, killing the proud argument that "solar doesn’t work." The business force is important in bringing change, but real change only occurs when this issue matters in the hearts of men (the human species).

As stated, Big Money’s opposition to this fact is seen daily through public disinformation about the value of renewable energy in both economic and environmental aspects, as well as touting danger to existing structures. They understand that to control the narrative is to control the culture. Proud arguments are offered as a protection to financial concerns.

Extraordinary pressure is being felt by utility regulators, legislators and even judges in high courts. One has to look no further than sun-rich Nevada to see how money controls policy — Buffett muscle, and I ain’t talking Jimmy here. Somebody was looking for something more than "a lost shaker of salt." And they found it!

But, as with the blacksmith who saw his first car, the stagecoach driver who saw his first train, the train conductor who saw his first plane, the candlemaker who saw his first lightbulb, the fan maker who saw his first air conditioner, the radio maker who saw his first TV, the postmaster who saw his first fax, or fax machine maker who saw his first email — in the inimitable words of songwriter Bob Dylan, "The Times They Are a-Changin’."

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