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Guest Blog: Ahead of this week's US election the message is clear - the green revolution will be crowdfunded

The green blogosphere has been ablaze with posts, tweets, and comments about the second US presidential debate in which the two candidates squared off on their respective energy approaches. 

  • President Obama offered strong support for continued government-funded development in renewables, stating that, “[W]e’ve got to make sure we’re building the energy source of the future, not just thinking about next year, but ten years from now, 20 years from now.” 
  • Governor Romney downplayed green’s potential, saying that to get the economy jumpstarted, he would “[G]et America and North America energy independent… by more drilling, more permits, and licenses.”

The back and forth was entertaining. But it was also instructive – in fact, downright alarming. Climate change and its causes are firmly established within the scientific community. So to have a debate about whether or not to invest in newer sources of energy seems unthinkable. The discussion should focus on how much we, as a society, should be investing in solar, wind, biogas, and other renewables. 

But such discussions represent just the tip of the iceberg. Every few years, green themes receive top billing in political debates because candidates (or at least some candidates) know that this is what people want to hear. President Obama has championed renewable energy before, but the actual execution has been inconsistent and underfunded (yes – underfunded – when you compare annual fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks to the $90 billion sent to green projects). 

We know where Romney stands on the issue. But would another four years of Obama bring meaningful progress, or was the recent debate simply one of those election cycle topics that will wither away and die after November 6? After all, the president was far more defensive about his fossil fuel support than he was about renewable energy.

In many ways “green” is still a dirty word, especially on the national stage in front of millions of television viewers.

We don’t know how renewables will play out in the political arena. But we’re also not waiting to find out either. 

Channeling the Voice of the people

Top down solutions and political action are critical to the long-term survival of the planet. But at Re-Nuble, we champion grassroots involvement from the bottom up. Our very business model depends on local action to combat global environmental issues like energy, waste, and food production.

But this philosophy extends beyond our core business as well. On Monday, we launched a crowdfunding campaign to help finance the completion of our anaerobic digesters (the technology we use to recycle organic waste into renewable energy and green fertilizer).  

From individual donations ranging from $5 on up, our goal is to raise $25,000 by November 28. 

If either Romney or Obama wish to use taxpayer dollars to help fund Re-Nuble’s mission, terrific (we certainly won’t say “no”). But we’re committed to showing them that

when you harness the power of individual actions, you can produce something truly great. 

Check out our crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo and make a contribution to help us get started. Every dollar makes a difference.

Written by Austin Brentley of Re-Nuble

Check out more Renewable Energy Focus blogs, including guest posts, here.

Posted 05/11/2012 by Gail Rajgor

Tagged under: renewable energy , US , alternative energy , renewables , biomass , energy from waste , EfW , Subsidies , energy , anaerobic digesters

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