Saturday, April 22, 2006
And so, the price for gas has risen once again. Once again folks are enraged that it costs so much to fill their vehicles. That gas also fuels higher prices for virtually everything else, including groceries, clothing, anything and everything you purchase. And, lest we forget, it's not "just gas" it's oil, and everything that oil is transformed into, including fuel oil for heating homes and cooking, plastics, some fabrics, furniture, the list goes on.
I've seen the blame card being played against India and China for consuming more. My first thought, upon seeing that was, "as compared to us?" As we go out and purchase bigger and bigger vehicles each year? Bigger homes each year? Who needs them? I cannot understand why any family of 4 (which I believe is still the average family size) would need more than 2,000 square feet to live in, furnish, and heat. To each his own, Im not judging anyone for their chosen lifestyle, but don't complain to me about how much it costs to maintain your mansion. And don't complain to me about how much it costs to fill up and drive around in the monster vehicle you purchased! Yes, there are a few who genuinely need larger vehicles, but, really, I think those are in the minority.
We need alternate sources for energy! Drilling for more oil is not the answer. It wouldn't solve the current problem anyway, and when it finally did start making a difference it wouldn't last long. Like trees and water, oil is a finite resource, unlike the sun and the wind. Those are 2 viable options for energy. We, as individual families and homeowners could make a difference, albeit a small difference at first, I've no doubt it would start to snowball until it began making a huge difference, not only for the environment (which in turn would affect our living conditions, and overall health for the better) but for our pocketbooks as well. Unfortunately those options are not cheap, and, in many cases beyond personal financial abilities. While, even at the current high price they are an economically sound investment, the return in energy savings would more than make them worth the price, many just don't have the cash to put out for the initial investment. We need a break, an incentive, perhaps along the lines of those rebates they had going for more energy efficient hot water heaters in the past.
There's a gal on a board I visit who has come up with what I think is an excellent alternative for those who live in the city and some other communities. She has gone out and purchased an electric golf cart which she has made street legal. In her case, total cost, I believe she said was a whopping $600. Not only is she saving loads in gas costs but, hey, those things are cool! They're fun and they look kinda neat too. There are no nasty fumes emitting from them as they zip around and they're quiet! Granted, they're not going to be great for the big commutes, but for zipping around, short distances, to the store and the like...What an idea!
Bottom line, there are answers. We are hopeless victims only if we choose to be. We can be proactive and make a diference, not only for ourselves but for our communities, today and in the future, for our children and our grandchildren.
Happy Earth Day!