Monday, April 11, 2011

My Letter to President Obama

Mr. President (and administration),

Twelve days ago I received an email with the subject line of Gas Prices that told of your goal to reduce oil imports. I missed the deadline for the Advise the Advisor feedback, but I wanted to share this with you.

It seems clear to me that we have focused too much on consolidation of resources and activities with catastrophic results like "too big to fail". It seems to me business models need to look more like the internet, which is lots of small computers connected to a large network. With businesses growing larger and larger and becoming more and more consolidated, we are creating more and bigger problems.

Two examples of this are directly connected to this energy policy.

1) Solar farms. Why do we feel we must create large solar farms that take up real estate? The sun shines in different areas at different times and we currently have networks of buildings already connected to the power grid all across the country.

Why don't we let the people build new jobs in solar energy and a new "solar internet" of power by creating incentives to make solar affordable to individuals, families, and businesses in the current market and make requirements for new construction to include solar collection? This would reduce power consumption and feed any extra solar power back into the grid.

2) Agriculture. Right now our industrial model of agriculture uses an unbelievable amount of energy that goes into growing, fertilizing, pesticides, packaging, processing, storing, and distribution from a small number of industrial sources to all over the world. This practice is both unsustainable and unsafe (how many eggs had to be recalled last August?). Concentrated agriculture has proven to be an environmental hazard as well.

Why do we not encourage networks of smaller and more diverse farms that are not a burden on nature, closer to the people they feed, and thereby more sustainable? This model can drastically reduce agricultural energy dependence.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

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