Saturday, November 21, 2015

Support "Floridians For Solar Choice" ... by gimleteye

In Florida, there are two competing ballot referendums for 2016; but only one can bring solar choice to Florida. Floridians for Solar Choice must win 60 percent of the November 2016 ballot for that to happen, and it is being opposed by a massive, multi-million dollar effort by electric utilities to maintain their grip on consumers.

Floridians for Solar Choice is a grassroots citizens’ effort working to help more homes and businesses to generate electricity by harnessing the power of the sun. Florida is one of only four states that prohibit citizens from buying electricity from anyone other than a utility, along with North Carolina, Kentucky and Oklahoma (Georgia’s Governor Deal signed a third-party solar bill into law in May 2015 but this map hasn’t yet been updated to reflect that change). This prohibition limits customer choice and blocks the growth of this abundant, clean homegrown energy source. Because we believe the choice to harness solar power should be available to everyone, our coalition is working to place a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot that would give Florida’s families and businesses the right to choose solar power.

The utilities, for their selfish reasons, want to control consumers' energy future. They say we have safe, reliable and affordable electricity today. But we are also fighting a war against terrorism. Untangling dependencies on bad energy choices means disengaging from the energy oligarchs.

One way to understand how important solar choice is to Florida is to recognize how the nation's major electric utilities and gasoline powered transportation connects to Saudi Arabia.

The reason we have not scrambled our nation and consumers/ taxpayers away from oil and its derivatives is the economic model that binds us to Saudi oil.

For many decades it was a stable deal with a devil -- fossil fuels -- that bided its time in destroying our climate. Within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it was also a deal with another devil: the most radical strain of Islam. The way that deal goes is simple: the Saudi royal family gets to stay in power, with vast wealth, so long as the imams are permitted to preach and to export Wahhabism.

A terrific editorial in the New York Times includes the following: "Wahhabism, a messianic radicalism that arose in the 18th century, hopes to restore a fantasized caliphate centered on a desert, a sacred book, and two holy sites, Mecca and Medina. Born in massacre and blood, it manifests itself in a surreal relationship with women, a prohibition against non-Muslims treading on sacred territory, and ferocious religious laws. That translates into an obsessive hatred of imagery and representation and therefore art, but also of the body, nakedness and freedom. Saudi Arabia is a Daesh that has made it."

Gradually, Western economies are separating themselves from fossil fuel dependencies. When we are free, it will be much easier to base a foreign policy on stability and equity in the Mideast.

Progress is not happening fast enough. It is not happening quickly enough either on the front of climate change or our relations with Mideast nation states that have disintegrated like Libya and Syria and Iraq.

What U.S. and state energy policy ought to be doing is maximizing the choice of energy production and consumption at the level of consumer and business use.

In Florida, the Sunshine State, voters should rush to solar choice. That means supporting FLORIDIANS FOR SOLAR CHOICE and not the sham petition circulated by the energy oligarchs and their supply chain. They are spending millions to defeat the will of voters, and all they need is to stop the measure from reaching sixty percent.

Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It
New York Times

Black Daesh, white Daesh. The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia. In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on.

Wahhabism, a messianic radicalism that arose in the 18th century, hopes to restore a fantasized caliphate centered on a desert, a sacred book, and two holy sites, Mecca and Medina. Born in massacre and blood, it manifests itself in a surreal relationship with women, a prohibition against non-Muslims treading on sacred territory, and ferocious religious laws. That translates into an obsessive hatred of imagery and representation and therefore art, but also of the body, nakedness and freedom. Saudi Arabia is a Daesh that has made it.

The West’s denial regarding Saudi Arabia is striking: It salutes the theocracy as its ally but pretends not to notice that it is the world’s chief ideological sponsor of Islamist culture. The younger generations of radicals in the so-called Arab world were not born jihadists. They were suckled in the bosom of Fatwa Valley, a kind of Islamist Vatican with a vast industry that produces theologians, religious laws, books, and aggressive editorial policies and media campaigns.

One might counter: Isn’t Saudi Arabia itself a possible target of Daesh? Yes, but to focus on that would be to overlook the strength of the ties between the reigning family and the clergy that accounts for its stability — and also, increasingly, for its precariousness. The Saudi royals are caught in a perfect trap: Weakened by succession laws that encourage turnover, they cling to ancestral ties between king and preacher. The Saudi clergy produces Islamism, which both threatens the country and gives legitimacy to the regime.

One has to live in the Muslim world to understand the immense transformative influence of religious television channels on society by accessing its weak links: households, women, rural areas. Islamist culture is widespread in many countries — Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mali, Mauritania. There are thousands of Islamist newspapers and clergies that impose a unitary vision of the world, tradition and clothing on the public space, on the wording of the government’s laws and on the rituals of a society they deem to be contaminated.

It is worth reading certain Islamist newspapers to see their reactions to the attacks in Paris. The West is cast as a land of “infidels.” The attacks were the result of the onslaught against Islam. Muslims and Arabs have become the enemies of the secular and the Jews. The Palestinian question is invoked along with the rape of Iraq and the memory of colonial trauma, and packaged into a messianic discourse meant to seduce the masses. Such talk spreads in the social spaces below, while up above, political leaders send their condolences to France and denounce a crime against humanity. This totally schizophrenic situation parallels the West’s denial regarding Saudi Arabia.

All of which leaves one skeptical of Western democracies’ thunderous declarations regarding the necessity of fighting terrorism. Their war can only be myopic, for it targets the effect rather than the cause. Since ISIS is first and foremost a culture, not a militia, how do you prevent future generations from turning to jihadism when the influence of Fatwa Valley and its clerics and its culture and its immense editorial industry remains intact?

Is curing the disease therefore a simple matter? Hardly. Saudi Arabia remains an ally of the West in the many chess games playing out in the Middle East. It is preferred to Iran, that gray Daesh. And there’s the trap. Denial creates the illusion of equilibrium. Jihadism is denounced as the scourge of the century but no consideration is given to what created it or supports it. This may allow saving face, but not saving lives.

Daesh has a mother: the invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father: Saudi Arabia and its religious-industrial complex. Until that point is understood, battles may be won, but the war will be lost. Jihadists will be killed, only to be reborn again in future generations and raised on the same books.

The attacks in Paris have exposed this contradiction again, but as happened after 9/11, it risks being erased from our analyses and our consciences.

Kamel Daoud, a columnist for Quotidien d’Oran, is the author of “The Meursault Investigation.” This essay was translated by John Cullen from the French.


Anonymous said...

How about the distributed grid national security issue? My solar panels and Tesla Wall batteries make me immune from a grid cyber attack.

Leon Panetta says cyber Pearl Harbor possible/likely, Janet Napolitano cyber attack take grid down (only 3 grids in nation) leaves 10s of millions of people without power for months. Experts believe that it is 'when not if'. We have no plan for cyber attack. If it happened, martial law. E.g. Gen. Keith Alexander, there are those that know they have been hacked and those that don't know yet as it takes 279 days to find out.

Chamber of Commerce lobbies against oversight to prepare for cyber attack.

Chinese and Russians are already in our grid and us in theirs but too much economic dependence to do anything. Terrorists that have little military do have computers despite how hard it is to crack the grid.

Top people at FEMA. One says 'no prob, evacuate but won't happen'. Next FEMA guy,'for sure will happen, can't evacuate'. FEMA has no plan.

Koppel has bought months of dried food for his family..

His Book:
Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath Kindle Edition
by Ted Koppel

Anonymous said...

Or we could prepare by reinstating the wildly popular head under the desk drill of the sixty's. That will teach them.

But seriously.

One such long-term disruption of the grid would do more to further and make change over costs acceptable by the broad public, not to mention force lawmakers to remove they're noses from certain behinds.

Of course, this would also strengthen local-ism, self reliance, and the realization of what it takes to have reliable 24 hours power available. In other words, a real treat to status quo business model.
So, are you ready to climb the ramparts and cooperate with your energy wastefull neighbor and community????

It will be a steep learning curve, since electricity always came out of the wall outlet.