Friday :: Feb 8, 2008

Letter From California

by paradox

02/08/08 0516.21 pst
San Jose, California

Fog has obscured the early morning sky today, depriving me of a recent fascination I’m a little embarrassed to admit: planetary astronomy. One would think with all the years I’ve walked on the planet I would have looked up now and then to notice what the hell was going on, but I never did.

For some reason this winter waiting for dawn to arrive as I stood watch over my gardens I finally noticed a planet leap over the horizon dead south from where I stand, big white and bright. Must be Venus, I said to myself, and moved on.

But next morning before dawn two planets rose from the south, big white bright and then an even bigger twinkler, far closer than the first. The second planet is Venus, the first Jupiter. [I think.]

One has to be careful and watch close—at precisely 0515 Jupiter rises, then Venus around 0535, and they leap up the night horizon, damn, they move very fast, only to have dawn obliterate their glory at 0615.

Ah, but for those 40 minutes on a clear morning it is a glorious wondrous thing, stars faintly twinkle in suburban haze, then Jupiter marches out of the south, impossibly big and bright, only to be followed by an even more feisty neighbor, Venus. They rotate in the sky with a brilliant majesty cloaked in great mystery, only to be made invisible in the world of an Earth dawn.

For the first time I feel connected to our Earth and our tiny solar system in a way I cannot explain, it’s embarrassing, but I do, and I have become addicted to watching the planets rise in the morning before the sun, if light allows. I’ve also become vastly more appreciative of that deceptively simple phenomena in this whole process, so much more certain that the future of modern man depends upon harnessing it to successfully survive: fresh sunlight.

Waiting for Jupiter and Venus I see old light, sometimes very old light indeed from the few bright stars I can see, but when Earth’s neighbors rotate into view they fiercely throb with sunshine just eight seconds fresh from our own sun, it’s dark but our sun is still lighting our sky, soon to be blazing in it. How bright and powerful that fresh sunlight is.

Man has become used to concentrated sunlight, trapped in the Earth long ago and made even much more powerful in concentrate then when it arrived. That’s all coal, oil and gas is: trapped concentrated sunlight. Unfortunately burning it kills our planet, so we just have to switch to fresh sunlight and find better ways to store it.

Simple. There is a vast, vast amount of power bathing with the country with each dawn—if the state of Nevada were covered with current photovoltaic technology it would power the entire North American continent. The future of the United States and Earth is our people abandoning old sunlight completely and switching to new solar systems.

So easy. Electric cars are not a bad lifestyle adjustment, better solar technology is already arriving, new battery technology is attainable. The Sun arrives every day, it has a reliable record to count on, we don’t ever have to go searching for energy again, praise Jesus, it arrives with the dawn every morning.

Before one dismisses out of hand, consider FedEx of Oakland runs its entire shipping center on solar this very day, all of it, often with plenty to spare. Part of the solar reality is a great communion, for it work we all have to share. Happily there is always plenty to go around.

It’s not a dream, no fool’s errand, but a simple easy task of the utmost importance. Watching our neighbor planets has taught me the value and importance of fresh light, we just made a mistake in going for the concentrate first, that’s all.

paradox :: 6:15 AM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!