Part Two: The Transformation of Energy
Older people remember a time when no aspect of life was planned around energy use. Children did not learn in school how to grow and prepare their food; almost all transportation, over long distances, used the oxidation of fossil fuels as the energy source; end use of products were "off the books", generating enormous material waste in "landfills".
At first, only a few "tree-huggers" sought comprehensive change; then, as more people began to look for ways to escape endless commutes in expensive SUVS, local solutions began to appear. City councils and legislatures were driven to provide alternatives, and some long-cherished privileges were lost. Innovations were difficult at first, then local efforts began to combine, and demand grew that obstacles be eliminated. The economic boon to areas that cooperated was made known by the new entrepreneurs.
The solutions were coordinated with public-private consortiums to develop renewable energy sources; the new systems were mandated to use a rapidly rising percentage of "clean" energy, creating a major market. On the private level, major public funds were directed to low-cost loans, privately administered, for green construction and renovation, and for R & D. The new companies formed to provide the services provided new and productive work, partnering with educational institutions for their training programs.
Though the transformation is far from complete, it is well underway, and well-established; today wind turbines are far more common than "gas stations", and private vehicle ownership is far less common: most people don't want the bother, though there are still specialized uses. Gardens connected to schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces are commonplace.