Personal responsibility for saving our planet is a bunch of hooey

We had the pleasure recently of being part of East Islip High School’s Earth Day Celebration. While I was imploring the kids to study ways we can fix our country’s buildings energy use (30% of the total, more than any other category including gasoline), I overheard a well-intentioned teacher, inspired by all of the energy saving ideas say “man, this makes me wanna run home and turn off the lights.”

I ran up to her and screamed, “leave the lights on….fix the process” (I was then escorted off the premises). The idea that we individually can possibly make a dent in our energy consumption problem is ludicrous. Now, does it mean we should intentionally leave the lights on? Of course not! But we need to take drastic action to fix this planet. It’s April in NY and it is snowing. Think our planet is screwed up from our consistently increasing carbon emissions?

Just changing the source of energy also only marginally helps. As an example our cost per unit of fuel are actually flat but our bills keep going up because our consumption is going up 25% a year. Now, we are not going to stop using energy sucking things. We have to stamp out the waste! Otherwise, we are fixing the tires when our engine is on fire.

Stay tuned to this column for our thoughts on how we attack this energy enigma. Spoiler alert: The answer is not the flux capacitor!

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