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For the last post of 2013, I’ve reserved sharing the most special chance meeting of the year with you all. It is either an event of kismet or a reflection of the fact that Solar Energy Age has truly arrived in mainstream! So much so that every corner one (at least is in the case for yours truly) turns toward, one would run into some one who is connected to the solar industry. Or perhaps I have simply become a magnet attracting all kinds of solar enthusiasts…take your pick.
It happened on the last day of the conference of SPI2013 (Solar Power International 2013) in Chicago. We (hubby Mike-my camera man and tech support, and I) stayed at the Palmer House (mind you, this is not the hotel where the conference was being held). We simply have a soft spot for those nostalgic hallway photos of stars from yesteryears and the beautiful architectural details rarely found in most other hotels. As we were getting ready to leave the hotel to catch our flight back to Florida, some one entered our elevator with a beaming smile on his face. Interestingly enough, this person, Thomas Barr, from Jacksonville, FL,
turned out to be in Chicago for a different conference, actually worked in solar business back in the 70’s-80’s and now is working as a General manager in Oncology Metrics (a division of Altos Solutions, Inc.), providing information products and services for the oncology community to promote and measure quantitative improvement in clinical and business processes at the provider, practice and enterprise level.
In the few minutes of this chance meeting in the elevator, Mr. Barr highly recommended a wonderful book, A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology by Ken Butti and John Perlin. I found out later that:
Its author John Perlin
has also authored Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy (cover above) and From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity. As a matter of fact, I just purchased Let It Shine’s kindle version right before starting the trip to Chicago for SPI2013. So, what do you think: are these chains of coincidences… or am I simply a magnet for all things and people that are solar…or perhaps we have simply arrived at a time in human history when solar has finally become sufficiently mainstream…as now that America has more solar or wind-power jobs than it has coal or steel jobs. As investments are shifting dramatically from coal and nuclear to wind and solar, will renewables finally have sufficient political clout to fend off increasingly desperate attacks by its endangering rivals? Time will tell….
Until the fickle finger of fate and time will unfold their mysteries, I will continue relishing each and every one of these events presented along my journey of advocacy for solar energy.
Finally, I implore all of you solar enthusiasts out there to take a look at these two books. I love how Amory B Lovins, cofounder and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute of Old Snowmass, CO, puts it:
…Switching at last to renewables will be one of the greatest transitions in the history of our species: inventing a new fire that finally makes us safe, secure, healthy, and durable. Even if we need never again reinvent this renewable-energy wheel, we must understand where it came from. Let It Shine shows how today’s renewable revolution builds on the tenacious efforts of countless generations of innovators whose vision we may finally be privileged enough to bring to full flower.
Yes, this has definitely been a cumulative effort for many generations. If I or any of us has been able to make a dent in pushing the slope at the inflection point, it would have been a great privilege. And let us hope that the Renewable/Solar Energy Age is finally ready to blossom, for the sake of all human kind.
~have a bright and sunny day~
Below are web links to “Let It Shine” shared by author John Perlin:
Review of the book-
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:
gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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Tags: A Golden Thread, Amory B. Lovins, Chicago, Earth Policy Institute, FL, From Space to Earth, IL, Jacksonville, John Perlin, Ken Butti, Lester Brown, Let It Shine, Oncology Metrics, Palmer House, Rocky Mountain Institute, Solar Energy, Solar Power International, SPI, Sun Is The Future, sunisthefuture, sunisthefuture.net, susan sun nunamaker, The Story of Solar Electricity, Thomas Barr