Efficiency is the Solution


I was going through some files on my old computer and I found the article below, which according to the properties I wrote on 2/16/2007. I wrote this before I found a voice through this blog and submitted it to my local paper and a few friends, but it never went much farther than that. I had forgotten even writing this, but I'm interested to see that my views have changed little in two years.  I'd love to get some comments on this (good or bad) and see what the community thinks.  The overall theme:

Whether we can prevent Global Warming (Climate Change) or not, doing the things necessary to limit greenhouse gas emissions has many side benefits; mainly making us more efficient as a society!

Enjoy! (I have not made any changes to the original document other than "bolding" a paragraph I feel is most important and central to my belief.)

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Global warming is one of the most complex scientific/political subjects being discussed today. Is it caused by anthropogenic forces, solar flares, Earth’s natural patterns? What are the solutions? Do there need to be solutions?

There are many scientific papers supporting or deriding the theory that man is causing the Earth to warm up. There has been serious debate on the topic for almost 20 years now. Politicians have used the topic to rally their constituents; whether they are environmentalists from Seattle or oil men from Houston. Some say that carbon dioxide needs to be reduced drastically to save the planet while others say that no action needs to be taken and business should continue as usual.

People on both sides of the argument are so caught up in championing their cause that they are unable to see the forest through the trees. Whether you believe Global Warming is being caused by man or not, there is an initial solution out there that benefits everyone (everyone unless you work for Big Coal, belong to OPEC, or benefit in any way from the current energy status quo).

The current solution doesn’t require billions of dollars to implement. The first step to solving this problem is simply to foster the idea that energy efficiency and clean energy benefits the United States of America. It is so mind-bogglingly simple, yet it is this vital tipping point in American thinking that must happen before any substantial gains can occur.

There are skeptics reading this saying, “I’ve heard this before. I lived through the 70’s. I listened to Jimmy Carter. Blah Blah Blah.” This pig-headedness is the reason that America’s economy is held hostage by the fluctuations in the price of oil, it is why we are fighting a war in Iraq, it is why you can see brown air in many of our cities, and it is why the billions of tons of carbon dioxide currently spilling into the atmosphere may be the reason your children or grandchildren laugh at your ignorance on their way to the zoo to see the only known polar bear in existence.

Here is what is so confounding to me: The steps needed to lower the effects of Global Warming are the same things that enable us to finally break away from the grip of Saudi Arabia’s oil fields and they are the same things that allows kids with asthma living in big cities to be able to play outside in the heat of summer; yet Global Warming skeptics are so adamant with their denial to one topic, that they fail to see how implementing its’ solution benefits America as a whole.

As a society, we are the most wasteful on this planet. We waste energy like it is our God given right. This attitude must be replaced with one that preaches efficiency. You see, even if Global Warming is some environmentalist hoopla - as Michael Crichton would have us believe - the change in mindset needed to reduce this potential threat to humanity will benefit America in ways that average citizens have yet to realize. Continuing to insist that the status quo is adequate is a failure of foresight and a foolish mistake causing irreparable damage to this great country.

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You say you wrote this 2 years ago? Have you noticed any change at all in to the way we have altered our God Given Right to waste energy like a tribe of thirst craved maniacs. I haven't seen any changes, just lots and lots of talk. I think your article is right on the money, as it was 2 years ago and I for the one try to do my minimalistic best to at least try to be energy efficient in a lot of areas. I am sure there are 100's of other areas I should be able to do more but to date I am working on the slow and steady approach as it does get frustrating to see that nothing seems to change. I hope more people will read your article and make some changes in their own lifestyles. I believe that perhaps we as individuals need to start a little more than we have as well then perhaps we can have our own gumption to get the big boys to start getting in on the game? Rgds M
Michiel, I really havent seen that much change in two years. That's not to say we aren't making progress, but I haven't seen the shift in American's mentality that says, "Yes, becoming more efficient is the best solution for all of us to take and we will be fully committed in doing so." The biggest reason this shift has yet to happen is the pain is not great enough yet. As soon as oil prices rise again and as electricity prices continue to rise, more and more people will understand this and adopt an "efficient" mentality. We also need to continue to push our political and business leaders and ask them why they aren't doing more to lead us to efficiency. Thanks for the comment!

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