FOLLOW ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE
As our planet’s atmosphere overheats because the greenhouse gas firewall we’ve built by burning fossil fuels works so damn well, there is one secret weapon we can all still whip out if we want to fight back and try to save ourselves from frying.
It’s not sexy and it doesn’t make a bunch of old school, balding, white, male, carbon collaborators stinking filthy rich, so it’s no wonder they’ve done every evil and despicable thing in their power to keep this weapon from being aimed at them.
But nothing can stop the Creative Greenius, the most Powerful Man in America, and now I am going to put this same secret weapon in your hands and together we are going to use it to destroy the carbon-based economy and create a new, stronger, more American green economy in its place. Won’t that be fun?!
And the people who are going to try to stop us will be decimated along with their evil, hell-based philosophy, the one they’ve been spewing without fear of justice – until now. But now justice is going to come down upon them like the mighty Thor’s hammer, except we’re going to add a little squeak toy noise at the end just before we clobber them – you know, for the kids…
So come on along with me now to my clandestine and ultra sophisticated weapons laboratory and discover how to arm yourselves…
Back in October of 2007 when I started writing this blog, I detailed the steps my wife and I were taking to cut our use of electricity – steps that included switching to CFL and LED lighting, adding SolaTubes, energy star appliances, energy efficient double pane windows, and timers on my outside lights – among other things.
We’ve since ratcheted down the electric use here at my home and in my office and studio watt by watt until we hit our new all time low just last month as we used just 357 kWh which cost us $46.24.
A year ago for the same period we used 480 kWh which cost us $72.17.
And two years ago we used 654 kWh which cost us $117.89.
Our daily use of electricity during this two year period has gone from 22.55 kilowatt hours to 11.16 kilowatt hours. That’s more than cut in half for those of you not slick with the math.
And if you think we’re now living some kind of electric free life and living a simple possession free lifestyle, then think again.
We haven’t really changed our lifestyle at all unless you count turning off a few powerstrips and all the computers before we go to bed. Or upgrading our early 1990′s energy hogging alarm system with our new, more modern, more sophisticated security system that uses a fraction of the electricity.
But I will admit that one thing has changed even more than the size of our electric bill and that’s the size of the solar PV system we now need to generate 100% of our electricity – because the same moves that cut our electric bill also cut the number of solar panels we need by 50% too.
My new solar system only needs to be 2 kilowatts now instead of 4 – which is good because solar’s still too damn expensive and the process for putting AB 811 financing in place is taking too damn long, (and that’s another Greenius post that I’m still working on). But in the meanwhile, I’m getting the most bang for my energy buck by being more energy efficient.
And what’s working for the Greenius and Mrs. Greenius will work for the rest of America, even the little brain people who aren’t sure if climate change is man-made or not and probably even the Stepford brainwashed pod people who think Al Gore is a bad man. Yes, even these unfortunate dimwits can still save what’s left of their retirement funds while helping out the rest of us who weren’t fooled by the right wing, unabashed carbon pimps who ran things in the US government from 2000-2008 and did more damage to our environment than any government in history.
The Big Dick Cheney Effect
Indeed I am talking about Big Dick Cheney, who in addition to his many other immoral and criminal acts also shamelessly promoted the excessive use of oil, coal, gasoline and other fossil fuels by encouraging Americans to use all the energy they could afford to put on their credit cards.
Big Dick did all this while knowing full well the damage burning fossil fuels does. He understood that adding more greenhouse gasses to those already cooking our planet would eventually doom us. But Big Dick and his right wing supporters are more than cool with that. The end of the world has always been a big part of their belief system.
That’s why it was no surprise when the spokesman for Big Dick and his crew, White House Mouthpiece, Ari Fleisher told the world exactly where America stood on energy efficiency back when there was still a chance to avoid the fate we’re now facing.
Here’s the way Thomas Friedman tells it in his great, “Hot, Flat and Crowded” (c) 2008:
On May 7, 2001, then White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was asked the following question at the daily press briefing: “Does the President believe that given the amount of energy Americans consume per capita – how much it exceeds any other citizens in any other country in the world – does the President believe we need to correct our lifestyles to address the energy problem?”
Fleischer responded: “That’s a big no. The President believes that it’s an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policy makers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessing.”
The Greenius says when you tell people that a curse is actually a blessing then you’re doing the Devil’s work and you’re doing it at the major league level when you’re spreading that bullshit with the White House seal behind you.
And the same people who lapped that stuff up like the mindless minions they are, today use words like “socialist” to describe President Obama and they nod along like bobble heads to every word of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Somehow when they look in the mirror they don’t see the people who are the most responsible for the climate crisis we are now in, but the rest of us see them for who they really are. And that kind of vision makes us powerful.
California Is the Place You Want To Be
Just as we also see California for what it is – the most energy efficient state in the the USA and the only logical model for the rest of the country to follow. Ironically the same right wingers across America who regularly badmouth California and our progressive environmental actions are the same dopes who are wrong about everything else.
But those of us who know better, also know that from 1976 to 2005 Californians’ electric use stayed flat while the rest of the United States electricity consumption per capita grew by 60%. That’s a phenomenal accomplishment considering how much our electronic footprint grew in that time period. Nobody was recharging any cell phones or laptops during the 1976 bicentennial year. (I learned all bout this in Joe Romm’s great book, “Hell and High Water” (c) 2007)
Your Greenius will point out that this accomplishment wasn’t because of anything Ronald Reagen had a hand in. We’re talking Governor Jerry Brown of California back in ’76 and he’s the man we have to thank for the direction our state led the way in. Today we have the toughest and most cost effective energy efficiency standards and programs in the nation and if the rest of the USA just followed our lead they wouldn’t be in the deathtrap they’re in today killing their own citizens – and everyone else – with as much coal as they can burn every day.
But don’t just take the Greenius’ word for how great we are here in the Golden State. Good old, John Bryson, the CEO of Edison International, the parent company of SCE told Thomas Friedman on page 287 of “Hot, Flat, and Crowded”
“…his company estimates that the average cost of saving a kilowatt-hour through efficiency is 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour; the cost of generating any new kilowatt hour of electricity today would be over 10 cents per kilowatt -hour - so the cost saving generated through energy efficiency are spectacular.”
Naturally the people who are to the burning of fossil fuels what the Vichy French were to the battle against the Third Reich, take the “drill, baby drill” position on energy efficiency, but there’s no reason for any intelligent, decent person to take that route. Not when we can take such simple, easy steps to fight back instead.
The first step to stopping the building of any future coal-fired power plants in the USA is to mandate that every single housing unit in this country cut it’s energy use by at least 40% over the next 12 years and then by 80% by 2050. In fact that’s such a good idea the Public Utilities Commission of California already has that mandate in place.
And now it’s time for the rest of the USA to step up and try and match us out here on the best coast. And don’t think we’re going to allow something like our silly experiment with putting a brawn over brains movie action star in the Govorner’s mansion stop us from continuing to lead the way on energy, emission standards or a sense of urgency on climate change.
Here’s Something I Bet You Didn’t Know
Not only should the rest of the country wake up and follow our lead, but the Greenius also says that doing what we need to do to fight climate change is exactly the right economic plan to revitalize the United States right here, right now. That’s why the smart folks in the Obama Administration put close to $15 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in the form of State Energy Program funding ($3.1b), Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grants ($3.2b)m Weatherization Assistance Programs ($5b) Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs ($300 million), Green Jobs ($500 million), Neighborhood Stabilization Programs ($2b).
All those programs are designed to help retrofit homes to make them more energy efficient and every one of these programs needs thousands and thousands of trained employees to teach people to do the work, to teach people to do the audits, to teach people to do the certified efficiency checks that the work has been done right and is achieving what it was supposed to. Whether it’s Solatube installers, solar panel installers, new high SEER rated HAVC system installers, lighting people, doors and window people, weatherizing people, or the hundreds of other jobs that go along with doing the smart things necessary to save our asses – this is the kind of employment future America needed to institute eight years ago.
This is the kind of response to 9/11 we should have started on 9/12 instead of invading and occupying the wrong country to control their oil. How’s that working so far for everyone?
And it’s the kind of response your Greenius has already been smart and powerful enough to have accomplished on my own without any government funding or borrowing a dime. So now you know why the I am the most Powerful Greenius in America, and why I oh so wisely recommend that you follow me if you want to live.
“But that was back before the Not So Great Depression was brought on by the historic FAIL of the Bush/Cheney Administration and their blind supporters,” you might so rightly be saying.
“That was back when we had hundreds of thousands of dollars more in retirement savings and money to spend on my home than I do now. Just like almost everyone else we know today”
But now all of you can do the same things I did, and you’ll soon be able to get some government stimulus money to use instead of the savings you no longer have. How powerful will that make you?
And if there’s anything better than having a secret weapon to use against the biggest threat we face in the 21st century, it’s using the tax dollars of tea-baggers help pay for it.
I can’t wait to use some of their dough to pay for my new, smaller-sized solar system. Then I’ll be generating my own clean, renewable power and wait till you see what I do with that.