"It's the brown house with the trees in front. You can't miss it!" THEY'RE ALL BROWN!!! What was I thinking???
This is typical suburbia in Lincoln, California. And, most likely many other places around the country. All the houses look the same. The yards are slightly different but not much. As I drive around each day and I'm pondering thoughts, I wonder...where are all the solar collectors?
These homes sit down in the valley in sheer sunshine. They have newly planted trees (you can tell by the small size of them here.) Why, with all the vast information that has been out there for years, have the architects and developers not thought ahead and placed solar collectors on each and every roof-top? The sun will be there for a long time most likely. The oil: limited resource. And, in light of the oil spill so prominently in the forefront of our minds right now, not such a good investment when it comes to human lives. Not a good trade-off in my opinion.
And the yards? Are we not aware that water is in short demand around the world? Green lawns? No fruit or nut trees? What about turning the lawns into vegetable gardens instead of ornamental plantings? At least the water that was used to keep the vegetables alive and growing would be put to good advantage: we could EAT the vegetables. Lawn: useless!
Is it only me or do other people think about the waste that we, as human beings, are perpetuating just to look good to others? B and I watched a movie titled "HOME" that was narrated by Glenn Close. I thought that it was going to be a hopeful movie but the farther we got into it the more apparent it became that we are doomed. We were SO depressed after watching it. I recommend it to anyone that wants to see our sheer stupidity as human beings. The movie was so profound and so well photographed. But, be prepared to come away thinking and feeling that there most likely will be nothing we can do to reverse the damage we have created just by being greedy.
It really makes me think about the impact that I have on this world. The small things we do here to recycle, grow our own vegetables, conserve electricity, etc., might only be a drop in a bucket. I'm hoping that the earth can repair itself but in my estimation it will only happen after all the humans are long gone. It feels like it will be too little, too late.
What are YOU doing to conserve? Are there enough of us that care? How many of you drive daily to work and then again on weekends? I, admittedly, drive more than I wish I had to. There is no alternative for me up here. But, in the cities there are mass transit systems available for people to use daily in their commute to and from work. I see way too many cars on the freeways with single occupants. Again...not well thought out. Can't we think outside the box? Can't we plan for a future we might not be able to imagine at the present time?
These homes, sitting in the middle of a vast hot and dry valley in Lincoln, California, were not there in the 1970's. When I was going to work in those days, I worked in that hot, dry valley. And at the time I used to say to myself: who in their right mind would want to live HERE? Well, thousands upon thousands of people now DO. We couldn't have even imagined it then. But 30 short years have passed and it is packed with people, sitting in their brown houses with their SUV's, driving to the market to purchase expensive purses, jewelry, VEGETABLES to serve to their families that night for dinner. How easy would it be to not do any of these things or better yet: plant a garden, join a car pool, ride a bike to work or walk, take rapid transit or a bus, and purchase solar collectors?
I suppose companies like PG&E would have to lay off employees if they had to buy back energy from all these homes. After all: they are a business and businesses are in it to make money. Bottom line. The thing that I find odd about PG&E specifically (Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for those of you who live in different parts of the country) is that they currently do not offer to buy back any excess power produced by solar collectors. We looked into to purchasing a solar unit for our roof and were told we had too many trees to make it worthwhile. And that there was no buy-back in place. Perhaps this will change in the near future as energy becomes more and more scarce and expensive. Perhaps they will see the benefit in it and offer huge incentives to people to set up solar collectors. We can only hope that they can think to the future. That they can think outside the box. And that they stop thinking about their profit and about what's good for the earth. Watch "HOME" and then tell me what you think! Until then, ride your bike to work. Take a bus. Pick up two or three other passengers that are going the same place that you are and make the trip worthwhile. It might only be a drop in the vast bucket we have looming ahead of us to fill but, how many drops does it take to fill a bucket?