You can't legislate intelligence


It seemed appropriate to receive and read HCN’s Oct. 26 issue on Saturday, Oct. 24 — officially designated as “United Nations Day.”

I loved Elizabeth Wyatt’s crafty piece, “The trash without, and within” — as she writes: “ ‘Throwing away’ just may be the dominant fiction of American consciousness.” She hits close to the heart of the matter of the American/Western worldview: the pipe dream of endless consumption.

Brian Calvert’s opinion, in “Growing up with guns,” left me feeling uneasy about the possibility of being homogenized to the lowest common denominator of fear(s) and intelligence — or rather the lack of intelligence.

Both of those articles, and especially Judith Lewis Mernit’s cover story, “Clean Energy’s Dirty Secret,” bring to mind the errors of thinking bigger is better, and of trying to legislate intelligence, when ultimately and immediately we need enlightenment. We need to make a conscious effort to evolve in a decidedly improved manner, to individually and collectively align and harmonize our worldview with the total welfare of all of Earth’s creatures, creations and ecosystems. Our communal well-being, our destiny/fate are inextricably bound to the well-being of this planet.

The “dirty secret” of energy (and virtually every aspect of the modern world) is that it has become an industry, designed not just to serve society, but rather to divert and extract a significant amount of energy in the form of endless profits to undying entities. Consequently, the power-grid systems and solar, wind and other alternative energy projects must be conceptualized and built on massive scales in order to be controlled and profitable for those entities. Thinking that leads to technologies that would bring energy independence for all, i.e., “free power,” etc., is not encouraged.

An idea for reducing the impact of expanding footprints of some new alternative energy projects would be to utilize much more of the existing infrastructure of the already-in-place transmission grid system. We should avoid disturbing any more virgin landscapes until this investment in years of time and billions of dollars in rights of way, labor, and concrete and steel has been maximally utilized.

Steve Howland
Syringa, Idaho

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