Monday, July 09, 2007

Beware, Rants Ahead

This isn’t what I was going to blog on today, I have pictures of water fights present and past but that will wait because of what I just heard.

Beware sustainable rants ahead…

I stand behind the concept of a greener earth. I believe hot house gases are changing our atmosphere (but I also believe in weather cycles.) I believe we have a responsibility to be better stewards of our planet. I recycle more each and everyday. I have recycled for years; I don’t know anyone in Oregon who doesn’t. I’m sure there are, but the western part of the state appears pretty green despite one or three glaring exceptions.

My truck gets mileage a bit on the higher edge than I’d like, but I only live a mile from work, from my grocery store, three miles to the post office, and my favorite nursery is….er…hptf!…a mile or so beyond the bridge (er 5 miles away - near my parents.) Ducky on the other hand has a 180 mile daily commute. His car, a 1997 Aspire, gets pretty great gas mileage, 32 to 35mph highway, and as soon as my truck is paid off he will be getting the
Mini Cooper of his dreams. He’s thinking forest green with black top, standard features, nothing too fancy. We feel that we’re doing pretty good. Of course that is relative. We’re not as good as my friend Sparks who drives a bio diesel rabbit one day and his electric vehicle the next, his house and hot tub both run on solar energy. As most would say Sparks walks the talk.

My energy consumption is relatively low; my PUD bill last month was 48 dollars. I use fans and a coastal air conditioner (one a door or window at the north end of the house, and an opposing one on the south end) with winds at a constant 25mph or higher it is a pretty efficient way at cooling a house off. I work hard to not use more than I feel is my fair share or what I need to reasonably survive.

So this morning I was a little bit ire-ed to hear that South California Edison (a company I am quite acquainted with despite living in Oregon) and Ford have teamed up to make available an Plug in Electric hybrid vehicle. Now I’m not against the concept on a whole. Electric cars are very possibly the wave of the future. What does bother me is the though that Southern California already has power issues. I’m not against hybrids or electric cars in the least, but I’ve already been asked, more than once, to show restraint in my electric use so that California will have more power during the hot summer months. Oregon has experienced brown outs to send more power to California. Now they want people to buy as many electric hybrids as possible, thereby increasing California’s power thirst.

It would be much better if at the same time they were creating a campaign to get solar panels on each and every house. Both are spendy, I noted the CNN article quoted no projected price, and well solar panels are generally out of reach of the average household. So maybe they should just start building new homes with solar panels.

Now so you don’t thing I feel my gorgeous state isn’t above creating more power drains and hot house gases, consider Marathon Motor Coaches. Based in Coburg, Marathon arms retired men and women with a home on wheels, guzzling petrol by the barrels each day. What, 5 or 6 miles to the gallon? These belching leviathans poison the atmosphere, hog the roadways, and cause havoc everywhere they go.

To drive a public bus, dump truck, or street sweeper you have to have a special license. When you’re retired and can afford to buy one of these environmental threats all you need is an everyday license…er and enough money to fill ‘er up. Disgusting.

I will continue to rant and rave over gluttonous, polluting motor homes, and abusive taxation. I will continue lust after solar panels (it would be much easier if I could talk Ducky into it.) But Americans will continue to suck up and demand more gas. Plug in more appliances expecting the power company to acquiesce to their demands, and they will. It’s kind of like expecting too much from the government but not realizing it takes effort from you too.

Am I unreasonable? I guess if you live in Southern California you might think so. My cousin, who lives in Elsinor, (in so many words) told me to suck it up because she’s not giving up her air conditioning. This conversation was a year or two ago, but I’m fairly certain it’s not changed.

So am I unreasonable? What’s your energy pet peeve?


JulieAnn said...

SUV's. Everyone in Utah has to have an SUV. Unless, of course, you live on the west side of the valley, in which case you need a truck complete with a Hemi (sp?) engine. I can see the need for four wheel drive in the winter, but people! Your stupid, monstrosity of a Hummer only tells me you are an ignorant, arrogant dumb fuck, especially when you have the ever-so-enlightened "God Bless Our Troops" sticker on the bumper. Get a CLUE.

How's that for a rant? :0)

Joann said...

The power company promotes solar - but refuses to do any kind of buy back for excess solar that is created through your home system. We also get false advertising that says that the power company purchases your excess electricity from you, but it really doesn't.

Cele said...

JA - I get you totally on the Hummer rant. I just don't get it, the bumper stick just reinforces their support of a stupid war for MORE OIL.

Joann, greetings. My friend Sparks watches his meter very closely at this time of year. The way I understand it his production runs his meter backwards. So he is just careful to not use more than the power company has already logged. He said selling to the power company is a pain in the butt. But not having to pay them much of a bill is a perk.

I have a friend who is now a county commissioner, but before that he was elected to the power board. He is all about alternative power and like Sparks he runs his house on solar power. I hope someday I can afford the solar panels for my house and my future hot tub.

The Sacred Sister said...

I am so with you; well said Cele! My peeve is just people using unnecessary electricity. I get irritated when people leave their porch lights on during the day... stuff like that. I am a total tyrant at home when my kids leave a light on. There is NO reason to have lights on during the day, IMO. I have solar tubes (skylights) in my house. One in my kitchen, one in my bathroom and one in the hallway. They provide more than enough light for me to do my day to day activities... even when it's cloudy and raining.
Turn off your lights and open your windows people! Let the light shine in... as dim as it may be sometimes.

Cele said...

Sacred - Do you have the tubes or the skylights? The solar tubes are kind of kewl, I've seen them in a few homes when the tour of homes has been going on. My house doesn't really need skylights, and I've got great night vision. But I'm with you, it better be pretty dark before you turn on the lights.

Plus I have a woodstove so I use little electric head during the winter. I've actually been thinking about getting solar panels for my house, they's run about $8000... now I have to talk Ducky into it. I'm still trying to figure out how to broach the topic.