Sunday, February 15, 2009

I am the problem.

I just finished watching an episode of The Daily Show with John Stewart. I admit, I do get a lot of my news updates from this show but don't worry, I understand the pros and cons of this practice so don't write, okay? But, hey, at least I am not listening to the barrage of horror stories that the network news programs call news.
Anyway, he had Daniel Sperling , author of "Two Billion Cars, Driving towards Sustainability" on as a guest. They were talking about alternative energy sources.
I am a big proponent of alternative energy. I always have been. When I was a kid, I wanted to have a windmill in my yard to gather my own energy. I had a plan to sell the excess to the power company. You only need about 7 miles per hour breezes to create energy, if I remember correctly (big IF). I wanted to build an earthship whose foundation is built from aluminum cans and old tires and earth.
Things haven't quite worked out as I imagined them. My Don Quixote phase hasn't quite kicked in and I don't really have the room for a windmill at this point. I am still recycling my Diet Sunkist cans though I realize with as much of that as I drink, I am probably recycling the equilvalent of a bonus room every few months.
But there are a lot of kinds of alternative energy. As this guy, Daniel Sperling, sees fuel cell and plug in electric hybrids as the future. And he says that it wouldn't take much to get us there. He is not a big fan of corn ethanol because it isn't a trifecta win for the environment like the other two.
Well, listening to him, I got pretty excited. There is really hope for us, well at least our cars and fuel consumption- we might just break our foreign oil dependency/ non renewable energy drain. Then I started thinking about how that would fit into my life.
And I realized I am the problem.
First of all, it is not just about having the technology to produce the cars. People have to be able to plug the little suckers in. I live in a townhouse without a garage and therefore, nowhere to plug my car in.
But really, that isn't the biggest problem with me. Because I imagine as we start moving towards this kind of reality, plugs could be part of neighborhoods street curbs. Pull up and plug in.
It would have to be that easy.
But I can't keep my camera battery, my cordless home phone, my laptop, my iPod or my cell phone charged. There is something wrong not with the wiring in my house but rather my brain that keeps me from routinely plugging these things in.
So if I can't do that, even if I overcome the car outlet issue, how can I expect to EVER have enough charge in my car to get me across town, much less all the way across the country? I have to keep my cell phone charger plugged into my car because the likelihood that I will need to charge my phone is high. I don't smoke but between my iPod and cell phone charger, my little lighter/charger in my car is going prematurely gray. Will my cell phone somehow be able to charge my car?
So, yes, I am the problem. I am lazy, or not mindful enough. Am I just to absent minded to change the world? Ugh.

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