Monday, May 05, 2008


Stick your face in a car exhaust.
That's icky.

Inhale deeply from a smoke stack.
That's icky.

Drink deep from dirty water.
That's icky.

Take a walk in an ozone haze.
That's icky.

Of course, in everyday life we don't interact with such high concentrations of contaminants. But they're still there, and it certainly isn't good for our health. It could mean as little as another cough or sneeze, mild to severe respiratory problems, to a bout with cancer or some other potentially terminal ailment. No doubt about it,

Pollution is icky.

Pollution comes in large part from fossil fuels and icky energy production practices.

Fortunately, there's something that can be done.

*Alternative Energy
The wind can provide us with clean energy.

Newer models have ways to scare birds away and keep them safe.

Small windmills can be installed in many places, providing a measure of energy independence. Large windmills are also available for community production.

The sun always shines on the earth. We can harness this energy.
Like wind power, solar power can be
small- to large-scale, offering both the benefits of independence and centralized distribution.

There are even more effective ways to reduce pollution.

*Energy Reduction
Every dollar spent on energy-saving measures saves $3 to $5 over time.

High efficiency appliances help reduce energy use. Use guides that detail energy consumption of the appliance; go for the more efficient models.

This highlights the importance of consumer choices. The way consumers purchase products - and what kind - helps shape the economy. If we shop locally or regionally, for products both recycled and recyclable, we reduce transportation and extraction costs, a boon to individuals and businesses alike. We also help to support local farmers and environmentally-friendly businesses.
As a consumer, you can engage in recycling, a way of making use of what would otherwise be trash.
The way we get around is up to us. By utilizing mass transit, the consumer saves money on fuel and maintenance costs, and helps everyone breathe a little easier.
Another great way to travel is via bicycle. Getting around is fun, fast, and efficient. A good ride can be equivalent to a workout, a healthy byproduct.
Automobiles are now - amazingly! - available with electric motors, either solely...
... or in conjunction with a combustion engine.
They are usually more fuel efficient than their combustion-only counterparts.

As we have seen, pollution is costly to our health and slowing our economy. It would make sense for us to address it as an issue, and reap the side benefits of energy savings and regional growth. New ways of producing and saving energy can spur the economy, providing ample job opportunities and a host of new consumer products. For these reasons and more, it would behoove us, as consumers, civil servants, and businesses alike, to focus on a more sustainable energy future.
Anything less is just plain icky.