Posted by Norma on October 11, 2007, 9:45 am
This is a lengthy post in response to Linda and Carol's input in the previous "Making Sense of Local News" post.|
We had an alternative energy tour in our community in the spring and it was wonderful to see solar energy, windmills, and water collecting cisterns from simple & cheap to sophisticated and state of the art. A few nights ago I heard Merle Haggard on the radio talking about solar energy and how easy it is to have air conditioning with it. I think every small step towards energy conservation is well worth every $ spent. When the power goes out, those off the grid still have lights and pumps and never an electric bill.
On January 20, country music legend Merle Haggard appeared on Ring of Fire, the Air America Radio program hosted by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mike Papantonio.
Host Mike Papantonio: Today we welcome the great Merle Haggard, a country music star who has been called a poet for the common man.
Merle Haggard: Well I thought you were supposed to try to say a lot. You know, thatís what I thought America was about. I thought it was about poetry and stories, opinions and music. Then it became about the soap opera and the love affairs. Our brand of freedom in the old days was far superior to whatís been happening now.
Pap: Your song from Rebuild America First, thatís exactly what you are talking about isnít it?
Merle: I think that we need to reexamine the Constitution. You know, my brother was a Marine who fought in Okinawa and Iwo Jima. My cousin was a Marine who fought in Korea. When I was 14 years old I tried to enlist and they called me in but they didnít take me. But our family has always been very red, white and blue.
Pap: When you listen to Merle Haggard you can listen to the words and you hear a story. You have a great line on your album Chicago Wind. Itís a simple line: ďWhereís all the freedom that weíre fighting for?Ē Iíve always thought of you as a patriot.
Merle: Absolutely, I believe in what I put on my records. Iíve been totally wrong in some of my songs over the years. But I think Iraq, and in retrospect the Vietnam War, are mistakes that we shouldnít have been involved with. Itís about money. Itís about oil. Things are not as they should be. But we can fix the problem. Playing music for a living is a great privilege, but I have gotten really into promoting green energy and solar power.
Pap: Youíve always been a champion of the working class. Do you think that this has something to do with that?
Merle: Well absolutely, if nothing else it will lower peopleís power bill. It will put a lot of men to work in good jobs. You could plug your electric car right into the front of your house to get cheap solar power. Or you can zero your power bill out and do it yourself on top of your roof. Solar power eliminates a lot of the emission problems into the air and it protects the environment. Green power should be something everybody is at least aware of. I donít see that thereís anything else more important.
Pap: Why hasnít government jumped in to do this?
Merle: This wonít come from government, and its not going to come from the oil companies. Itís going to come from people like me. Iím going to find out whoís building the best solar collector in the world. And Iím going to put my name on it.
Pap: Iím glad to hear that, Mr. Haggard, because a solar panel with your name on it is going to go a whole lot further with many Americans than having a government product out here.
Merle: Weíre going to try to be the Jimmy Dean of solar power. I canít see any harm in putting solar power on the roofs of people who are paying through the nose for power. I am going to do everything I can to bring the cost of the installation down. Also, the rebates should be higher for people that do it and get off the grid. I canít see why anybody in this United States would not get behind green energy and solar power at this moment.
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