Hello, ecoShuttle website viewers and blog patrons!  This week’s blog is coming to you from the sunny, welcoming climate of southern California.  California has been well known around the world for its green energy initiatives, so it isn’t much of a surprise that the very first thing I noticed when my plane was coming in was wind farms.  The wind farms stretched for as far as I could see, and it gave me a feeling of optimism about green energy. 

For a while I had been thinking maybe nuclear power wasn’t such the bogeyman it had been made out to be after the fallout of events at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.  The press has a had a field day beating up on the nuclear energy movement here in the United States since those accidents, but the only major concern we’ve seen here since Three Mile Island is what to do with, or where to inconspicuously stash, those pesky spent fuel rods (here’s looking at you, Yucca Mountain).  While we’ve been hesitant to build new nuclear energy plants since TMI, France has gone to town and they derive nearly all their energy from nuclear power plants.  One of the reasons I thought nuclear power may be more useable now is because our knowledge of science has improved greatly since TMI occurred in 1979, and also because was while I was doing research for a previous blog topic, I came across respected scientist Robert Ballard suggesting it is now a safer form of energy that we should use en masse.  Well, the tragic events that occurred and are currently unfolding in Japan highlight the real safety issues inherent with nuclear energy, regardless of our technological advances.

windfarms.JPGThis is why California’s dedication to green energy is so inspiring to me.  You don’t have safety concerns with windmills, or solar energy, and the state is ripe for both.  Regardless of how you may judge former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on his policies, he did put forth great effort to make California greener.  I noticed signs everywhere for alternative fuels for vehicles.  These electric cars are coming, and my feeling is that the cars are going to get here before most states’ infrastructure can support them with charging stations, but California is ahead of the curve on that and several other environmental initiatives.  So here’s to you, California!

Be well,

Mark

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