Friday, January 7, 2011

Shed your load

"If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires." (Epicurus)

Discussions, articles and blogs that focus the argument purely on 'base load power' without first discussing that crucial concept just before the word "power" - base load - are not honestly exploring the full complexity of our shared situation.

Base load is a product of our collective real and manufactured needs, wants and desires - the last of which can be a problem.

Some writers  begin the discussion with some variation of the premise 'alternative energy cannot support a consumer based society'. Which may or may not be true, but doesn't that miss the point a bit. The mass consumption society (as we know it) is only about 50 - 100 years old. Is it really inevitable, irreversible, irreplaceable? Are our fates permanently wed to this social construction? Do 'we' lack the imagination and will to modify our present living arrangements?

If a smoker/alcoholic came to you and said "It is my right to smoke/drink but I can't continue smoking becuase my lungs/liver will develop cancer - society must support my freedom to smoke/drink, the only solution is a heart-lung bypass/liver transplant", the fallacy is obvious. In response, we support efforts to change behavior.

Hello everyone, my name is ............... and I'm loaded.
What incremental changes can we make now, collectively or as individuals, to reduce our base load?

Thoughtful comments and suggestions for a reduced base load New Years resolution.

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