On Sunday night, October 30, “Years of Living Dangerously” begins its second season and it’s message is loaded with doom, frustration and tinged with hope if only Big Corporations + government will get out of the way.
David Letterman (and his beard) are in India, a country with almost 400 million people, the population of the USA, who live without electricity. All efforts to upgrade the decrepit grid or are coal based despite India having the most progressive solar energy plan in the world. Small community based solar energy companies are cropping up that are not linked to the grid and for the first time villages have light. But India needs investment in order to move away from coal despite its ambitious plan to go solar.
Back in the USA, Saturday Night Live’s Cecily Strong explores the collapse of the solar energy initiatives in Nevada due to implied corruption, verifiable cronyism, being off lobbyists and pressure from the existing, traditional energy corporation(s). And that’s just Nevada. Florida was off to a good start by getting a bill on the ballot until the only energy company there got their own bill that sounded better but was only to insure the status quo.
The message of the series is that coal and fossile-based energy is a disaster.
When Letterman’s hotel in india lost power and got it back again, the woman at the front desk told him not to worry, they had generators. But generators are run by diesel fuel with no way to clean the carbon emission. It’s this way all over India. Kerosene is how the poor light their way, with effects on the health of children and the environment.
We can still do something if Big Corporations will come on board with new business models. Remember the film “The Last Mountain” about the devastation (and corruption) wrought by the coal industry in W. Virginia or see the Chinese film “Behemoth” when it makes its US debut (the film was shown recently at UCLA so here’s hoping.)
Television shows like this, and films such as “before the Flood” are prophetic. They are ruining bells, trying to get our attention so that we can heal the planet and make changes that preserve the planet for the future.
Check local listings.
The environment is not a political issue; it is a human and moral issue.