Our consumption in America is a massively contributing to killing the planet. Mainly through our food choices. Our consumption of meat products forces agricultural choices that destroy the planet by cutting down the rainforest to make room for cattle grazing. We also are unsustainably fishing our oceans. Fixing this should be a priority before we talk about installing solar panels on every roof. CO2 is a problem, but not nearly as big of a problem as our agricultural practices. (Source: Cowspiracy Documentary on Netflix)
Our demand for cattle produces lots of methane into the atmosphere. Our food waste in the landfills when it isn’t properly composted also turns into methane. Methane is far worse than CO2. Our energy to fix this is being focused on an area that isn’t the leading cause of the problem.
Rather than putting solar panels on every home, we should be more concerned with designing homes to utilize passive solar energy. Orienting a house so that the windows are south-facing, installing some form of dense mass inside the home to act as a thermal battery, and using geothermal technology to control the temperature of homes would reduce the amount of energy being consumed. This would mean we WOULDN’T NEED to create solar panels and batteries that require us to mine up more of the Earth and create waste products that can’t be disposed of in a good manner. We can’t just consume more to get ourselves out of our consumption problem, even if the product seems like it’s green at the surface level. Solar panels are not as effective at converting energy as homes designed for passive solar. Solar panels should be used to supplement a passive solar design, not in place of it. Earthships are a prime example of how this technology can be implemented for those who would like to see an example. (Earthship website https://www.earthshipglobal.com/)
We have led this consumption-driven life for so long we don’t realize the consequences of our actions. As other nations develop and want the same lifestyle as Americans, our planet will not be able to sustain everyone. Which means the resource wars will begin.
When people talk about reducing our military to have money for other programs, I think they are failing to see the long term play here. We cannot continue to live as we do, or the resources will run out. Wars are fought over resources. Whether we desire to fight or not, the fight for survival will have to happen. So we either figure out a way to live more sustainably, or we get our warriors ready and give them the tools they need to win. Look into the water wars between Bangladesh and China as an example. (Source: Water Wars Netflix Documentary)