I recently received this message from a European emailer:
"Just found and read your site. It is good to find that there are Americans thinking and caring about the future and not just starting another war for the next few oil fields. I wish there would be more of your sort."
Is this what the world thinks of us? His email made me wonder:
I have heard it said (and I don’t think they were kidding): “He who dies with the most toys wins.”
I have also heard it said: “You can never have too much power.”
Americans seem to want more. More fuel, more horsepower, more money, more growth, more GNP, more square footage, more sex, more entertainment, more freedom. More everything, really.
Is having “More” our goal?
It gets worse. We seem to think that we should be able to have anything, do anything and say anything, anytime.
We call this Freedom.
Freedom and Responsibility go together.
One of my previous posts asks the question: “How will we live if there is no power in the grid and no gas at the pump?” (See No Gas at the Pumps ... No Power in the Grid.)
My answer is: We need to learn how to “live better on less energy.” We must take responsibility for our destiny.
Today, we must learn to: “Live better on less energy”
Abbey’s comment of 10/29/2010 says: "What I see in too many post of this nature is the always the same thing, next week we are all going to be living in the dark ages again."
I think you are missing the "Living better" part of my post, Abbey.
Living better means living better than we live now, not living worse. Don't feel bad ... most people either miss the "Living better" part or just can’t conceive of living better with less energy.
It is easy to solve a problem once we identify the problem.
The problem is: “We are using more energy than we have
Our greed is making us poor and others rich. We may be free to act but we are not free from the consequences of our actions. Some of these oil producing countries want to destroy us with money that was once in our pockets.
The solution is: “Living better on less energy”
How much energy, Craig?
The energy we have, of course.
I am trying. Let me show you an example:
Three out of every four gallons of fuel for transportation in the U.S. is imported. To live within our budget of energy, we need to reduce fuel imports by 75%. The following vehicles go faster, carry more and consume less fuel:
See more on www.craigvetter.com
None of these vehicles has more than 30 horsepower. Some have about 20. This kind of power in shapes like this will take you 80 mph at 80 mpg. Do they look strange to you? This is because they are really streamlined. Streamlined – round at the front – pointed at the rear - is the best shape that goes through the air. Airplane designers know this. Airplanes are streamlined. Automobile and motorcycle designers don't seem to care.
We are at the very beginning of developing these new forms of transportation. They are not Lexus-like in comfort yet. But in time they can be. I cannot stress enough that now is the time to solve our problems, when there is still power in the grid and fuel at the pump.
Imagine a lifestyle that is sustainable … meaning we are not using up our resources faster than they are being regenerated. Imagine “living better - on less energy.” Imagine generating the energy we need from our own homestead. Who would need the grid? Who would need fuel from the pump?
This sounds like real Freedom to me.
My goal is to learn how to live within our budget of energy … from our homestead and from our national resources.
Would it be a good goal for you?
Would it be a noble goal for our country?
I thank our European emailer for inspiring us think about the kind of people we are.