Sunday, April 22, 2007

This is NOT a drill

Really, I don't have much hope. I was just thinking about the reports that say we have about ten years TOPS before the Earth starts to melt and that we have to cut greenhouse gases by 80 percent or else.

I mean, look around our own little bubble. Already, the La Crosse Speedway's season of nightly races has started. My friends' neighbors will haul out their gas powered leaf blower to blow that one leaf down the driveway and into the street (and don't forget the bug zapper). Across the city, people who live less than five miles from work will hop in their 8 passenger vans to drive to work, then drive home to lunch, then drive back to work, then drive to the gym, then drive home. And, coming this Christmas, another humongo Rotary Lights "gift" will pump the equivalent of three houses' worth of annual pollution so people can drive their cars around Riverside Park and donate a can of corn to the poor (who, scientists note, will suffer the most from the effects of global warming.) [Read More below.]

And how many parents or hobbyists are going to be hopping into the car every weekend to follow their kids or their passions all around the region (and don't get me started on the folks who have to drag a trailer (horse, go-kart, ATV ...) behind their giant truck.)

Me, I'd love to get a new car. The Zap Xebra is a cute little 100% electric city/commuter car (top speed somewhere under 45 mph). I'd love one of those, but my farm is in Chaseburg and electric cars in winter require a nice warm garage and quite some babying.

I'd love to have a Zap, or even a Zap Xebra TRUCK (three wheels, two seats, flexible bed with quarter-ton carrying capacity (on the flat).

And, I'd love to have a Honda Fit - versatile, qualiity and 40+ mpg. Even better, I'd hold off for the coming (rumor has it) Honda Fit Hybrid - same versatility and maybe 60 to 80 mpg. And both are low-cost, another major factor for me.

There are problems with all electric and problems with hybrids. Electric puts out far less pollution that hybrids (even if all the power to charge comes from a coal burner) BUT to be affordable, most use lead acid batteries which are only good for three to five years and have to be replaced and recycled.

I DO ride my bike when I can (less than I used to, but still quite a bit) but there are some days when I just cannot ride the bike and be the taxi and the go-fer.

Well, that's just cars. Just the tip.

We are trying to help by growing food for local consumption, but getting the word out is a full-time job and I already have one of those! In the meantime, the average food item travels about 1,500 miles before hitting your plate. How much crap does that pump into the air?

If you are more optimistic than I am, do this experiement. For the next 24 hours ask everyone you know what they are personally willing to do to stop global warming.

I don't have a lot of time right now, but I really don't see how this is going to happen barring some major guv'mint interference in our lives. During the blitz (the bombing of Great Britain - especially London and other major cities - during world war 2), the British people had blackouts - no streetlights, no car lights, no house lights (heavy curtains required) at night so targets couldn't be easily identified from the air. But that took a war and a government decree and neighborhood blackout wardens to strictly enforce things AND there weren't big political cronies spending millions to convince the people that the blackouts were a waste of time and the Blitz was just a theory.

Are we ready for neighborhood CO2 wardens? Should we get a carbon ration card at the beginning of the year and have to have it punched whenever we participate in a carbon-emitting activity? What about the guy who has to truck his demolition derby car all over the state (now, multiply by millions).

[Shakes head sadly.] I don't think this is going to work.

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