Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What’s Next For America’s Mixed Energy Economic Model?


Is It Education Reform?

As it is reasonably clear to most that over the past six years the Obama Administration has turned the entire national discussion over energy policy into needlessly abstract philosophical discussions on everything from global warming and climate change to human rights, the funding of early childhood education, raising the minimum wage and immigration reform, the fact of the matter is simple, our nation still does not have an mixed use energy policy. Nor do we have any rational economic growth policy.

As the past six years were at best a journey through Obama’s very own Disneyland replete in every way with happily warbling Munchkins cavorting about on melting icebergs, as these years were devoted to the theories of scientists as opposed to the basic principles of job creation the industrial momentum lost in the wake of his administrations theoretical management of an isolated menagerie of abstract social idealisms has weakened not only our standing worldwide but much more assuredly our standing amongst ourselves as a nation of otherwise creative and cooperative industrial thinkers.

With the Democrats more or less at a loss as to how they can possibly reshape their political message here in 2015 and the Republicans stuck with the reality of not having their own even though they are now in control of both the House and Senate, the fact remains that we as a nation do not have a mixed energy policy in place and we as a nation do not have a rational economic growth policy in place. With tons of money sitting on the sidelines of our national economy and tons of industrial needs going completely unmet one would think that something far less than magical would occur to bring all of these people in Washington together for just enough time to actually blueprint a mixed energy policy prior to the next presidential election cycle.

I mean, can you imagine what it would be like if in the time span of the next two years all the boys and girls who are cavorting on melting Washington based political icebergs actually stepped off their domed iceberg on Capitol Hill and developed a universal set of mixed energy based national building codes?  What would happen if in the next two years we collectively as a nation became so damn busy rebuilding our roads and bridges that in the next presidential election nobody registered to run and nobody registered to vote because everybody was busy turning all of that sideline money into real and substantial new American industries?

Think about this for a moment.

Do we really need federally funded daycare? Or, do we instead need a broad and dynamic neighborhood by neighborhood solar grid installation blueprint. Do we really need to raise the minimum wage? Or, do we need to build the industries that re pipe the natural gas lines that lead to virtually every home in America? Do we really need immigration reform? Or, do we need to fully integrate geothermal heating and electrical generation technologies into the same neighborhoods where solar and natural gas technologies should be heading to as well? Do we really need to obsessively set and reset emission standards on fossil fuel based industries when these industries are the industries actually investing in alternative energy industries in the first place? I mean are we actually at a point of realizing that there is virtually nothing at all left to fight about in Washington DC, and, all that is left is to simply go to work?

As I suppose that what I have just stated above is well beyond the grasp of either the scientists or attorneys that wobble about Capitol Hill, the real question most assuredly is, are we as a nation well beyond our tolerance level of putting up with scientists and attorneys anymore? Even more to the point, with all the social reform policies being generated by the now meaningless Obama presidency, as the vast majority of these policies are virtually incapable of being even remotely funded, why not simply pull the plug on all of them so that they die immediately in much the same manner as General Motors should have been allowed to die early on in Obama’s presidency. As the Obama presidency will go down in history as one of the most socially abstract and mechanically rudderless administrations in American history. As his entire government machine is all about government making even the smallest decisions for every American, I suppose the fact that this guy really never had much of a father has a lot to do with the fact that he does not possess even an ounce of industrial or mechanical thought. Unfortunately for America, Bill Clinton, the last Democrat who ran our country had the same dysfunctional relationship with his father meaning that for sixteen out of the last twenty four years our nation has been run by men who were raised by mothers even though their fathers were alive somewhere on some planet.

If you take just a wee bit of time to think about this, and, if you take just a little more time to realize that our nation has more or less been led by men whose father’s refused to lead them, is it any wonder why at the dawn of our nation’s most resilient industrial 21st century, America has fallen behind in every single industrial sector while at the same time the rest of our industrialized world is passing us right by economically, industrially and environmentally?

While these two presidents have proclaimed over and over again how important it is for our nation to become educated, their ideology devoid of any sensible male role modeling in their own childhood is again quit suspect in our nation’s overall inability to attach any common sense whatsoever to the educational model that in fact could be transforming public education entirely in our America. At his next to last State of the Union Address this past January20,1915, President Obama expressed his desire to make the first two years of community college free to every high school graduate in America, he then proceeded to proclaim that early childhood day care might be free as well. After that, he stated that as long as a junior high school student maintained a 2.5 grade point average during these first two years of community college, they would somehow be eligible for some sort of decreased future college funding.

Whereas all of this sounds wonderful for the typical fatherless eighteen year old seeking some form of higher education, the president shoots himself in the foot again as he states that these kids only have to maintain a 2.5 grade point average. Even though throughout his presidency, Obama stated over and over again that America is falling behind in higher education, even though his plan for immigration reform is to make it easier for much more highly educated foreigners to enter our country and work in the few profitable advanced technology industries that America actually has, he has got himself convinced that Americans themselves do not have to achieve anything close to a 4.0 grade point average which of course goes directly to the issue of why something that is supposedly free is anything but free. As this guy is again convinced that some sort of social compassion trumps true industrial self-discipline, it is fairly clear to this author that after sixteen years of fatherless presidents, we in America still don’t have a mixed energy policy and we still don’t have anything even remotely close to a thriving domestic 21st century American economy.

Having said all of the above, the question which is at the heart of this essay remains anchored to our collective capacity to finally align education with direct industrial and economic accomplishment. And, again, while scraping a whole set of federally funded or state funded education initiatives is more than justifiable, a simple nonpolitical re blueprinting of these initiatives would do wonders for the growth of the very American industries who need a young adult work force that actually has real father based industrial mentors as their non-scientific and non-legalistic oriented master American building trade instructors.

Whereas the Democrats are again hoping to reshape some sort of a political message and the Republicans who now control both the House and Senate are in many ways chagrined with their midterm election victories, as neither of these parties have taken any real responsibility for their hopelessly redundant political infighting, we have community colleges throughout America that are literally surrounded by tribes and tribes of either unemployed or hopelessly underemployed young adults living with underemployed parent couples or single parents. As those who follow my blog on a regular basis know my capacity to weave multiple issues into the story line of any given essay, the use of the word “tribes” to define the people who live in the communities that surround our collective national body of community colleges is quite intentional particularly where the discussion of building a truly mixed energy based 21st century industrial economy is concerned.





As the benchmark for establishing a truly advanced mixed energy based utility infrastructure is of course bringing all aspects of any energy source to economically comingle with all aspects of every other energy source, the “tribes” that surround our community colleges nationwide are in fact a collection of people who live within a certain geographical region with certain clearly definable weather conditions and clearly definable environmental and topographical characteristics that clearly define both the need and the subsequent capacity for any given energy source to be utilized within that region. Thus, the word “tribes” simply suggests that those who live in a region have adapted themselves to that regions overall naturally occurring climatic conditions. As they have, they have as well developed an “environmental/industrial mixed energy use and management consciousness” quite specifically adaptable to the natural ebb and flow of climatic conditions associated with that region as well as the energy resources capable of being re-harnessed economically and educationally within that region. Truly understanding the industrial dynamics defined within this regional approach to America’s entire mixed energy discussion is then crucial to understanding the very funding of the community college that serves as an industrial/educational anchor to that regions mixed energy economic growth policy.



But again, the notion of establishing the structural regulatory framework that would allow such a unique mixed energy use dynamic to flourish must be based upon the teachings of master tradesmen and not the ramblings of abstract scientists and redundant policy based attorneys. Thus within a given region a certain amount of solar collectors can be placed, another certain amount of wind turbines can be placed, another amount of geothermal systems can be placed and as such is the case, the consumption of natural gas can be regulated accordingly, the consumption of biofuels can be monitored accordingly, the use of electricity coming from a larger regional infrastructure can be balanced and so on and so forth both down and up our nations broad spectrum energy grid chain.
Within the framework of this remarkably dynamic mixed energy pursuit then comes not only the funding for our community colleges but the direct immersion of the student body into the very mixed energy industries that provide them with the jobs they are going to school to get training for to begin with. When one really takes the time to ponder this, it becomes rather obvious that the possibility of an entirely new blueprint for re-regulating our public utilities while in the same breath re-engineering the funding mechanism for our community colleges is quite doable. So again, as what I am suggesting is the need to simply scrap many of the social programs that have for several decades grown increasingly dysfunctional in both structure and effectiveness not to mention our nation’s capacity to continue to fund them, directly around the mixed energy industrial corner we are all arguing over is in fact a rather simple solution to this multi-faceted industrial problem.




As that solution financially essentially revolves around what I would define as “bundled utility bill”, which is nothing more than a bundle of financial tools that enable certain investment strategies, certain funding strategies and very certain job growth strategies all of which flow seamlessly through the simple payment of one monthly “bundled utility bill”? Needless to say the notion of paying for community college based industrial education becomes extraordinarily less complex and extraordinarily more far reaching when it comes to the overall integration of all energy based technologies into every community in America. In the same breath, a true melding of many different energy sources becomes equally less complex as now political infighting of who is going to get what share of federal dollars to invest in single energy sources is now viewed as a rather rudimentary function of an advanced American 21st century mixed energy infrastructure that is of course crucial to our nations’ economic and industrial strength moving forward.




What is so terribly sad about our nations’ political process here today is that ideologues have been allowed for decades to ever so sharply define and redefine their opposing political points of view without ever having the wherewithal to understand that those points of view should have been allowed to naturally evolve out of our socio-economic dialogue at the same pace new technology was being integrated into our whole industrial marketplace over the course of the last forty years.
A perfect example of what I mean here is solar energy. I installed my first solar panel forty years ago on a home in Boulder, Colorado. At the time, it was largely assumed that solar panels would become somewhat of a mainstay in our American industrial diet in a rather succinct time frame. Forty years later however, it is largely assumed that the solar panel will become a mainstay in our American industrial diet by the year 2060 some 90 years after the thing was first developed and still today in 2015 just barely making in imprint on our nations’ rapidly deteriorating public electric utility infrastructure.

When you think about this insanely slow American industrial learning curve for a minute, and, then you add into this redundant mindset the absurd expansion of social programs that has taken place in our country for the past forty years, it becomes fairly obvious that what should have been an adherence to a strict and dynamic mixed energy industrial expansion policy has instead been totally blunted by a society fixated on the perpetual analysis of wholly dysfunctional human behavior and the perpetual fostering of such behavior via welfare based programs, public education based programs, criminal justice based programs that brought abstract social behavior to a much more heightened sense of importance than truly cognitive industrial momentum. As our nation has all but been put on hold because of this perverse attempt to re-engineer the human mind, indeed the melting iceberg we as a nation should be concerned about is our collective loss of our once brilliant industrial mindset.

But, again, Obama insists that there is more than enough money floating around to fund yet a fourth generation of even more mind numbing social programs designed for no other purpose than to keep those who have been fraudulently employed by our nation’s welfare programs, public education system and criminal justice system from not going to jail for what they have done to the minds of our American youth over the course of the last forty years.

As what is clearly the case in our nation today which is that of taking a heightened sense of false importance out of what doesn’t work and never worked and replacing it with actual work itself, the Democrats led by sixteen years of fatherless presidents have not a clue as to how to go about and tell all of their political hires that occupy these revered public institutions that they are all simply fired. Whereas such a move would of course add a significant strain on our US economy, one way to avoid such an economic strain is to simply take community college funding to start with out of the hands of either the federal and states’ governments and plop that funding directly into the laps of our nations’ mixed energy public utility companies who in turn truly need a large and dynamically educated young adult work force to rebuild our nation’s entire public utility infrastructure and rebuild as well the inventive and industrial dignity of the regional tribes who need those utilities to thrive economically as well as environmentally from within their own communities.

With the Republicans now in charge of Washington, it will be interesting to see just what form of regulatory reform will begin to unfold in the next few years. As it would be nice to see these folks actually embracing the true mechanical nature of our mixed energy infrastructure here at home, needless to say, their own political interests over the past forty years, which have primarily focused on global economic growth and expansion, do not bode well for the American tribal workforce. As it is once again “a we won and they didn’t” attitude in Washington DC, and, this time it is the Republicans claiming victory, there is every indication coming from this party that instead of truly blueprinting a massive nationwide multi-generational job creating mixed energy industrial mechanism here at home they will once again embark on the old and hopelessly worn out notion that international expansion of American corporate interests will bring untold volumes of fantastic wealth to the average American tribal member.

Without for a single moment realizing that virtually every industrialized nation in the world, is for all practical purposes, light years ahead of America in their pursuit of mixed energy development, the Republican insistence on scraping many of the social programs authored by democrats over the course of the last forty years is motivated solely by the notion that for a corporation to succeed globally, it must constantly rid itself of any and all social responsibility for the human beings (ie: tribal work force) that they somehow believe will be able to afford the products these corporations make without actually having an income from which to do so.

Whereas the scenario I am describing above is clearly known to all in America, it is unfortunately not known in Washington DC at all. With the reason for this more or less being excessive regulatory compartmentalization of our otherwise normal or rational industrial functions, it is simply hard to find a politician who can pull him or herself away from this addiction to obsessive legal detail.
Putting it another way, let’s go back to the solar collector I installed way back in 1974.
Boulder, Colorado was in the 1970’s a haven for progressive and conscious environmental thought. As it was, people like myself flocked there to become a part of what we knew would be a significant re-blueprinting of our nations’ industrial thought process. A much more detailed or much more in depth awareness of our capacity to rework our industrial mechanism was taking shape in Boulder and a handful of other communities in America. As this was taking place in Boulder, for the rest of America however, little to no “Green Energy Consciousness” was unfolding. A case in point here was the experience I myself encountered back in 1980 when having been a successful green designer and builder in Boulder, I chose to relocate back to Chicago and continue to pursue my career as a green builder.

From the moment I returned to Chicago, I was met with a building code enforcement department that was virtually clueless to the modern building codes found in Boulder. Spending more than a few years tactfully educating these code enforcement officials as to the engineering as well as cost cutting brilliance of these codes, I was met as well with the political reality of dealing with a union controlled construction trade bureaucracy that stated in no uncertainty just exactly how a building was to be built. With a significant emphasis on processes that were needlessly labor and material intensive, these processes were virtually ignorant of anything even remotely connected to the thought of energy conservation. Whereas what I am stating here is nothing knew, the point I am making is that forty years later, the same nothing new mentality still exists in building code enforcement offices located in every city or town or small village nationwide today. With building code enforcement still more or less being left up to a local municipality to define, the clannish nature of so many American communities is clearly being defined by the overall lack of knowledge coming out of these communities.

Having said the above, and, again turning this conversation towards the purpose of this essay, community college based education of the tribes that live in these communities can only truly be realized if an industrial entity were to take over both the funding and course/curriculum design of the programs offered in these colleges. As there is virtually no industrial entity other than our public utility companies that can put forth such comprehensive and clearly needed building code enforcement education, there is as well no industrial entity that financially can infuse entirely new job creating and revenue generating manufacturing, retailing, warehousing and service sector maintenance of the vast network of mixed energy public utility mechanisms that must immediately be brought on line in our America today.

Getting back to the issue of Washington DC based excessive regulatory compartmentalization of legislative function, if in fact we as a nation simply put rudimentary regulatory need into the hands of those who actually understand the whole function of the industries needing such regulatory management, such action would truly serve to constructively deflate the political tensions that are quite unfortunately paralyzing our nation economically and industrially still here today in 2015. Whereas our community colleges should be serving as industrial training centers for our American young adult work force, they should as well be serving as re-training centers for our older adult work force. When one considers that within the broader boundaries of our need to re-industrialize ourselves is a substantial list of mixed energy subcategories many of which are clearly tied to the successful integration of the residential and commercial as well as light industrial building trades, it is again the community college that stands as the logical center from which all knowledge related to these building trades is exchanged for the greater economic good of the community such colleges serve.

Thus, if a broad host of mixed energy public utility companies are funding these colleges, an equally broad mix of building trades could contribute to this funding as well. As an example, let’s say a company involved in the installation of a rooftop solar array contracting with the public utility to install the grid on any given residential roof is dealing with the fact that the existing roof on this particular residence is in need of replacement. As it is obvious that the new roof would need to be installed prior to the installation of the solar array, both the roofing contractor and the solar array contractor have a need to cross train one another to affect the positive and successful outcome of both professional installations. As again a universal physical space from which cross training occurs can realistically only be found inside the campus of a community college, so to can the course curriculum and subsequent accreditation of the labor force who attends that college.

As this is true with virtually every building trade sector, it is equally true of every municipal building code enforcement department. With the scope of potential educational exchange being quite enormous, the community college can expand even further to include the healthy environmental impact of any and all construction going on in any given municipality. Another issue that is most important to understand here is the nature and intent of regulatory impact. As it is perfectly clear that federal regulation coming from DC is by and large clueless to the regional environmental nuances that have a direct impact on a regulation can only really be interpreted by those who live and work within the region surrounding the community college serving the region. Thus regulatory perimeters dictating the overall performance of a host of mixed energy public utility companies, custom designed for that region, cohabitating with the regulatory parameters dictating the scope of the building codes needed for that region will of course be different from region to region. But again, the community college serves as the center from which all regulatory parameters are ultimately referenced from.



Regional Climatic Data Centers

When we truly look at the simplicity of the mechanism of “regional community college environmental education” and we look at the institution as a revolving door educational and industrial as well as an investment and regulatory entity, if we truly grasp the magnitude of growth that can be experienced regionally via the establishment of the community college as a center for combined information exchange, much more information can actually be processed from with any given community college.

Specifically, these community colleges can become “Regional Climate Data Centers”, that is centers that have the capacity to document environmental data such as air quality. As the region surrounding a community college becomes more environmental balanced due to the inoculation of a broad host of mixed energy management technologies and systems, overall environmental air, water and land quality as such quality improves most likely should be documented. Whereas again the community college is the ideal candidate for a remarkable collection of clean industries that are able to cross train with one another, in turn this environment can serve as a scientifically monitored point of data entry from which data can be moved from the community college level to the four year college and graduate school level. In doing so, the graduate of the community college who chooses to go on to higher levels of education has at his or hers disposal access to the Climatic Data stored and access to the advanced learning curriculum offered by traditional colleges and universities nationwide that are ultimately connected to the community college.

As what I am saying here is again referring to the community college as a launch pad for hands on education in a host of mixed energy technologies as those technologies are applied to the communities occupying a specific region, through the Accumulation and Processing of Climate Data the members of the community who wish to approach education from a clearly more advanced scientific perspective simply have the avenue available to them to do so.

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Thanks for stopping by.


Mike Patrick Dahlke