Geothermal: Is the Past Prologue?
Tapping into Pele’s energy in the past has unleashed considerable heat, not just from the ground but from the heart and soul of the community. And that’s because in trying to draw from what the land has to offer, people and culture were treated like poor relatives waiting for a handout. The disrespect to culture and traditions and the disregard for people in the initial pursuit of profits from geothermal energy are not easily forgotten. It has left scars on the landscape and on our sensibilities.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since. We now have the opportunity to embrace a community-based model for the development of geothermal energy that recognizes that everyone—small businesses, families, ratepayers, students—all have a right to feel real, long-term, tangible benefits from geothermal development.
Still, big questions remain about how much we have really learned from the past.