Firmly entrenched in the ranks of the chronically unemployed, I’ve decided to occupy my time being a super citizen! Which is easy enough, given the plethora of issues requiring our attention and oversight. Self-representation is a necessity when so many of our political representatives are beholden to campaign donors. I can’t donate millions as insurance that my regular person interests will be prioritized, but all of us can speak up.
An example to share: last night I was able to say the following as part of public comments made at a meeting between our Lansing City Council and the Board of Water and Light(BWL), a public utility that wants to build a $500 million natural gas plant, essentially investing our money into fossil fuels and fracking. Not so great for the Great Lakes State touting “pure Michigan.”
Here is most of what I said:
Meeting the long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions must begin with a committed, good-faith exploration of feasible ways for that to happen. Repeatedly, the studies and research and projections made available through the hard work and dedication of experts around the world, all point to energy evfficiency as the single most effective path toward reducing our demand for energy. Energy efficiency is a cost-effective, necessary, and absolutely do-able first step to weaning ourselves away from business-as-usual fossil fuel usage patterns, and the attendant economic and environmental consequences of continued, unbridled consumption.
A new fossil-fuel-driven mega project based on the end-goal of “meeting demand” as it currently stands also assumes, and so encourages, that such levels of demand will project into the future. As a clear and accessible alternative, energy efficiency, aggressively pursued through our public investment, can provide a clear way out of the morass of ever-increasing demand upon dwindling supplies. Instead, let’s focus on how to dwindle demand, which would increase the feasibility of planning a long-term transition to decentralized, renewable sources of energy.
We can no longer encourage or maintain the inextricably linked patterns of high-demand consumption and harmful emissions, if we are to seriously “take action on climate change.” Energy efficiency allows us to walk a path toward independence from large-scale projects that may seem profitable in the short-term, but eventually limit our ability to make changes on the household-by-household, person-by person level of the collective.