Friday, April 2, 2010

Mea Culpa

OK. As much as I loved reporting that Mississippi Power Company had experienced a "road to Damascus" moment, it's not true. So apologies to those who took the bait. (Usually, I completely forget about April Fools Day and take a bite or two from tall-tale-tellers myself, so I know the routine.)

But wouldn't it be nice if the Southern Company - one of the United States' largest energy producers - did move aggressively into alternative energies. It makes so much sense - environmentally AND economically. The environmental advantages of 1) not raping the earth for the extraction of finite resources and 2) ending the inherent carbon dumping associated with fossil-fuel energy production, are self-evident. But now that advancements in solar and wind energy technology along with economies of scale are bringing down the cost of alternative energies (while fossil-fuel-based energy production is increasing in cost), isn't it about time we moved as a society to a clean energy system?

Given the overwhelmingly positive - bordering on ecstatic - response to the post, it would be hard to believe that major US energy producers would suffer any downsides from aggressively converting to green energies, at least not with the general public. Sure, entrenched interests would "have a cow" if this announcement was true, but after the transition, I believe that even the hardcore drill-baby-drill crowd would come on board. In fact, it's my experience that those who resist positive change most viscerally wind up co-opting and championing the very thing they resisted(and almost always claim it as their own idea) once it becomes commonplace and proves itself beneficial. Witness Medicare, for example. The forces that fought so hard to keep it from being enacted several decades ago just made the "saving of Medicare" a reason not to pass health care reform. Ironic, but true.

Old paradigms are dying faster than new dirty energy plants can be constructed. Let your local power company and elected officials know that you are in favor of moving to a clean energy economy, and someday soon, I may be able to re-post this report on a date other than April 1.


Eileen St. Lauren said...

Maybe you should consider writing fiction. When I was a reporter for the Hattiesburg American I would have been FIRED for writing a bogus news story. Of course, you are not on their time or dime but print is print. Having limited sight, I am sorely disappointed that I used them on something that was bogus. I find no humor here. Sometimes we write or say things in our lives that come back to haunt us--words that we can never take back or make right. I hope this in not one of those times for you.

James Polk said...

News flash: the Mississippi Power piece IS fiction. But imagine how transformative it would be if it were true. The scenario is grounded in reality; that's what's so deeply disturbing about the realization that it's fiction.