Message to Fringe Enviro Activists: Work With Renewable Energy Sector Rather Then Complain!!

With Labour Day pretty much done in the books, fall is fast approaching. That means here in Canada, trade show season for the renewable energy sector.  All three major industries are having their trade shows within a span of two months (see below).

Meanwhile, Powershift Canada, similar to the one in the US is having their conference October 26 to 29 in the Ottawa, Ontario/Gatineau Quebec region.

While many environmental activists are brilliant at derailing the wrongs of climate change and global warming, some often are not has keen to work with the solutions that are currently provided in the renewable energy and clean technology sectors. In fact, some oppose those solutions

Take for example Ozzie Zehner’s book, Green Illusions. His book is a sharp critique of the renewable energy and clean technology sector. He believes that these are not solutions to today’s warming planet (trust me, I will give a full review of this book within a few weeks). However, he would prefer simplistic solutions like riding your bike, denser metropolitans, etc.

Great, fine and dandy, but it’s not as simplistic as riding a two-wheel bike all the time  in a globalized world, Mr. Zehner. Maybe we will power our own energy by bicycling all the way home!!

Or how about this excerpt from an ABC news website about environmentalists opposing solar projects in the Mojave desert:

At a conference in Los Angeles, Brown vowed to crush efforts to block renewable energy projects in California, helping them overcome permitting and environmental challenges. He signed a law earlier this year mandating the state get 33 percent of its energy from alternative sources by 2020, including solar energy.

“The sun in California is like the oil in Texas, it’s fabulous wealth waiting to be developed,” said Brown. “And those who would resist that have to offer a pretty darn good argument for me to give up on solar energy.”

Putting money where his mouth is, the governor filed a brief with the federal court asking a judge to deny a request by an environmental group to stop a solar thermal power project in the Mojave Desert. BrightSource Energy and Bechtel want to put up 347,000 heliostat mirrors around three power towers. But the Western Watersheds Project says it’ll harm the endangered desert tortoise by destroying its habitat. The environmental group Defenders of Wildlife agrees. The tortoise population is already declining. 

“We don’t really know, actually, when you clear 10 square miles of desert, how it’s going to respond in 30 to 50 years,” said Kim Delfino, Defenders of Wildlife. “Likely it’s probably not going to go back to the way it used to be and the species that were there, the tortoises and whatever, probably won’t go back.” The Mojave solar project is just one example of how tough it is to get green projects off the ground. The delays often mean thousands of jobs are on hold.

Even some environmentalists oppose smart grids. Yep. The same people oppose the idea of transforming a grid to make our energy system more efficient.

Perhaps, maybe, just maybe environmentalists need to work with the renewable energy and clean technology sectors in order to have a realistic chance for make our planet more sustainable, while addressing the societies economic and energy needs.

I don’t see why some environmental activists needs to be the wrench in renewable energies back sometimes. I wonder if sometimes, if some of these activists are hindering progress in environmental sustainability, rather helping it. I bet you those at Exxon Mobile and Enbridge executives are in glee when situations like this occur.

Fringe activists needs to stop complaining about every fine little detail and work with the sector on the big picture. Lets get some real action going here. There is some possible hope.  Take for example the US Department of Interior who recently allotted solar energy development zones, with feedback from the environmental community.

If we ever are going to promote a way to protect our planet, without jeopardizing the positives of modern society, the small majority of environmental activists who dislike anything related to renewable energy, and clean technology should work with green industrialists, rather than have signs that say “Smash the Capitalist system.”

Down with Fringe Activism.

My question to you all? Is this what needs to be done to move environmental sustainability forward??

Protests over a proposed Mojave Desert Solar Farm. Photo Source: KQED News-


The Canadian Wind Energy Association is having their annual conference and exhibition from October 14 to 17, while the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association is having their conference from December 3 to 5, and the Canadian Solar Industries Association is having theirs from December 3 to 4.


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