Jim is a Justmeans staff writer for Energy, Climate Change, and Transportation. "From my years as a debater prior to undergraduate work in Massachusetts, I have written about science and technology, carrying this focus into graduate school, where I examined the history of Birmingham and the early twentieth century South from working class and progressive perspectives. In addition to work as ...
A Further Mediation of Solar Power: Evolving Toward 'Revolution'
Readers have twice recently encountered the estimable Hermann Scheer, who, albeit posthumously, simultaneously represents the social and political capacitation of renewable energy in Germany, at the same time that he has provided guidance to the entire planet for achieving such Gaia-saving development. Today, we will meet a recent collaborator of Herr Scheer's, Carl A. Fechner, who directed the film that they conceived together, "The Fourth Revolution--Energy Autonomy."
Before considering the process of this movie's production, or the nature of its incisive content and crisply photographed and potently edited 'graphical user interface,' THC, as readers no doubt recognize is his wont, will diverge just a bit. A few points will serve to contextualize an examination of this media commodity and the process that created it.
That this movie exists in a marketplace is beyond doubt. A final product as slick and tight as this one undoubtedly involved substantial outlays. And that leaves aside altogether the passionate purpose and loving labor that principles to the film gave but for which they received no compensation. No budget item accounts for such inputs.
Of course, the potential exists, in the world that has empowered Michael Moore, on the basis of his $50,000 transcendent transmogrification of GM's kiss-off into the hundred million dollar mega-hit "Roger and Me," for Herr Fechner and his colleagues and backers to turn a tidy profit. And that would be dandy.
But what are the odds of that? And since only a monumental coup, one that would leave financiers salivating to find the next alternative energy and appropriate technology hit, would begin to remunerate the uncounted blood, sweat, and tears that the movie contains, even the aforesaid 'tidy profit' would represent 'chump change' as such things normally are calculated.
Quite likely, in the event, neither Scheer nor Fechner, nor, quite likely, any of the workmanlike and ingenious producers and technicians on this project, count lucre as their primary motivating criteria. On the other hand, we all have to eat. THC will admit in fact consuming five expensive dates, drowned in Tahini, part of a lovely salad from Whole Foods, and two cups of 'designer coffee' so far today.
And this brings me to ponder, once again, to contemplate the situation of media work on this side of the Atlantic. Do the readers of JustMeans need the likes of a film like "The Fourth Revolution"? Undoubtedly, they do, inasmuch as they promulgate sustainable business and vie for renewable energy to have 'pride of place' in the national energy realm.
The rationale for this inquisitive line of thought is that Americans desperately need new media models. YouTube will not bring us transformative energy, and it is more likely to assist in such an evolution than either Twitter or Facebook, let alone the bloviating outbursts of the likes of THC are likely to 'turn this ship around.'
The one thing that, though my weak German may have caused just such a trope to slip by, this film doesn't address in its own defense, is this matter of the purpose and sources of media in the transformative process. Nothing is more political than mediation, and this pathway requires a fully engaged political consciousness. In some ways, readers and thinkers might consider that a new mythos, along with a new media model--social democratic forms and Peoples Information Networks--may both be essential to allow a 'Fourth Revolution' to unfold with the alacrity of the second and the third.
In all mythological traditions prior to the modern era, the sun plays a central role. Even in Abrahamic text, God's first command is "let there be light." This film uses 'the word' that is the 'beginning' to reach out to people. We are in need of what this films proffers. THC advises that folks read along, and, ASAP find a way to watch and act on this marvelous document.
Every film mimics a military campaign in terms of strategy and logistics. A great film reflects a masterful general's killing thrust. And Fechner's effort has made of this erstwhile simple 'documentary' a great movie.
Several review have the temerity to doubt the project's status as providing documentation. Die Welt characterized the work as tendentious boosterism.
A gentler critical appraisal first damned the film with faint praise. "We love that sort of positive thinking," advising "don't dismiss it entirely--it's an inspiring goal to keep in mind."
And then, in a pattern that has begun to appear--'yes, yes, of course, a renewable future is possible, but it just can't ever happen!'--these interlocutors continue. "(J)ust because alternative energy has exploded in popularity over the past few years doesn't mean that the planet can be 100% powered by renewables in just three decades. It might be technologically feasible--a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers claims that Europe could get all of its power from renewable sources by 2050 if it pursues a multi-continent "supersmart grid." And as renewable energy gains in popularity, the cost of the technology will drop rapidly. But mustering up the political will to make such sweeping changes over such a short time period will be difficult. Impossible? No, but it's unlikely. So take Fechner's message with a grain of salt."
Such assessments are wrong on several fronts. First is that 'neutrality' is almost always a lie or a cover-up, or both. Propaganda is the purpose of mediation; the only issue is honesty, accuracy, and an attempt to permit all sides to speak. Carl Fechner gives ample opportunity for the likes of Faith Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency and an inspired flack for both coal and nuclear to speak and proffer their naysaying POV about sustainability through solar sources.
Even his colleague and supporter, Preen Maegaard, sputters that to imagine the promulgation of solar and other renewable forms of energy as easy is "incredibly naive." Thus, a more pessimistic renewable energy supporter might believe that solar advocacy must involve preparation for difficult but necessary, and socially rewarding, political fights. Fechner allows for all sides to join the fray.
The 'three revolutions' prior to number four implied by the title refer to the agricultural shift of roughly ten thousand years ago or so, the multiple industrial transformations characteristic of the three centuries leading up to the 1950's or so, and the digital morass in which humanity presently finds itself embedded. Clearly, in terms of productive capacity, each of these does describe identifiable innovation from which flowed massive increases in social surplus.
One might quibble about the digital-divide's representing something revolutionary, but that will be grist to grind on another occasion. Undeniably, the vision that Herr Scheer has advanced, and that Carl Fechner shares, that society requires community leadership that effectively eliminates the energy conglomerates near the heart of the current industrial and financial powers-that-be, rates to inspire action at least as revolutionary as a king's loss of a head, or a slave-owning class' loss of its chattel.
And this does reflect back on what the crusty elder of this process, Herr Maegaard admonished. As Frederick Douglass repeated to those who foresaw an easy and peaceful elimination of slavery. 'No ruling class ever has volunteered its own destruction.' Those not prepared for battle of one sort or another will get 'precisely the degree of oppression that they are unwilling to fight about.'
Whatever Fechner's degree of optimism or 'lack of realism,' he prepared nearly two years to do this film. His background has included frequent exploration of energy and environmental questions. Preproduction in this case began in 2008 and revolved, as is mandatory in the industry, around assembling financing.
An innovative financing model, an approximation of 'let's-all-get-on-the-bus-together,' raised roughly 8,000 Euros for each of the 150 donors who signed on to the project. The indefatigable Fechner had primary responsibility for scripting, fundraising, and directing, but his legion of helpers and assistants, as he is the first to point out, made the extraordinary complexity, depth, and richness of detail in "The Fourth Revolution" possible.
The production crew of six spent a total of sixty days visiting eight countries. In addition to the normal logistical headaches of transporting themselves and a ton and a half of equipment around, they faced temperatures that would daunt all but the truly intrepid, in Europe in the twenties (or -5 degrees Celsius), and in China above 100 (or 36 degrees Celsius). But to do this work, and to see taking shape what finally came to be, must have been inspirational.
Certainly, supporters have found the process inspiring. Around the globe, communities have promoted and feted the filmmakers, making each showing into its own unique 'production. "In 100 cities the show will be involved in an event that is designed by local initiatives. And exactly how it looks depends on the ideas and needs of the activists on the ground."
Moreover, because it has broken new ground in so many ways, "this is clearly a film that would also contribute (key ideas) about (how) cinema" operates and what the possible parameters are between production and community. Carl Fechner, while doing business and making movies, is also creating parts of the structure that THC has long advocated for Peoples Information Networks, in which the creation and distribution of media emanate from the needs 'on the ground' rather than from some idea of what 'star' or 'concept' a producer can 'sell' to people.
A key choice that Fechner has made is to avoid any pretense of objectivity. Instead, in line with what THC has repeatedly suggested he opts for an honest advocacy that, having put his life into studying such questions, cheers for what he believes to be necessary. Is his point of view as legitimate as Dr. Arjun Makhijani's or Dr. Ian MacKay's? From the perspective of THC, Fechner's is likely to be, if anything, more legitimate. He approaches matters as an inquisitive citizen, and in case readers have not been paying attention, that is precisely what THC says we need oodles more of just now.
ONE, TWO, THREE, WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING FOR?
One aspect of what we who want sustainable business are striving to achieve is a world in which communities everywhere have more of what they need to thrive. If one looks at the 'protagonists' of Carl Fechner's merry cinematic legerdemain in favor of the solar option, one sees a cast of characters overflowing with just such a bedrock sustainable business principle.
Hermann Scheer is there at the center of the circle; his bona fides in regard to social democracy and economic justice are well-establshed. Joining Scheer are Bianca Jagger, long time pugilist in favor of environmental and social justice, whose advocacy has ranged from Sandinistas to rain forests; Ibrahim Togola, the community representative of Mali who, after attending a Danish Folk School, returned to his country with a vision of a boot-strap empowerment of an entire people; Muhammad Yunus, whose Nobel Prize winning microeconomics approach has been transforming billions of lives and who sees solar as the only way to go; and Preben Maegaard, referred to as "the founder" for his decades-long commitment to community capacity and power through folk schools.
A second element of every 'sustainability' agenda is a jobs surge, so that, first of all, folks are making a better living, and, second of all, they have a higher quality of work experience, replete with satisfaction, problem-solving, and continued learning. The core social-justice team continues to support this level of engagement by the film, but other protagonists more oriented to the business of business are also on board.
Arguably chief among these, at least in star power, is Elon Musk, the former South African and present-day Californian who founded PayPal to gain his entry fee into world-shifting capital investment and who sees solar technology as not only the necessary foundation for a sustainable commitment to the electric cars he has begun to produce but also as a source of creative work for tens of thousands more people, for every billion invested, than would result from nuclear reactors. Also part of the team is Matthias Willenbacher, a hugely successful entrepreneur whose passion for solar has been so all-consuming that he oversaw the construction of his company HQ, for 700 employees, in under a year, in such a fashion that the building now acts as part of Germany's power supply grid in addition to providing comfortable and elegant work spaces for its occupants; and Maximilian Gege acts as a dual technician and financial expert, in the latter case evaluating the huge gains available from conservation: "There are 39 billion Euro of buying power, which could be given back to the people."
And, from New Zealand, a pure technical genius also joins and completes the circle. Maria Skyllas-Kazakos, a professor of chemical engineering and inventor of the Vanadium Redox Battery, assures that the power that 'intermissioning' solar sources--no sun at night, no wind on calm days--produce will be storable in a way that is both feasible for a large grid and congruent with community needs.
A third necessity of any prayer to achieve sustainable business and social relations is an expansion of democracy. As if supporting the environment--a dead-certain given, after all--capacitating communities, and improving local political economic prospects weren't enough, this element of what sustainability must include is central to the film and its supporters.
Juana Awad articulated this contention elegantly.
"(T)he film moves the energy debate beyond CO2 emissions, and calls for the borderless democratization of energy generation. The energy turn is not a technological issue, but an ideological one based on power relations and ownership structures: whoever owns the power, controls the power."
A German Grad-student whose command of English is just outstanding, shamefully better than THC's ability to follow even the simplest exchange 'auf Deutsch,' also masterfully makes clear this critical commentary about democracy and power. "The strength of the movie is exactly that it shows how a change in property-relations in the energy sector and a focus on even very small investments in alternative energy and education especially of rural women can be the means of socio-economic change to the better, 'the lever to move the world,' to apply a saying by Archimedes here."
Totally in tune with the late Hermann Scheer and the still-kicking humble correspondent here, this young fellow continues, "Its revolutionary character is due to it not only being a question of what kind of energy is used, but of socio-economic power-relations and ownership-structure: the difference between huge energy monopolies of centralised energy-production and networks of local decentralized autonomous producers. The possible decentralisation thanks to the use of alternative energy brings with it a 'democratisation' of producers and real local autonomy."
Although this film delivers the evidence to support each of these three 'bullet points' centrally dispositive to the sustainable-business agenda, that is not nearly enough actually to accomplish the stated objective of reaching a renewable energy earth by 2040. Very similar to what the Highlander Center has discerned, what this intellectual demonstration--masterful and comprehensive as it is--needs is a mass movement of people motivated to manifest the political power to take a hopeful situation through the struggles necessary to yield transformation.
And the filmmaker himself recognizes and insists on committing himself to just this end. Daniel Boese, in his article, "The Energy Turning Point Has Never Looked So Good," quotes the director to this transformative end. "It is a film birthed out of the movement for the movement."
This is why the film is 'revolutionary.' Its stated goals are inaccessible outside of a context of mass political power in motion. The Plutocrats might do almost anything to stave off such an eventuality. Those who believe in 'business better' can see this movie and make a small contribution to the revolt that must come; they can have a much broader impact if they arrange for a hundred cohorts to see it along with them.
In the long run, however, as both the coterie of protagonists behind "The Fourth Revolution" and the likes of activist-organizers in the vein of THC recognize, the movement itself--people and communities in political high-gear--must rise to make this transformation operative. The only thing stronger than the rule of money and Plutocracy is the unstoppable energy of a capacitated democracy.
The primary upshot of this film's existence is the opportunity for transformative consciousness that it represents, so long as sufficient cousins around the world sit down and watch it. But the viewing itself must constitute merely an initial phase in a process of engagement and action.
Without follow-up, good ideas languish, awaiting the combination of vision and action that can truly potentiate the possible and make it tangible. Alternately, the good idea might vanish, which in the present context would likely yield a 'glowing' aftermath to the present.
In that radiocative diaspora, as fewer and fewer places on our fair orb are free of radiation, cancer-ridden drones--our great grand children, will hear legendary snippets of another time, when a different scenario seemed obtainable. But they will never know; neither they nor whatever befalls their misshapen offspring will ever be able to return to such a path.
Perhaps the easiest and most enjoyable aspect of the Peoples Information Networks that I have frequently mentioned would evolve in tandem with the production expertise of a Carl Fechner. This piece of the PIN puzzle would act as the distribution portal for all the world's grand ideas, which, if these thoughtful exercises do not utterly and slavishly serve the corporate elite's ideology and drive for profit, will end as another 'footnote,' a good idea that languishes or vanishes.
While any number of formula for bringing about such a non-corporate, PIN-distribution-channel are conceivable, for THC and his readers today, perhaps the simplest and most enjoyable approach would best serve our collective interests. Every so often, after all, cousins are wont to throw parties.
The next time--and we all have a season of such fun-and-games ahead, we might consider an alternate celebratory model. Instead of either having a function that serves an explicitly corporate-backed purpose--such as a fundraiser for whatever popular cause suits a specific logo's 'bandwagon,' or hosting a shindig that only seeks purposeless drunken revelry--whether tequila shooters or exotic herbal concoctions are the vehicle for the altered consciousness, readers could provide a space that served the common human cause and sought a raised consciousness of connection and possibility.
THC once had the ill fortune to lose his footing on boulders where he was disporting like a mountain goat, albeit one less sure-footed than are most individuals of that species. Since this slip plopped him into a raging flooded river, he found himself swept along in the current, turning over and over in the roiling rapids, a few dozen meters from a fifty foot waterfall that was just then busy crashing tens of thousands of gallons each second onto jagged rocks.
His children, only five and three, and a friend watched helplessly from the bank. Once, when he surfaced from his topsy turvy river spin-cycle, he saw them--his son and daughter wide-eyed with curiosity, his friend wryly bemused. Whatever transpired, this was a moment meant for YouTube.
Alas, that was not plausible, since for one thing the site did not yet exist. Such experiences, in the recollection of THC, do not generally involve intellectual pondering to much of an extent. One merely acts, and reacts, based both on an awareness that needs no words--doom and dire straits are hard-wired sensibilities--and on what possibilities present themselves, impromptu, in the environment at hand.
In the case under consideration, the deadly piercing points of shale and granite would soon combine with the crushing force of 'mother's' gravitational embrace, unless I either found my footing or grabbed onto something that would hold me. Unfortunately, every attempt to stand or brace myself in the onrushing stream just turned me over and took me closer to what I wasn't naming but which was likely to be fatal.
Fortunately, not from any plan or other effect of meritorious preparation, THC did snag a slender branch, less diameter there than on his frozen index finger, and it held. Its sturdiness, no doubt, resulted from its attachment to a rooted Rock Maple, a noble tree that clings with talons more obdurate than Zeus' most powerful eagle.
As the cascading waves turned me onto my back, before I could begin the process of hauling myself from the frothing brine, as it were, I saw where I had traveled. My right foot and ankle, almost halfway to the knee, were in the plume at the edge of the falls leading into Little River Canyon. My left foot gyrated just at the tip of the foamy, muscular coil that would have likely wrapped up my demise but for a spry green twig that did not snap.
In any event, THC meanders along this diversion because his huge herd of human cousins who are currently disporting among the boulders and freshets that Gaia makes available at our extended picnic here all sense some shift has begun. Collectively, we know that we are churning downstream in a swollen creek that takes us toward a precipitous plunge.
None of us, acting alone, can either perform a solitary miracle to save herself or stumble onto the serendipitous circumstance that rescues himself. On the contrary, only a great rising can salvage humankind, and thereby make possible individual secutiry.
As Benjamin Franklin put the matter, "either we all hang together, or, assuredly, we will all hang, separately."
Thus, once more, I call out to all and sundry: 'Take care! Pay heed! The falls are close at hand.' Even if we manage or chance to survive the topple onto implacable slicing stones, our lives--individually and together, will never again display the same potential for ease and loving kindness that we now still have as an actual option.
Somehow or other, we must mutually grasp something that will offer a place to stand, a space from which we can emerge from the flood of trouble at its peak and select a path toward higher and dryer ground. "The Fourth Revolution" describes solar power as a lever that can move the planet toward a sustainable future.
Whether it is a lever that we might devise and use or a branch extended by fate that we can hold, the sun's energies have the same fierce force of a Rock Maple's grip, the same long-distance motility of Archimedes metaphorical device for displacing the earth from his solid place to stand. THC is shouting, 'grab it!' but he is of the same import to the body of humanity as a hair on the toe is to the body of an athlete tumbling in the rapids.
Only in relationship can we seek a safe space for ourselves in time's tsunami.
That 'place' in the flow of history can only emerge from our own communities. Individuals may, for a time, survive if humanity crashes from the cliff. But only a united effort can prevent the fall from happening in the first place.
This film is kin to the maple leaf that caught my eye as I spun in the torrent. I saw it and grabbed hold of my life. Folks should watch this film with this little tale in mind. We need to haul ourselves up out of the mire of nuclear death and fossil-fuel fog and move toward a brighter tomorrow.
We still, for a time, have that choice. Surviving and thriving are available, though for how much longer, before gravity's inexorable pull takes command, one can only guess. Let's act while we still can.
The root of media is the Latin for middle. 'In medias res' means literally in the middle of things. Truly, that is the human condition, because to be outside, not surrounded by copious 'mediating' substance and circumstance, means that one would explode and suffocate simultaneously from the sucking empty vortex of the vacuum.
The earliest usages of the verb, 'mediate,' in the Oxford English Dictionary(OED) print edition that THC owns, stem from the mid fifteenth century, while the initial listed utilization of the singular noun, 'medium,' are almost a century later. To mediate, of course, is to stand between or to bring together that which is in opposition to some middle ground.
Of course, the use of 'media' to apply to forms of communications dates from the early 1920's when advertisers, fresh off their conquests of hearts and minds during the carnage of the previous decade, applied the term to the many opportunities that they had to ply their wares in different physical and technical positions.
Four times a week for thirteen weeks now, an entire season of the passage of the earth around the sun, THC has used words to mediate a message; he has also relied on the medium that the internet provides, one portal of which is JustMeans. What we are doing here, however, is the stuff of sacred space. THC, four times a week, gathers the words to speak some honest assessment of the world around us, especially in regard to energy, especially renewable energy, or in terms of business, especially sustainable business.
Today's articulation joins with the others. Truly, they are of a piece, contemplating matters of democracy, citizenship, responsibility, empowerment, knowledge, transformation, and more. Stories as bizarre and as holy as the Illiad or Genesis have appeared here, though not so artfully or impactfully as those texts.
The point of my pointing this out is that THC is decidedly not seeking to be pithy, to create some marketable slice of reality that manufactures a moment of pleasurable ideation in the form of the facade of communication. On the contrary, THC digs deep in every single venture.
Those who want the surface will feel nonplussed or even irritated here on many occasions. Like any good 'technician,' they side with Sergeant Friday: "The facts, ma'am, just the facts." Ah well, perhaps Sir Richard Livingston might elucidate something useful for such as those. "A technician is a man who understands everything about his job except its ultimate purpose and its place in the order of the universe."
THC has made a consistent effort to turn the attention of readers to other media, particularly film, but much more than mere movies are on the horizon as well. One of the illustrative quotations in OED for 'medium' sent THC down a fascinating rabbit hole in search of something that Francis Bacon said in his The Advancement of Learning.
"Aristotle saith well, 'Words are the images of cogitations, and letters are the images of words'; but yet it is not of necessity that cogitations be expressed by the medium of words. For whatsoever is capable of sufficient differences, and those perceptible by the sense, is in nature competent to express cogiations." Bacon was saying, 'People don't need words to think.' All they need is enough attention to note a 'least noticeable difference,' an important concept in experimentation.
THC notes many differences; some of those, obviously, attendant on his aging and all that accompanies that unstoppable process. But many are the changes that he sees through the eyes of his children. And many are the changes that come to him through media. And, of course, the matter of cell phones and computers and color TV's and a lot more besides have arisen as if new during his own decades on the planet. so that he can remember in each case 'the first time.'
And he has come to the conclusion, along with such estimable sources as Edward Hermann and Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman, and many others as well, that in these times of rapid change, when so many least noticeable differences are apparent, THC and other folks likely can use help--mediation, as it were--in coming to terms with what of these alterations might be most important. From this stems a mandate: watching the movie, "The Fourth Revolution."
One of the sources for information about the film, as if serendipity ruled the airwaves, was an organization patterned after the Danish Folk Schools that Don West and Myles Horton returned to America carrying in their hearts and heads, so that they put into practice a potent practitioner of community empowerment on the basis of that transmission. The Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, which Preban Maegard helped to found and where he still hangs out, writes of four fronts on which it operates.
Number three is apt to consider. "3. Disseminating information on renewable energy in Denmark and elsewhere, to trainees; concerned citizen groups; and political decision makers focusing on decentralized solutions" is centrally important enough to find a place on the master list.
The United States came into existence on the basis of this sort of process--disseminating information. Paul Starr's justifably lauded book, The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications, develops this idea in a compelling way.
As readers today consider one sort of mediated experience, this essay, which extolls and advocates another such eventuality, "The Fourth Revolution," THC asks that folks take further notice of Paul Starr's argument about what is distinctive and important about media as such. A 2004 New York Times Review quotes and summarizes these thoughts.
"(E)very branch of the communications system reflects deliberate political choices made under particular historic circumstances," James Fallows writes in his assessment, quoting Starr to continue, "'It is a particular argument of this book that the United States has followed a distinctive developmental path in communications ever since the American Revolution.'"
The 'path' involved support for all sorts of tendentious speech, wild invective and hyperbolic boosterism combined, as recent essays here have evinced as well. That story, at least to someone like THC, is interesting in its own right. But Starr's and Fallows' larger conclusion is more interesting still.
"(S)ocieties and their governments can affect the path that technologies and markets take, rather than an acceptance of whatever the path turned out to be as inevitable. This concept seems utterly missing from current discussions of the media," says Fallows, with approval, of Starr's argument.
Fallows himself concludes, "Regulators and the public feel there is little they can do to steer the content or quality of the media (with the feeble exception of the F.C.C.'s punishing broadcasters for vulgarities that would barely be noticed on cable). Members of the media feel they have no choice but to give, immediately, what the market demands. ...Paul Starr's original and compelling book shows that (this is) not the only sort of choice available to the public."
In a democracy, the people can lead.
They can insist that media be more widely available and that all sorts of unfunded options, like deep investigation, receive no-strings-attached support so as to keep government, business, and individuals honest and competent.
This fits snugly with the message of Hermann Scheer and "The Fourth Revolution" as well. As one commentator summed up the nub of the movie, "A global restructuring process, shifting the balance of power and distributing capital more fairly, is now within our reach - all we have to do is embark upon it!"
Der Spiegel made this point in less exclamatory terms. Fechner, Erik Kirschbaum said, unequivocally believes that "from a technical standpoint," no doubt of feasibility is possible. "'It is,' he said, 'only an open political and economic question.'"
What that means is that citizens must be open to assuming political responsibility and economic authority. And that necessity highlights many fascinating issues that THC has consistently trumpeted: grassroots power; knowledge and local capacity; an awareness of the past's impact on the present, and more.
Whether JustMeans readers have the willingness to assume command, as citizens, and take responsibility, as communities, for 'business better' and renewable energies remains to be seen. But unless they are not paying attention, they cannot be unaware that such a radical upsurge of people power is possible.
It's the promise of Carl Fechner, at the level of both electricity and politics. And it's the vow of this humble correspondent as well, as the level of consciousness and community. So what's it going to be? Inquiring minds want to know.