On Saturday almost 100 folks joined us to celebrate a hopeful vision for our future - Sol for ALL - clean, renewable and distributed energy owned and operated for the benefit of the people. These projects challenge the corporate utility model in which a monopoly company is guaranteed profit and allowed to slow walk the energy transition at the expense of the people, instead revealing the possibility of a publicly owned distributed, flexible, clean and reliable energy grid.
Our Sol for ALL project at Casa Milagro, for example, will generate 101% of the energy needs of this transitional housing project for formerly homeless members of our community, allowing them to repurpose more than $9000 in energy costs per year into programs that directly benefit residents. This joyful vision is replicable across the state, the country and beyond, if only the political will can be found.
CONTRAST THIS VISION WITH THE CORRUPTION AT THE HEART OF FALSE SOLUTIONS LIKE NET-ZERO BY 2050
Net-zero pledges are not grounded in REAL decarbonization - they rely heavily on 'nature-based solutions' or carbon sequestration technologies that do not exist or have not proven effective. Many rely on carbon markets, a shell game also on offer by our Governor and House Speaker in the coming legislative session. Carbon markets allow polluting industries to continue operating as usual, essentially setting up a mechanism for paying others to reduce emissions in their place, a dubious prospect rife with opportunities for corruption given the difficulty of measurement and enforcement.
Most developed countries rely on carbon credits from developing countries, creating a huge demand for sinks mainly located in the forests, wetlands and grasslands in the developing countries. There is no known published research yet that adds up the quantities of carbon removal that make up the net-zero pledges of countries and corporations, but the quantity of the sinks needed would exceed the sequestration capacity of the planet by several-fold. This will have negative implications for developing countries, including for conflicts over land use, local communities and indigenous peoples whose lands and forests are being sought to solve the emissions problem of rich nations. Here in New Mexico this can also mean that the oil and gas industry continues profiting by selling carbon credits earned from compliance with regulations to boost their profits while providing cover for other industries, like transportation and energy utilities, to delay significant emissions reductions.
Net Zero is Not Zero. The net-zero mantra allows governments in developed countries and states to get away with targets which amount to doing too little too late, and passes on the responsibility to developing countries to do the heavy lifting. Humor has the capacity to reveal the naked truth. We love these brilliant activists who skewer the fallacy of Net Zero goals more sharply than ever we could:
AN HONEST GOVERNMENT AD
Warning: this video contains strong language.
And this clever metaphor: