Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Mars Day

Well, today is Earth Day.

Yeah, I know. I don't really care either.

Don't get me wrong - I think that looking at ways to have less of an impact on the mother earth is a good thing. I think that we are smart enough now to start making a better start of renewable energy sources like solar, wind, etc. In fact, I just saw a show last night on the Discovery Channel that said that if we covered 10% of Nevada with solar panels, we would have enough energy for the entire United States!

Really, just 10%. What the hell is Nevada doing with all that land anyway? Answer: nothing!

Or, by a similar token, if we took the same small bit off of the east coast, we could use wind and wave power to do the same thing - light the entire US.

What the hell is the east coast doing off their shore anyway? Answer: nothing!

Still, I'm a realist. I don't see our oil-based economy changing overnight. I don't think that by 15,000 people buying a Prius we're going to close the gaping hole in the ozone layer.

I do think, however, that having gas at $4+ per gallon will make people strive harder for alternatives to gasoline. That's a good start. There are already version 1.0 all-electric vehicles coming to market with more on the way. There's talk of a plug-in Prius, and there's a guy in BFE that has come up with a way to get 100 mpg out of a Hummer!

Those are the types of things that will start the societal shift from gasoline - which is a big driving factor in the economy. Think about it - if gas goes up - everything else does too. Trucking gets more expensive, FedEx gets more expensive, air travel gets more expensive, everything goes up. Not to mention things like wars, international upheaval, and the threat of terror.

If we converted 80% of the personal vehicles (cars and trucks) to clean-burning, non-polluting electric power (or still have a small engine to improve range as a first step) - we would solve a lot of social and economic problems, and also get a cleaner Earth as a result.

I'm still confused why we're spending billions of dollars in a Space Station that doesn't work, for plans on how to colonize the moon, and for 2 dune buggy size probes on the face of Mars. Yet we do.

I know that scientists and space folk have a hard-on to colonize Mars (for some reason!) - and that's a good idea. But let's spend some brain power and financial muscle solving the problem of mass transit, pollution, overcrowded roads, etc. before trying to get people to live on a dead, desolate, uninhabitable planet.

If we're not more forward-thinking, that dead, desolate, uninhabitable planet could just be Earth.

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