Eat that Republicans!

For a girl who loves her veggies, I’m all about the “low-hanging fruit” (def. here for int’ls).  So yes, eat that Republicans;)

TIME has a great article about how the Republicans are making fun of Obama for his suggestion that if all Americans inflated their tires properly and took their cars for regular tune-ups, they could save as much oil as new offshore drilling would produce. Of course, the Republicans are having a field day with this comment.

But the TIME article suggests that there could be truth in the statement.

The RNC is trying to make the tire gauge a symbol of unseriousness, as if only the fatuous believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil without doing the bidding of Big Oil. But the tire gauge is really a symbol of a very serious piece of good news: we can use significantly less energy without significantly changing our lifestyle.

The article is about tackling the “low-hanging fruit” (one of my all-time favourite expressions) – which is naturally, in this energy context, CONSERVATION.  Study after study shows that the cheapest way to alleviate the energy crisis is to fix the demand for energy, not the supply.  But as I even mentioned in yesterday’s post, most Canadians think give their municipal governments a failing grade for energy conservation.

Of course, some people are now citing that the TIME article is wrong (notice that the link is from the Free Republic – a very right-winged, Dixie Chick hating site) – but I’m not going to try and dismiss the facts of the tire gauge vs.  offshore drilling as the TIME article could very well be wrong and Obama could be easily wrong. (I’m sorry, I don’t care enough to start calculating the actual results of the comparison…and it’s NOT ABOUT THE TIRES!)

Tackling the ‘low-hanging fruit’ is not wrong.

Understanding how much energy we use and where we use it – and then trying to decrease that use – that’s just being sensible.

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One thought on “Eat that Republicans!

  1. Jay Godse says:

    The best energy plan I heard so far was Paris Hilton’s energy plan.

    On another note…even though study after study shows that the cheapest way to save energy is to tackle the demand side, practical experience says it won’t happen easily. It won’t happen because changing demand often requires that people change their energy consumption habits. Nobody will change their pleasurable or pain-avoiding energy consumption habits unless the perceived value of the energy saving exceeds the perceived value of the decreased pleasure or increased pain. That takes a long time.

    The low-hanging fruit of changing demand is changes that don’t require changing personal habits in order to be more efficient. This is where hybrid cars are fantastic…they don’t require any changes except to buy the car. This is where switching to a high-efficiency home furnace is a great idea.

    Another kind of low-hanging fruit is to show people in real-time how their habits are costing them money immediately. This is where real-time engine-efficiency monitors for cars are really useful. (The ones that show immediately how your mileage is going down because of jack rabbit acceleration). This is where demand-based electricity pricing can motivate people to save money on electricity by moving non-urgent jobs to off-peak hours (e.g. laundry).

    Go after the low-hanging fruit that brings a personal return on investment to the individual, and that does not require a change of personal habits. That will prove most effective.

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