LPEA’s technology

There are a number of valid reasons on which to base a vote for a candidate for La Plata Electric Association’s board of directors. But the idea that a particular energy source is not ready for prime time is not one of them. No technology is fully mature when first adopted.

Experience, personal integrity, knowledge and expertise are just a few reasons to vote for someone. In this case, so too is the candidate’s – and the voter’s – level of interest in alternative energy.

If a voter thinks cost and reliability are the only issues that matter for LPEA, fair enough. Likewise, a voter may think LPEA should be expanding the variety and use of solar, wind or other sources of renewable energy. Either way, most likely there are candidates who agree.

Economics and values matter, too. Some would argue that it is worth paying more for renewable energy. Some say no, it is not. Many would probably ask, “How much more?”

But nowhere in this is there a place for dismissing solar or other alternative-energy sources as unready or unproven. All technologies are immature when first adopted. People do not let that stop them from doing what they want.

In 1773, the British government awarded a prize to a clock maker named John Harrison for having solved the problem of longitude. Prior to that, ships at sea had no accurate way to know their position east or west. (They knew north and south from the sun.) By then, of course, Columbus was long dead, empires were global and seaborne trade was common. Longitude was guesswork and sailing dangerous, but no one waited.

Air travel did not achieve anything like its contemporary level of safety and reliability until jets became standard in the 1960s – more than 30 years after commercial service first began. The technology inherent in space travel was invented almost literally on the fly. Nor did we wait for Steve Jobs to pick up telephones.

People do what they want, as soon as they can. They do not wait until the tools or technology are fully developed.

Base your vote on what you think LPEA should do, not on what someone tells you it cannot.

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