Author Topic: Personal Energy Policy  (Read 1581 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Personal Energy Policy
« on: August 29, 2006, 12:22:43 pm »
I thought this was a good piece, even though it sounds pretty tongue-in-cheek.  Does anyone else agree that there are little things you can do to make the world a healthier place?

Quote from: Lloyd Omdahl
COLUMNIST LLOYD OMDAHL : Touting a personal energy policy

A few weeks ago, I joined the science community voicing alarm over Earth warming and recommended that everyone who drove a car should plant trees in proportion to the emissions they generated. Well, I checked with your neighbors and found out that you didn't plant any trees. You didn't even plant a shrub. On top of that, you sprayed the carbon-dioxide-fighting dandelions.

It still isn't too late to rid yourself of guilt. In fact, you can get some real deals on trees and shrubs at your nearest Wal-Mart. They've been picked over pretty well, but they're really cheap. An ugly tree is better than no tree at all. If that is too tough of an assignment, just grow anything green and legal.

Because I know that you are not going to plant anything, it will be necessary to suggest other options. That, or let the Earth turn into a Kenmore oven. Since the federal government has abdicated its responsibilities in regard to Earth warming, states are moving to fill the vacuum. Indiana just framed out an energy conservation program. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and British Prime Minister Tony Blair signed a pact against Earth warming.

So North Dakota, too, could cut a swath in this field. In fact, everybody should have a personal energy policy.

Lowering the speed limit on the Interstate and state highways by 10 mph would be the most significant move to reduce unnecessary gas combustion. The North Dakota landscape may be plain, but it isn't so boring that we need to tear through it to get somewhere five minutes early. Most North Dakota meetings don't solve real problems anyway, so you can be late without missing much. And if it's shopping that's on your agenda, the sale at Wal-Mart will last and the stuff will still be cheap no matter when you get there..

Admittedly, most drivers will oppose a reduced speed limit, and drivers vote. So that suggestion is politically unacceptable and unachievable. If you are old enough, you will remember that we had a federally mandated speed limit of 55 mph in the 1970s. That was one of the seven wonders of the 20th century. We should at least require all tires to be inflated to 40 pounds. That would save an undetermined amount of gas.

Air conditioning is an energy hog that could be used more judiciously. Instead of cooling down to 68 degrees, every retail outlet should be required to keep its temperature at 80. That not only would save on energy, but also it would save us from ourselves. Last year, consumers spent more money than they earned by using credit cards and home mortgages. If this continues, we will be owned by the Chinese central banks by 2010. But we won't quit shopping until somebody turns up the heat.

As I was taking my weekly shower, another thought came to mind. Heating water uses a lot of energy. In the good old days (they were good because they are old), one tub of bath water washed six kids - dirty ones, too. And that was before B.O. was invented by Lifebuoy soap.

Nowadays, the box stores have whole rows of deodorants and scents for those who can't wash after every game. Right Guard can be used effectively under either arm. It's time for the 75-second shower every other day.

Athletic events guzzle shiploads of gas. Sports leagues should be required to cancel at least one game per season. Every team probably has a game nobody wants to play anyway. Of course, the Kansas City Royals would probably like to cancel their whole season. If just one Vikings game were canceled, it would save 121,000 gallons of gas. However, it would be a better idea for them to play all of their games just to keep the highways safe and the jails empty.

Then there are the auction sales. Except for curious neighbors, auction sale addicts drive for 80 miles to load their cars and pickups with cheap stuff. Chronic stuff collectors! They already have so much stuff at home they can barely get both vehicles in the garage, but they still can't resist buying their third pipe wrench for $2. They haven't forgotten the trauma of paying $19.95 for one 23 years ago when the well needed repairing.

Instead of expecting others to step up to the Earth warming plate, I suppose I'd better do it myself. Yes, I planted two shrubs last week. My gas-guzzling S-10 pickup stays home a lot more. I don't drive the speed limit on the Interstate. And I've signed up at the Toro store for the first hybrid riding lawnmower. My personal energy plan is in place and working.


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