A solution to the world’s energy issues may be found right here
in South County. That solution comes in the form of a book
Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil
co-written by Morgan Hill resident Martin Cheek and Congressman
MORGAN HILL – A solution to the world’s energy issues may be found right here in South County.
That solution comes in the form of a book titled “Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels,” co-written by Morgan Hill resident Martin Cheek and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
The book explores the concepts of energy freedom, said Cheek, an escape from America’s dependency on fossil fuels, which are the basis of oil and hydrocarbon energy. The book warns that if humans do not take the correct steps to make our society more energy efficient, the Earth’s limited supply of natural resources will come to an end.
Although these concepts aren’t anything that the average American has not already heard of, both Cheek and McNerney further emphasize the importance of the United States taking control of its future to make changes toward energy freedom.
“There’s a lot to lose if we don’t do it correctly,” said McNerney. “We still have time, we still have fuel out there. On the other hand, if we wait too long, we will suffer some serious consequences.”
Those consequences, pointed out in the book, are depleting the Earth’s sources of fossil fuels until there aren’t any left. That means no more oil, gas, and in turn no motor vehicles, electricity, street lamps, refrigerators, or computers … the list goes on.
Some possible solutions from fossil fuel freedom would be through alternative energy: sun, wind, water and nuclear power are some suggested in the book.
“Civilization is going to crash and burn and a lot of nice people are going to die and suffer,” said Cheek, if changes are not made soon.
With more than 300 million Americans, the United States is using more than 25 percent of the world’s fossil fuels, said Cheek. The book points out the concept of Hubbert’s Peak theory, by geologist M. King Hubbert, who suggested that the United States’ oil production would peak in about 1970, a worldwide peak at year 2000, and a gradual decline soon after.
The authors suggest day-to-day choices as small steps toward energy freedom that in the long run could make a larger impact.
“If we can all develop habits on a small scale or individual basis, such as shutting down the lights at home, reduce your thermostat … if 300 million Americans can do it, it has a huge impact,” said Cheek.
Other simple changes can be using energy efficient light bulbs or reusing grocery bags, said Cheek.
One factor mentioned in the book is having people realize the externality costs of oil. That includes health care costs from toxins released into the environment from oil production, to military protection in overseas oil access, a bill of $50 billion a year in tax dollars that Americans pay, he said.
“We pay a high price, nearly $1 trillion in externality costs to oil dependency,” said Cheek, who was honored as Man of the Year by the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce in 2010.