Beautiful Kilowatts --
People Power in Action
Photos by Vivian Stockman
Midwest Renewable Energy Fair
mountaintop removal perpetuators would have us believe coal is the only
energy source that keeps the lights on, huge numbers of folks are
proving them wrong and creating sustainable jobs, all while leaving a
better world for their children.
Thousands of these green energy users
and advocates and small-scale renewable energy manufacturers attended
the 16th annual
Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair, held by the
Renewable Energy Association (MREA). OVEC's founder and
co-director Dianne Bady delivered a keynote address at the fair, which
is the largest such event in the world.
MREA president Mick Sagrillo asked Dianne to speak after he learned
about her in
On Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin's alumni magazine. In
introducing Dianne, Mick said after
reading the article he thought, "This is a dangerous woman!
We've got to have her speak!"
Dianne was a little worried her speech
about mountaintop removal would be a downer amidst so much positive
action and hope (there were hundreds of workshops and booths at the
fair), but Dianne spoke of our successes on other issues and talked
about the power of organized people. This audience clearly understood people
power! People were shocked to learn that, in southern West
Virginia, mountaintop removers use 3 million pounds of
explosives on working days. The audience appeared deeply moved by the
stories Dianne told about the human and ecological toll of mountaintop
removal. We bet her speech bolstered many in both their
personal and political commitment to renewable energy.
MREA honored Dianne by planting a tree for her on their Avenue of the
Advocates. Mick said they chose an oak for Dianne because it is such a
OVEC staffer Vivian Stockman attended the fair with Dianne, and both
say they learned a lot. For instance, Germany has committed to getting 100 percent of its energy
from renewable sources! Everywhere people spoke up for the
decentralization of our
energy systems (as OVEC has called for, as well). Many called
for a level playing field--either give renewable the same subsidization
that fossil fuels in the United Sates receive, or better yet, take away
the subsidies for fossil fuels, and don't even give any to renewable
energy. Let the free market be free, and let the people choose what
power they want. Our bet is parents will choose the power sources that
don't poison their kids.
Dianne and Viv came away from the Midwest
Renewable Energy Fair buoyed by the incredible group of people working
and living everyday with sane, safe, reliable and just plain sweet
renewable energy. These folks are bound and determined to change the
future for the better, no matter what the fossil fuel fools in DC and
certain state governments do to try to stop them.
We have seen the future, and it is people power, it is us!
OVEC's founder Dianne Bady hugs the pin oak, planted in her
honor. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association chose to
plant an oak for Dianne because it is such a strong tree.
Learning about harnessing the sun's power with photo voltaic
Many folks arrived at the fair using direct people
power. Now that's appropriate technology!
Kids are eager to learn about renewable energy--after all,
their future is at stake!
People throng the booths.