Today is Martin Luther King Day, which has been declared a day of community service. Today I want to honor those who are dedicating much of their working lives, often without pay, to the cause of renewing the way we use energy, to the cause of community building through local, distributed power. I want to encourage everyone to do what they can – the tools are falling into place to relocalize our food and energy systems, while re-weaving the web of neighborhood interactions.
Like MLK, we have a dream. We have a dream, together, that we will all be able to turn on our lights without damaging the atmosphere, that we will be able to drive and fly and use our computers without emitting one gram of carbon.
We have a dream that distributed energy will let us shut down the coal plants and mountaintop removal, while our deserts and mountain valleys are protected. We have a dream that everyone, everywhere will own their own solar panels and batteries, on their roof or in a solar garden. We have a dream that the icecaps remain, that our great coastal cities remain, that the forests live and the tundra stays tundra and the dust bowl never comes again.
How do we make this dream real? We do it by working together, meeting our neighbors and strengthening our communities, taking up a shovel and growing our own food, investing in solar panels, batteries and electric transport. As the old system reaches its limits, the new renaissance is being birthed amongst us, a community of communities joining in service. Making our own energy locally means we keep money local- we are building the technological, legislative, financial, and organizational tools we need to transform from the exuberant growth of our civilization’s adolescence to a sustainable, responsible adulthood.
Let’s make a commitment together that we can rise to the challenge, that we can see the new world, that we can put our time and energy towards that vision. You know what your skills are- whether you have marketing skills or can edit video, write code or mount a local campaign, transcribe audio or video, write grants, tell your story. Most important, create those local organizations for community owned solar arrays, that can benefit all income levels. If you are part of a local food group, consider becoming a local food and energy group!
Please volunteer- be a solar superhero, have an event or booth in your town, organize a solar garden for your school, library, or house of worship. Help us build our national network of solar superheroes – if you offer to help, we can work together and find something amazing you can do. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org !