Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Candidates shy away from "C" word

The article I wrote and posted on Mon Dec 24, 2007 remains as relevant today as when I wrote it. The post subject: Candidates shy away from the dreaded "C" word,  I find it a shame that none of the Republican Presidential candidates or president Obama tonight in his State Of The Union address have mentioned any real innovative initiative concerning energy conservation. There are many new and exciting ways to recycle and cut energy waste. Public officials seem almost afraid to talk about conserving energy, it is as if they will offend someone or that big business and their lobbyist have made the subject taboo. Maybe they just don't care about America or the planet on which we live.

Simply mandating lower heating and higher cooling settings in government offices and buildings would give the private sector the cover they need to adjust their thermostats accordingly in offices and stores. A simple yearly fee on inefficient vehicles paid to the states when licenses are renewed would accomplish much in getting Americans to shed their gas guzzlers and move America to more fuel efficient transportation. Halting the manufacturing of the low end 80% furnaces that are still being installed in many new homes and phasing out the sale of light fixtures and appliances that fail to make good use of our remaining resources are just a few ideas.

 Each school day millions of buses hit the road across America transporting children to schools across town and past the schools near their home. Every Saturday a massive fleet of  vehicles leave post offices across the land to deliver mail that most Americans do not feel is important. The cost of policies like these go far beyond the cost of money being poorly spent, they take a toll on our planet. We need politicians who care about the hidden cost of short term policy and have the courage to focus on long-term planning and sustainability. It is time voters demand politicians put this priority before their desire to serve big business and the lobbyist that shower Washington with money.

Over the last several years I have had reason to enter many large buildings and offices in the evenings or during  weekends. It is truly amazing that on cold winters nights, weekends, and over holidays thermostats are not set-back. Yes all over America we heat empty buildings as though they are occupied. A fair number of computers and lights that are often  left on long after everyone is gone for the day, it seems people don't care enough to make the slightest effort to turn down the heat or turn off a light. Without a gentle nudge to conserve, America will never achieve energy independence.

Innovation does not always involve creating and spending billions of dollars. Innovation means thinking of new ways to get the job done. While it could be argued that cutting back on waste would lower the GDP it would have many positive benefits such as improving our standing in the world community. As we conserve, pollution is reduced , America's economy will be strengthened by reducing the importation of energy, new jobs will be generated by the industries that address these needs, and damage to the climate from global warming lessened.. Why are politicians so willing and eager to ask Americas sons and daughters to risk life and limbs in foreign wars while unwilling to ask Americans to make such a minor sacrifice?

Footnote; on April 12, 2012 I posted what turned out to be one of the most popular post I have ever written, it deals with how each of us impacts this planet we call home. If you are interested please take a look.

Footnote #2; They have finally stopped producing some of the least efficient furnaces and lighting. 


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