• Payton Pan

West Texas: A Battle for the Future of Energy

"It takes strength to stand against the times. And ignorance too."


I wrote that caption for "(Green Future) Grim Present" during my stay in Midland, where the photo was taken; a dusty road desert town in West Texas.

The town is built on the foundation of a booming oil industry, a foundation that has provided steady income via thick flow through countless pumpjacks. But this foundation is cracked, and grows weaker every year. With the generation of green energy on the horizon, it's not hard to see a future where renewable energy sources become cheaper and more accessible to than their greenhouse competitors. And if we impotune for a carbon tax, we will reach this horizon much sooner. Surely this is good for our planet and economy, but what will it mean for the innumerable oil workers, like those in Midland. I met several while there, normal people in a town with one industry, given one option to feed their families; Oil is thier lifeblood, even if they don't like it.


That makes it downcast to imagine the town's ghostly, jobless future when new energy arrives. They are slowly being surrounded by a vast sea of wind turbines, coming up across the hills, steadily encircling Midland and it's pumpjacks.

The time has come where we can no longer cling to the past and it's energy sources. Not only for the planet, but for our own families. The longer we wait, the more innocent towns will end up deserted in the dust.

I hope these photos express the stark contrast between the two options we each have: the green of hope, or the brown dust of the past. Please remember these choices next time you make a big decision, whether it's choosing a car or choosing a Senator.


Go green or go home,

Payton


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