Our current racial capitalist system is powered by an extractive energy model - one that sacrifices the health and wellbeing of people and ecosystems for the sake of profit and growth. Cheap nonrenewable energy and minerals, that took millions of years to form, have been fueling the economy of growth for the past 150 years and their extraction is becoming exponentially more destructive. The global demand for energy continues to grow at around 2% annually and all forms of energy use are growing together: gas, coal, oil, nuclear and renewables.
While the awareness around planetary destruction caused by fossil fuels has grown, many solutions do not adequately address the systemic causes for the energy crisis, and are simply looking for alternative - seemingly “greener” - ways to fuel capitalism. Reversing this growth and expansion of the energy sector is an urgent and essential step in building an alternative energy system. Climate and environmental justice groups have been calling for a shift from a corporate centralized energy system to one that is localized - produced, owned and governed by communities. Energy justice calls to end market-based mechanisms that impair efforts to truly end fossil fuel pollution disproportionately affecting low income and communities of color, and to stop false solutions that seek corporate industrialized “green” alternatives instead of systemic change of the energy system.
Working towards an alternative energy system comes in tandem with transforming the economy. We must step away from the fuel-dependent extractivist and growth-based system we currently live in towards a localized, community-driven, and regenerative one (read more about that on our Economy page). Without a comprehensive plan to transform how and why we use fuel and stepping away from extractivist economy, no alternative methods of energy production and distribution would provide the kind of transformation communities and the planet require. Thus, the alternatives proposed in this section are rooted in a collective and systemic overhaul of how dependent capitalist lifestyles are on a constant consumption of energy (whether it is “renewable” or fossil fuel-based).