Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Could "Occupy Clean Energy" Be Next?

I was a cop reporter in Palm Springs for a period in the mid-1980s. The community was a spring break mecca for college students and, as luck would have it, I decided one spring day to make a last run through town.

It was about 4 p.m. when I came upon a park in north Palm Springs filled with students. They were just milling around, but electricity filled the air. I just knew something was about to happen.

I called my boss at the newspaper and told him I was going to hang out for awhile. "Something is about to pop," I said.

Boy, did it. The riot started when a motorcyclist with a case of beer strapped on the back rode past the park. The beer was hijacked and the rumble was on. Hundreds of students trampled through downtown as cops in riot gear and firing tear gas tried to stop them. The crowd finally dispersed several hours later, and I had the lead story the next day.

I mention this because I'm feeling the same tingle that I did that April day so many years ago. I sense that something big is about to pop with clean energy and energy efficiency. (And I wouldn't be surprised if young people are involved; they are demanding progress on the energy front.)

Out-of-touch Legislators may not realize yet, but the undercurrent is strong. Big Business, the military, local governments, schools and average citizens are waking up and recognizing that creating cleaner and cheaper energy is good for the environment, and is smart economically.

We've written about Walmart and other businesses discovering green is good - especially when it comes to energy efficiency. A relatively minor investment can yield huge results when it comes to conserving energy at houses, businesses, government facilities and hotels.

Clean-energy followers are getting restless. We see with Occupy Wall Street what can happen when the restless are moved to action. Will Occupy Clean Energy be next?

Photo of Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

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