7.11.2008

Renewable Energy and Consumerism Rant

I've been a republican since I was a kid, but I have recently shifted towards independent. (Ron Paul would have gotten my vote)! Regardless of my political convictions, I am pretty upset at Mr. Regan and the Bush men after what I read last night. I am a new babe in a strange world, so maybe these aren't huge revelations to you, but they were to me and I am appalled.

Apparently Mr. Jimmy Carter had some amazingly awesome ideas back in the 70's that were implemented and designed to save us from an energy crisis. He didn't just implement a 55mph speed limit. He did much more.Did you know that the Department of Energy was founded by Jimmy Carter to make sure that our country would not have a dependence on foreign countries for our energy needs? He installed solar panels on the white house, told the country that 20% of our energy needs should be renewable energies, and started a solar community in New Mexico called Eldorado. He set up tax incentives to get people to start using renewable energy sources. He had us heading in the right direction.

Then Regan came to office, tore out the solar panels on the White House, got rid of the tax incentives, and let the big energy companies gain control over the Department of Energy. Regan was followed by Bush who decided to defend our oil interests in the middle east by defending Iraq from foreigners. Then the young Bush followed suit by invading Iraq to ensure we would have a place to rest our worries when oil supplies started to get scarce.I'm pretty disgusted with our current energy crisis. Knowing that it could have been prevented if Regan would have followed Jimmy Carters plan is angering.

Our current problems are being caused because we are selfish and over consume. We don't just over consume our gasoline. We over consume our energy, our natural resources, and indulge in far too many pleasures. Republican policies no longer work. We can't afford to just sit around and let capitalism, in its distorted Republican definition, run its course. The rich keep getting richer, and the poor are paying a huge price. The generations that come after us are going to pay the price for years if we don't start cleaning up our act right now.

I'm looking into having a future house that is off the grid, meaning it will not be connected to the power grid and receive energy from the large network of energy producing companies. If my house is connected to the grid, I will contributing to the production of pollution in the air, AND I am letting the electric companies get away with claiming that 10% of their energy is from gov't required renewable resources. If i have to connect to the grid, I will. But it will be a last resort.

Installing solar panels is a viable option and an affordable one, but it takes a lot of work, and it takes careful planning and constant vigilance to make sure that the energy that is produced by the panels isn't over consumed by appliances in the household.

Going through this process has helped me realize how much we as a society constantly consume and don't give it a second thought. We build inefficient buildings that waste the energy coming into them. We build enormous buildings that are 4000 square feet to house 4-5 people at the most. This is ridiculous. It is wasteful. It causes pollution, wastes resources, and makes it difficult for us to share our wealth with others.There are two things that I think will happen with our current economy and way of life if we continue to consume at the same rate we are currently consuming.

#1. Energy prices will continue to rise. Pretty soon it won't just be gasoline that is costly. It will be all of the natural resources, including the power that comes to your house via the grid. The bigger we build our houses, and the bigger and more ridiculous our appliances get, the more we will consume energy. That means a bigger cost to the customer.

If we want to take a lesson from this ridiculous increase in gas cost, remember that the big gas guzzling SUV owners are getting hit the hardest. If you consume more and get used to it, you will have a harder time adjusting when energy costs go up. On the other hand, if we all pitch in to reduce our energy consumption, we can avoid another energy crisis in the future. We should be building homes that are energy efficient, compact, and buy appliances that aren't energy hogs like SUV's.

#2. The cost of living will increase and the current debt we are in will be paid by our children and grandchildren. Two big mortgage companies, Sally Mae and Freddie Mac, might go under. When and if that happens, guess who will be bailing them out? You and me. We will be footing the bill if they declare bankruptcy. It doesn't seem fair, but that is the reality of it.

The people who consumed TOO MUCH and bought houses they couldn't afford failed to pay back the money the bank lent them, and as a result, the bank is going under. The bank has to pay back the loans it got, but it can't because it has no money. That means tax payers will foot the bill.This kind of ridiculous economic strategy will continue until people learn to consume less and live within their means. AND, people need to learn that when the government pays for something, that means you and I are paying out of our own pockets. That money comes from you and me.

The latest economic stimulus check was an example where the government gave us our money back in hopes that we would spend it and stimulate the economy. They wanted us to consume more in hopes that it would make things better. It didn't work. When we got our tax money back, we spent in on gas and bills.

Okay. I'm done ranting. Go back to what you were doing that made you happy. I just hope it wasn't shopping for that next large SUV or 4000 square foot house. If so, shame on you. :) I'm going to go back to my studies about solar electricity and renewable energy. Pretty soon I will be shopping for a car with a diesel engine so I can run it with vegetable oil and bio-diesel at 50mpg. With Love, The Geek Mom

2 comments:

Kelli said...

ok, E, all of that was correct and good. BUT keep in mind all of that with a grain of salt. Chirst will return and the world will be a different place. Its close.

Eddie the Girl said...

so not to change the subject or anything, but have you heard about the opera browser? I've heard it's just amazing!
http://www.opera.com/