Shell got more than it bargained for in Seattle when its grand plans for an oil rig right at the bay were met with unusual and spirited opposition from residents firmly in favor of green energy. The bold stand taken by residents of Seattle is not only intriguing in its nature, but also in that it is a one-of-a-kind stand against further attempts to irresponsibly exploit the earth’s dwindling non-renewable energy reserves when viable clean energy alternatives are clearly available.
Truthfully, Shell is no stranger to controversy, but the president’s approval of the company’s plans to drill oil in Alaska rubbed many environmentalists the wrong way. But when it was later decided that the company would base its operations in Seattle, and commissioners at the Port of Seattle went ahead to lease one of its piers to Shell, the whole fiasco became unbearable for Seattle residents as well as environmentalists across the country. About 200 activists got on kayaks and surrounded the massive rig the company was setting up in an attempt to sabotage the company’s plans, even inspiring the clever moniker among mainstream media, “kayaktivists”.
Oil is a non-renewable energy that is fast dwindling. What’s worse is that it also deals the climate a serious and potentially permanent blow by contributing millions of tons of greenhouse gases every year. It is now general knowledge that greenhouse gases are already putting the state of the world as we know, and in turn our future on this planet, it in serious jeopardy. Seattle protests are not about the average person standing up against the tyranny of powerful oil multinationals that have little regard for the welfare of the people whose homes they invade, but rather about making a strong case for use of alternative energy, not as an alternative energy form anymore, but as s primary source of world’s energy.
The copious amounts of money the company is spending drilling more oil, which will inevitable result in further deterioration of our climate, would be better spent in setting up alternative energy sources such as wind energy plants, solar energy power stations, or even the energy plants exploiting in the ocean waves. and its scale clearly renders it to mainstream use as a replacement for conventional energy forms anywhere in the world. More importantly, alternative energy it does not hurt the earth and every living thing that relies on it for both present and future survival. If the Shell oil protests in do not highlight how important the issue of clean energy has become, both in the public conscious and as a matter of practical necessity, then nothing will.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.