FOR:  LETTER TO THE EDITOR, Great Falls Tribune, Great Falls, MT

FROM:  Richard D. Liebert, 289 Boston Coulee Road, Great Falls, MT  59405, 406-736-5791, wwranch@3rivers.net

DATE:  14 January 2009

SUBJECT:  The Sun is the ultimate and most abundant energy source

The Tribune recently reported that a state elected official asserted that the most abundant – and ‘cheapest’ – energy source was coal.   I would remind that official that the Sun is the most abundant energy source and that ‘the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones’ and in fact, that coal is ‘ancient sunlight’ itself. 

Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein envisioned the Sun as the ultimate energy source for humanity.   They understood the technological limitations of their 19th and 20th Centuries, but knew civilization could rise to the challenge beyond incandescent bulbs, internal-combustion engines and even nuclear power-plants toward solar fusion. 

Today’s economic challenges demand we choose wisely.  With limited resources, can we afford to go backwards and invest in 19th Century technology (like putting rubber tires on a covered wagon) burning fossil fuels, or do we transition forward into the 21st Century ‘Green Revolution’ to stimulate our economy?  We can  employ conservation, energy-efficiency, wind, biomass, tidal, geothermal, nano-solar, Smart-grids, cellulosic fuels, innovative hydro-electric, limited smaller-scale nuclear and large-scale solar - which will be the cheapest once we set a price on carbon emissions and the true costs of fossil fuels.  

I urge citizens to keep their Climate Change insert (published by ncat.org) from their Great Falls Tribune and consider following the recommendations from the Governor’s Climate Change team and try the ‘10/10/10’ approach - personally reduce our energy use 10%, get 10% more energy-efficiency and actually do that in the next ten minutes, hours, days, weeks and months. 

Richard D. Liebert

Chairman, Citizens for Clean Energy, Inc., Great Falls, MT (cce-mt.org)