Friday, 25 November 2011


It is amazing how much of a role perspective has in our understanding of our world. A simple change in thinking has a butterfly effect on the rest of our existence.

You are probably wondering by now what it is that has me waxing philosophical.

Yesterday, while returning home from an overnight trip, I was listening to a program on public radio. The debate was on whether or not to impose a moratorium on offshore oil exploration and drilling. Only a short time ago I would have been a proponent as I felt that we needed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I would have also pointed out the fact that we need any options to create new jobs for the many out of work individuals in our world today. Although I still think the jobs are a much needed reality today, I think that we are looking at it from the wrong side of the equation.

As a collective world, we have the mentality of "if it's not broke, don't fix it". This narrow thinking has inadvertently limited us to accept what is readily available and most easily mass produced. For example, most people would not be aware that the first electric car was invented in the 1830's! In 1899 a Belgian built electric car set a land speed record of 68 mph! What has prevented the electric car from becoming a mainstream commodity? The easy answer is that we are told by the auto industry that the costs involved are too inhibitive and there is not enough consumer demand, but in reality this is not true. If electric cars were available on the mass market the demand would reach a point where the price could be reduced to a range that is comparable to conventionally powered vehicles.

Look at DVD players. When first available in 1997, a simple unit cost approximately $1500. Today a comparable unit costs $29. That's a price reduction of about 98% in only 15 years!

What would happen if we applied this formula to clean alternatives to our dependance on fossil fuels? It would mean that we would not have to further debate the issues of off shore oil drilling. It would mean that we would not have to have our coast lines jeopardized by our ever increasing need to feed our society with the power we thing we have to have. It would also mean that we could dictate to the manufacturers and energy providers what we are willing to pay and what products we desire.

To summarize the reason for my recent change in perspective I would have to use the word options. I have learned that there are affordable options for heat, electricity and growing my own food. I have learned that I can reduce my monthly budget by using free solar and wind power for a relatively low cost. I have also learned that most jurisdictions will pay me for my excess power which helps my neighbors reduce their dependance on fossil fuels.

Finally, I think the biggest lesson I learned is that we don"t have to believe something just because someone says it is true. The internet has allowed consumers to research any subject prior to making decisions on everyday issues and purchases. I think as a more educated world, you will see more and more opposition to further expansion of oil and gas drilling and the advent of more clean energy options.

Thanks for reading,


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