Energy and the Environment

Our environment and energy 

Problem: Our environment is being polluted, our wildlife is suffering, and we waste energy.

It’s pretty safe to say that everyone (ok, maybe not every single person. “Everyone” is obviously a loose term meaning just about everybody) on both sides of the aisle thinks protecting the environment is important. But you know what? Our government’s efforts suck. Oregon has a $6,250 fine for littering, yet PGE is fined $2,500 for mishandling hazardous materials. Holy crap!! I bet PGE will NEVER do that again!! What’s going on here? It’s OK for a company to pollute our environment as long as they pay enough $$? Industries in Portland are allowed to pollute the Willamette river as long as they have the proper permit, which I’m guessing they can buy. Once again, $$ talks and the elite get richer, while our environment suffers.

Here’s the bottom line…our environment can be protected and it doesn’t cost kajillions of dollars to do it. It doesn’t have to cost anything. In fact, it can save us $$ and save the government $$. The best thing is…a solution can be found that works for both sides of the aisle. We just need to get Crazy and let the Crazy people of Oregon in on the discussion, because they have the answer. Let’s crowdsource the environment!

I hear a lot of chatter among the middle class regarding the environment. It goes something like this…”You don’t agree with me? Well you need to get educated!!” or…”You’re so uninformed! You have no clue what you’re talking about!!” It’s funny because both sides say the same thing about each other. It all depends on which show your watching, or who’s Facebook page you’re on. Honestly, it’s stupid. That guy on the other side is actually on your side. He’s in the middle class. He’s not uneducated or uninformed. He’s distracted, and most likely, so are you if you’ve used the “uneducated” or “uninformed” argument (it really isn’t an argument). To protect the environment, this kind of bickering and name calling needs to stop and common ground needs to be found.

Solution: Eliminate government waste of energy; regain control our own state land; affectively manage our natural resources while keeping Oregon pristine; find an alternative energy resource that is clean, safe, cost effective, and abundant. Do all of this immediately, not 20 years from now.

Everyone, no matter what side of the aisle they’re on, doesn’t want to pollute the air, or pollute the Willamette, or any part of the environment. It seems only the politicians and the ruling class want to. If they didn’t, they’d come up with a real solution and implement it now, not 20 years from now. But then again…real solutions would screw things up for the elite. Can you imagine if we all agreed on how to take care of our planet? It would be great, but the ruling class doesn’t want that. They want to keep us at each other’s throats so we miss what’s really going on. Let’s start with some ideas, improve them, and hopefully add more ideas that no one has considered.

Many little steps add up, so why not take as many little steps as possible? Of course, the big steps are important too, but don’t you want them to be meaningful and not a waste of $$?

How about energy? Do you think jacking up the price of energy and taxes prevents the rich corporations and ruling class from polluting the environment? Nope. They have all the $$ in the world so they don’t care. Not to mention, they pass the price on to you, so they don’t pay at all. They actually end up making $$ off of it.

The environment and energy go hand in hand, as I’m sure you already know. What most people don’t get is that both sides of the issue really can get along and achieve each other’s goals once they realize the connection, which is energy conservation.

We should conserve energy as much as possible, which will in turn reduce the damage we’re doing to the environment. This is the key to commonality between the two sides. Both sides will agree that conserving energy is a good thing. Of course, that’s not enough. Moving toward zero harmful emissions and protecting the environment is the goal, and it can be achieved without jacking up the price of energy, but only with some Crazy ideas.

Small steps can be taken by the government pretty easily. One of which would be preventing traffic jams and keeping traffic flowing at an efficient rate, ALWAYS. How? Well, the obvious answer is to increase the amount of road space we have. “Cars are evil! Everyone should ride bikes! Make more bike lanes and get rid of those planet killing cars!” The reality of the situation is, people won’t do it. To think people will bike to and from work every day is not reality. If you do, good job! But don’t expect everyone else to do it just because you think it’s the way to go. So, realistically, in order to help save the environment, cars must keep moving and more road space will help that.

A not so obvious answer that is easier, and less expensive…about 20% of working people in Oregon work for the government. Let’s take them off the roads during rush hour. If government employees worked four days a week for ten hours per day, and took Friday off, the amount of government workers on the road during rush hours would be greatly reduced, and traffic would be much lighter. This would also allow government to turn off all non-essential power to buildings for three days per week. Double bonus! Don’t like the idea of 4 10’s? Give it a try before you diss it. It’s nice to have a three day weekend, every weekend. It’s likely that the extra two hours at work will be offset (or partially offset) by the drive time you save.

Let’s get a little Crazy and take this a step further. Streamlining the government so everything (or just about everything) can be done on-line, or done at a convenient location. Think about it, no more driving to DMV. Have you seen how many people are at DMV? Thousands (ok, maybe not that many, but it seems like it!), and most of them are low and middle class. Does the ruling class even have to go to DMV?! Most of those people drove to DMV only to sit there and waste their time. How about people take care of their DMV business from their computer at home? Or when they take their car for an oil change, or to their mechanic for…whatever. When everything is on-line, government workers can work at home, taking them off the roads completely. Our government is so inefficient, there are MANY ways we can streamline and save resources. I’m sure you’ve seen something that can be improved. Let us know and we’ll crowdsource it!

Have you noticed what causes traffic jams during non-rush hour times (and sometimes rush hour)? A lot of time it’s a cop who pulled over a damn criminal (aka…speeder) on the side of the road. For some reason, everyone needs to slow down and look. Why do we let this happen? We should make a law against rubbernecking. We could start an anti-rubbernecking campaign! OK…that isn’t a good idea. How about taking away the opportunity to rubberneck? This is a simple way to keep traffic moving, conserving energy, and saving the environment. Our legislature (law makers) can create a law that requires drivers to pull over on the next offramp when being pulled over by the cops. “Well what if, what it, what if…!!!” If the cop turns on his lights, you pull over at the next offramp. If the cop turns on his lights and his siren, you pull over immediately. There we go, one reason for traffic jams virtually gone.

All other reasons for traffic problems need to be checked out and Crazy solutions need to be considered. Small steps help, so lets come up with as many small steps as we can.  Do you have any Crazy ideas? If so, please post them!

Here’s a big step…Alternative energy. “Duh!!” Oh…do you mean we already have alternative energy? Solar and wind? Maybe hydro? Yeah, sure. Those are great, but do you honestly think those are the only options? And are they capable of completely replacing fossil fuel? I’m Crazy, so I’m pretty darn sure there are other Crazy people out there who have Crazy ideas for alternative energy that are not already in use. In fact, I have one!! Energy can be captured from things that move. Do you have any ideas? Let’s hear them!

The ideas are out there, they just need to be welcomed and encouraged. Have you heard of Xprize? A private (meaning not public) corporation created the Xprize contest to bring out innovation in the electric car industry. It was a huge success! People and businesses participated, using their own $$ and created some pretty amazing cars. The winner received $2.5 million. The same thing can happen in Oregon. Create a contest to come up with the best source of alternative energy. It needs to be completely alternative and affordable for everyone. The winner gets a $$ prize and lots of grateful Oregonians.

People have been talking about taking out dams in Oregon. That might not be a bad idea. However, it should be done only after we have another option for power. Hey you, middle class, you won’t be happy about blowing up dams when you see your energy bill necessarily skyrocket. Dams provide inexpensive, clean power to the middle class. Until that can be replaced, the dams should stay in place. But remember, that energy can be replaced and when it is, the dams can go bye-bye.

Fish and wildlife is another consideration. The ruling class in government and special interests have damaged our fish and wildlife. This can be managed much better, and should. It’s an important part of Oregon and we should take it very seriously. The federal government has no business in our fish and wildlife. Oregonians can do a much better job. Crazy can improve the situation and sustain it forever. First step…take the Senator from Kansas out of the equation by removing the federal government and it’s regulations. Oregonians can create the necessary regulations just fine. Our fish and wildlife can thrive like never before…if we just get a little Crazy.