Energy Independence Globally
By Harry Stevens, RPCV Ukraine
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your” world.
In 50 years since the founding of the Peace Corps in 1961, economic globalization has become a fact of life.
In the next 50 years, a networked form of political globalization will emerge from the bottom-up, not top-down.
Two decades ago, Ukraine was the largest of the Soviet republics to become “independent” of Russia, even though it is still “dependent” on it for oil.
Before the turn of the next century, there is athreat of chaos if we are still dependent on nearly depleted fossil fuels. Threats of depleted fossil fuels causing economic chaos, of more wars being fought over oil, and/or of global warming causing catastrophic climate change – together or separately are calls to action.
Nuclear proliferation, fuel depletion chaos, climate change (or global warming), oil wars, and terrorism are uniting diverse nations in calls for political action, in Kyoto more than a decade ago, then in Copenhagen in late 2009, and potentially now in Yalta in 2011. The difference this time is that Yalta in 2011 is taking a bottom-up approach — thus addressing only the climate change threat, ignoring the other threats of fossil fuel depletion chaos, oil dependency wars, nuclear weapons proliferation, and network-based terrorism.
Adopt this 40-year-old slogan:
Think globally, act locally
Small hydro and geothermal as well as small wind and rooftop solar sources of renewable energy, in combination with energy storage batteries, some in the form of pluggable hybrid (electric + gasoline/diesel or other fuel) cars, now offer a total energy independent solution for everyone globally to consider.
This becomes what might be called a bottom-up solution to the combined threats of global warming or climate change, eventual fossil fuel depletion, more oil wars in the meantime, network-based rather than nation-based terrorism, and proliferation of nuclear weapons along with nuclear power plants.
About a decade ago, Peace Corps volunteers, led by Peter Foley and Sandra Tacina, proposed secondary projects focused first upon seminars for attracting foreign investment in the free-trade zones of the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine. The first of five seminars was held in a city having abandoned building a nuclear power plant that was discovered to be located on a geological fault that would likely cause a future earthquake.
Upon completion of those seminars, we joined forces with an NGO called Ecology and Peace to sponsor what we called a dialogue ballot in newspapers that attracted a dozen of the nearly 100 participants in a bottom-up Yalta conference focused on “clean energy for Crimea.” That clean energy conference included breakout groups on solar energy, wind energy and energy conservation.
Now, in 2011 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, again from the bottom-up in this largest Peace Corps country, a combination of current Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Returned PCVs (RPCVs) are organizing another “Yalta conference” to help launch an energy corps to support achieving the goal of energy independence globally. Initially forming within AmeriCorps in the US, this needs to be multinational.
Recently, in late 2009 the U.S. Congress authorized the doubling of the Peace Corps back to its largest previous size. Now, some of us who urged that doubling have turned our attention to this symbolic three-part effort:
GLOBAL DECLARATION OF ENERGY INDEPENDENTS: Harvest our own renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro) to achieve energy independence and participate in grow-your-own & buy-local efforts.
ENERGY CORPS: initially within US Peace Corps (EC/PC) and AmeriCorps to become multi-national, among the eight current nuclear powers (US, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, India, Pakistan and Israel) and others who may be represented within our bottom-up Yalta Conference in 2011, within reunions of various groups (celebrating Peace Corps at 50 years, the US Declaration of Independence at 235 years, etc.) to adopt a “Global Declaration of ENERGY IndependenTS”. This is being pursued by EC/PC in the form of secondary projects, such as when Ukrainians met with PCVs, RPCVs and experts from the State of Washington in 2001.
EARTH YEAR 2010: Let Thomas Jefferson’s first once-every-ten-years peaceful revolution begin beside his DC statue at the Cherry Blossom Festival in April 2010, led by visiting Ukrainians – Tanya, Olga & Misha* – from Yalta recruiting participants for a 2011 Yalta Conference & Reunions from among those they meet in DC and elsewhere face-to-face and via Skype connections on the 2nd Saturdays of the 1st month of each quarter.
Check out the Movement!: http://co.net, http://ukraina.ning.com, http://PeaceCorpsconnect.org http://www.facebook.com/