Energy Education County

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BENEFITS: Historic Energy case Study

Jamestown 1607 link to saving energy today?

Sustainability (Energized) CASE Study #1 BACKGROUND When a father and son (5th grade) returned on the school bus in 2007 after a tiring day visiting Jamestown Virginia (founded by English settlers from Kent in 1607) they realized during the trip back home to NOVA (Northern Virginia) that every road, car, building, farm, village, town, city etc. they saw did not exist just 400 years ago!

Prior to 1607, going back thousands of years, multiple sustainable native American Indian tribes co-existed together by having multiple homes and travelling throughout the Chesapeake watershed to grow crops, barter, exchange knowledge, and sometimes fight each other during times of scarcity or hardship, in complex sophisticated societies.

Why was their approach so sustainable? They respected the land, water, trees, nature's bounty, food, fire, sun, weather, seasons, etc. They moved often so as not to "wear out" areas so nature could renew herself. Travel was by horse, foot or canoe which left minimal impact on the land. They saved seed over the winter for next years crops.

When the Europeans arrived they upset this delicate balance. Two cultures collided. Footnote: This text written before Avatar was released or seen by father and son!

History is such a valuable teacher. Think for a moment about Jamestown in 1607 and how this situation applies today to some of our most complex global issues!

The lives of the father and son were changed by the opportunity to go back in time at Jamestown. They began to more clearly understand the impact of civilizations on land, sea, water and air. America is such a clear example as everything we see is so recent, relatively speaking to the history of our planet. Makes you appreciate what we enjoy today. 

Close your eyes - imagine where you are as it appeared 400 years ago! Visit Virginia: "Every American should stand here at Jamestown at least once in their lives."

One reason for this phrase might be that this was the starting point of modern America, just over 400 years ago (about 10 generations). Check out the research / web sites Column 4 - Images 1-5 for more historical details (home page).

After their school sponsored visit to Jamestown Virginia in 2007, the father and son had many follow-up conversations around the pure sustainability / intelligent design of the Powhatan Indian Village and how this earlier culture differed so strongly from that offered by the Europeans, including basic concepts of "property" and "ownership of the land as a resource."

This is why EVERY AMERICAN should visit Jamestown at some point in their lives - OR - Visit and study the 5 links on the home page COLUMN 4 IMAGES 1-5 (from top to bottom) for more detailed information and additional historical research

The overriding conclusion is the massive global impact population / society / culture has had on the earth in just 400 years. Most of this being in just the past 65 years (post WWII). 

This "visible-to-ALL" effect / result required the consumption of profound amounts of finite energy (coal, oil, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane, etc) to produce everything that we see, enjoy and benefit from today. Finite energy consumption globally continues to increase. 

The father continued his research and wrote to the local newspaper (2008 & 2009) who kindly printed his thoughts, findings and comments (links above). He felt better but was he making a real difference? Was energy usage reduced in the local towns, schools and counties of the Piedmont Region? Not really.

Like many others, he came to the logical conclusion that today's energy consumption of finite fuels is NOT sustainable. Your reaction? Thoughts?

Side note: Forget the convoluted and distracting conversation about global warming. Whether we like it or not, we are experiencing a live experiment that for the sake of argument is in its 65th year. There are NO experts on our future. Those that think they are experts have huge egos. They are misleading many in their strong opinions and comments. Sad, but true!

What can a person do to really make a difference? Where can we make the greatest impact in the USA today, and tomorrow?

Thank you for taking the time to read this historical case study and the larger problem of global "Sustainability."

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