23 October 2008

They just don't get it (make yourself comfortable - this will take a while)

I just read the conservative blog on McKinneynews.net, and I am annoyed. That's not so unusual - it always annoys me. The general gist of the column is that Obama and his goonies will be siccing the "green police" on everyone. The author then proceeds to detail the "waste" that democrats talk about and ridicules the idea that our energy consumption has spun out of control. His opinion is that we, as a society, can't afford to be "green" or at least more energy efficient. He says that it will cost too much, then only the rich will be able to have things like cars and electricity.

This is so typical of the mentality of Collin County. Rich housewives buzz around town in their huge SUVs and water their lawns every day (and justify it because a) they can afford it, and b) if they don't, the lawn will be brown and their property value will go down). In my opinion, these people should have been taken by force to look at Lake Lavon a couple of years ago when it was, what, 20 feet down? It was nothing more than a cracked mudhole, but was supposed to supply water to most of the county's residents. Well, the rain will fill it back up, right? Well, not that year it didn't.

What these people don't understand is that you can't just piss away your resources. If you continue to pour water on your non-native, water-sucking lawn, that means at some point, we will have to ration water in order for everyone to have drinking water.

I think this goes back to an overall sense of entitlement that is rampant around here. People have adopted the mentality that the rules are for everyone else. Fire lane? Well, I'm only here for a minute or 2. Handicapped spot? I just need to pick up a few things, and why are the handicapped spots all so close to the front anyway. Taxes? You can't take my money. Schools lagging? The government should spend more. Roads need to be fixed? The government should do it.

Everyone would like to find that elusive "free lunch," but it doesn't exist. If you want things, you have to be willing to put forth a little effort. Do you want the fire truck to be able to get close enough to a place of business to put out a fire? Then park elsewhere, because they will use their big trucks to shove your Escalade out of their way. Wait until you are old or disabled and try to find a parking spot, and some strapping young man has parked his BMW in the last available place. (hint: they are close to the front of the store for a reason - they are for handicapped people that can't walk very far!) Yes, we all hate to pay taxes, and obviously no one, rich or poor, wants to see theirs raised. We do, however, like public schools, highways, police, armed forces, and government bailouts. The only way to support these programs is to use taxpayer money. Period.

OK, back to my original rant. The author (who shall remain nameless, but if you look on the site, you'll figure it out pretty quick) says that Obama's plan to reduce carbon emissions will essentially shoot us in the foot, because companies will be shipping jobs overseas to avoid having to comply with the new "green" regulations. I suppose that it will then be Obama's fault that we have lost jobs. He then proceeds to point the finger at the federal government as the largest consumer by far, and therefore the biggest waster of resources. Hey, I'm not so bad - look at how much the federal government wastes!! Um...yeah.

What this man and many others doesn't seem to understand is that if you have the entire population of this country conserving even just a little bit, it would make a huge difference. What if each person in this country was able to use 100 gallons less of water every month? At last count, the U.S. population is 305,481,375. The average American uses 2250 gallons of water/month; saving 100 gallons each would save 30,548,137,500 gallons per month! And guess what? That's only using 4% less. How difficult is it to use 4% less of anything? That's not alot.

The problem is that he and many others (like the companies that would ship jobs overseas to save money) are looking at the short-term result. If they would invest in energy/resource conserving technology, over the long term, they would come out ahead. Yes, even the much-derided suggestion to properly inflate your tires would be incredibly helpful (and make your tires last longer as well) and would produce an immediate effect. Let's face it, we are the current custodians of this planet, and we owe it to not only our children, but also our grandchildren and all our subsequent descendants. I would prefer not to be the generation that hosed the planet just because I wanted a greener lawn; that sort of becomes a moot point if the planet is so depleted it can't sustain us any longer.

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