Below is an excerpt from a letter to the editor a friend of mine wrote. Katherine Gekas, the author, has worked on sustainable energy issues in Africa and the Middle East, and currently where she lives in Newton, Massachusetts. My apologies if this is on the long side.
It is with great sadness, irony and necessity that I feel I must point out connections between our own behavior and this unthinkable incident that has victimized all of us in some way. In our numbness, we cannot and should not respond with violence, yet we all want to act in some way to feel more in control of our situation.
It has become clear in the past few days that the terrorists who have committed this act have originated from some oil-producing countries. They have chosen to victimize the country that has been able to protect its oil interests since the discovery of oil.
I deeply believe that world geopolitics changed on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. With great humility and apprehension, yet also with faith, I would like to point out that there has been much written about oil as the symbol of our power and control and world dominance, and I would like to offer another symbol that I strongly believe we should focus our emotional energies on, as well as our physical and economic efforts: renewable energy.
Renewable energy represents self-sufficiency, security and safety.
Renewable energy can be used in many forms in any part of the world. It does not require that we take resources from other countries, only that we recognize what form of energy is available to us in our own region. For example, wind energy can be used off the coast of Massachusetts, and solar energy on our homes and buildings in which we work. Another example would be using geothermal energy to help heat and cool our buildings, as President Bush does for his ranch in Texas. Renewable energy is also decentralized, and enables us to build a network of energy supplies, offering security which a centralized power plant system does not offer. Renewable energy is safer in a time of war, as it does not have the potential to become a weapon, as in the case of nuclear and fossil fuel plants. And renewable energy can focus and mobilize us around a cause that is just and peaceful.
There is more than one solution to this complex problem. I strongly hope that as you read this letter, you think of your own ways to gradually work towards peace. Renewable energy can become the symbol of peace. And hope.