In-Chapter Pagination

Universal Energy is a proposed means to solve a problem that we will inevitably have to face one way or another: our planet is running out of natural resources as our population explodes, risking ever-greater conflict, social unrest and war. This is a major problem that requires our immediate attention. Yet while this problem is severe it’s certainly not a new problem. We’ve known about it for some time – a long time actually, yet our society has done little to address it as our circumstances have worsened over time. And the leaders we have depended on to guide us to a sustainable, brighter future have not lived up to the responsibilities entrusted to them.

Instead, as present times need no reminder, they’ve proven themselves fantastically incapable of acting for society’s best interests and working to avoid the true, existential problems of our time. As we are burdened with the mess largely created by their inaction, all they have left to offer is finger pointing, political bickering and broken promises, amidst a society that is buckling under the weight of their collective incompetence.

These aren’t words I take joy in saying, and I don’t think they're words we enjoy hearing – but we all know that it’s the truth of our reality whether we like it or not. But at the same time I don’t want to put words in your mouth, either. Maybe I have misjudged your worldview, and maybe I ought to take the time to explain myself before I make blanket statements in any direction. So to phrase the perspective on which these words are said, I’d like to make you a bet:

I’ll bet you a beer at any bar I ever meet you in that right now, you’re probably thinking Universal Energy is a wonderful idea that is never going to happen. The reason why I bet you would think that is you’re quite aware that it never will happen with the way our society works today. You’d be right, too.

And we both know why.

That’s because our society is bought by special interests that would oppose the idea of something like unlimited cheap energy and resources. These interests know that should humanity ever break free from the chains of resource scarcity, many social afflictions would be solved almost overnight. They know that energy costs would plummet, as would spending on defense, intelligence, criminal justice and any other industry that profits from conflict and economic/social instability. They know that the global economy would be universally strong, thus empowering greater amounts of people to pressure their governments to concentrate on the best interests of their society instead of the profit margins of political benefactors.

As a result, these interests would no longer be in a position to dictate the direction of social policy. This means they would lose control, they would lose power and they would lose money – which is not something they will let happen without a fight.

I feel it necessary to state this in such terms as I have far too much respect for your time and consideration than to come to you in proposal of Universal Energy as some naïve coffee shop idealist. I do not value your time so cheap as to ask for your attention thinking that the petroleum industry, for instance, would simply “allow” the emergence of something like unlimited cheap energy. Of course that’s not the case, as we’ve seen similar circumstances played out enough times to know how it will likely end if they get their way:

Through government lobbying (especially against clean energy), patent trolling, media disinformation, election purchasing / gerrymandering and hostile litigation, the cabalistic interests that control energy and utilities, media, defense, telecommunications, finance, law and much of our society at large will seek to prevent the widespread dissemination of technologies that dramatically lower the cost of energy, resources and information.

That is, of course, unless we stop them.

But how do we do that? How can we differentiate between honest businesses and commercial trade groups - the majority of whom are well-intentioned - from the parasitic entities among them that seek to unethically benefit at the expense of society's best and future interests? More importantly, how do we prevent the more wayward of them from influencing government to succeed in this goal? And in order for us to even embark on such tasks, how do we address the deep political division that has arisen from our multitude of social maladies, a division which has pit us against each other bitterly as a people?

I believe the answer to these questions comes first by having a conversation. And not just any conversation. An honest conversation. A truthful and sobering conversation about the state of our society, why we face the problems we face, what is at fault and how the existence of one problem leads to the existence of others. As I see it, that “why” can be boiled down to three causes:

  1. We have a broken government. Our government today is run largely by wasteful bureaucratic fiefdoms that answer to politicians who have been corrupted by the almighty dollar. As elections are funded primarily by private donors, wealthy special interests donate billions to sway elections their way, which in a two-party system, allows them to buy both parties and ensure their agendas are prioritized above the national interest.

    This system distracts us into fighting amongst ourselves over ideological talking points and isolated, hyperbolic examples that while high on emotion, fail to encapsulate the bigger picture – or the merits held by both sides. As we are distracted, our politicians spend our tax dollars to deliver for their benefactors as primary considerations, with our own interests second. This weakens our strength as a people and our willingness to have faith in government, which prevents us from holding it accountable for its actions.

  2. We have an unjust legal system. Our broken government allows financially compromised politicians to pass unjust laws that not only shield them from accountability, but also allow powerful interests to advance their agendas at the expense of our national health. As these laws and the legal systems behind them are made intentionally complicated to be beyond the understanding of the average person, our legal system is twisted into a tool not of justice, but of power and control, as legal services are among the most expensive in existence and are thus accessible only to the social elite.

    Beyond tarnishing our national value systems, our broken legal system alienates, divides and disenfranchises us, which discourages our participation in our democratic process. Consequently, this provides the ability for special interests to operate with impunity.

  3. We have a dysfunctional society. Due to diluted educational standards and the widespread promotion of factually incorrect beliefs, we have become increasingly isolated from and complacent to the world around us and the nature of our affairs. This problem is made worse by conglomerated media that broadcasts disinformation, deception and shallow content in a quest for short-term advertising dollars, sacrificing substantive material in the process. This makes us misinformed and distracted, which further works to prevent us from uniting together to address social dysfunctions.

    When combined with a compromised government and unjust legal system, this breaks us as a people. It makes us apathetic toward seeking solutions to social problems and divides us among the means to solve them, should we actually care. Ultimately, this causes us to bicker amongst ourselves and chase our tails as we ignore the true threats to our future as it is effectively stolen from under us.

In saying this, I doubt much of it is news to anyone. But although we realize it, we generally view these problems through the lens of our own divisive ideology, be it liberal, conservative, moderate, whether apathetically or intensely. And I think this, at its core, is the primary reason why these problems persist.

For that reason I do not want to have this conversation through the lens of ideology, some slant toward a conservative or liberal persuasion. I instead want to have this conversation based on facts, because factually, all political ideologies have merit, depending on the circumstances. For once, we owe it to ourselves to get to the truth of the matter – the honest truth of the matter, so that we can derive solutions based on that truth. And that is where this conversation will begin.