When I left home nearly three years ago, my goal was to learn the concrete realities of climate change and the energy transition, and to communicate that knowledge to whoever might be interested. My subject was intentionally broad, because environmental problems and their solutions are inevitably complex and interlocking, and I believe that anyone working on these issues should do so always with an eye towards the whole.
I have plenty of time to think when I’m out on the road, and one idea has occupied more kilometers than any other. At a moment when the wealthiest 8 billionaires own more wealth than half of humanity, it seems to me that our next energy system should be placed firmly in the hands of everyday people. By giving control and ownership of the production, transport and storage of energy to local communities, we can help ensure that the benefits and burdens of our energy system are more evenly shared among us. This is called energy democracy.
Now that I’m headed back home, looking towards work and graduate school (and already dreaming about one final extended leg, from Alaska to Punta Arenas), I want to focus in on this work. For the rest of my trip home, From Miami to San Antonio to Los Angeles and the Bay Area, I’ll be meeting with groups doing this work, trying to understand their objectives and models, what’s working and what isn’t.
My route home through the US, east to west. I’ll be taking a train from San Antonio to Los Angeles because of time constraints.
After, I’ll keep this site as a blog as I embark on new projects and acquire funding for future legs of the tour, and I won’t stop until the 40,075th kilometer.
Keep an eye out for profiles and ideas from some energy democracy groups I’ve met with here in Barcelona, and in the meantime, take a look at some highlights from the last 5 months:
My friend Theo’s thoughts on his first two seasons as a smallholder farmer striving for sustainability.