I don’t know how the heck America put a man on the moon when we can’t resolve our current national problems with solutions we agree on. I think the price tag causes the hang-up, as do the various industry lobbies.
Infrastructure, clean energy, saving the planet, and eliminating food insecurity affect our health on so many levels. While we wait for the infrastructure bill to graduate out of Congress and into our lives, roads, bridges, levees will continue to fail and take lives.
Our energy sources affect climate change, but so too does raising so much beef on the hoof. Most of our farmland grows corn to feed herds of cows for the beef market and not to feed people vegetables. Methane from the cows adds to global warming and you would not believe how much water is used to grow that corn and hydrate those cows. And we wonder why we are looking at dry riverbeds. And I won’t mention those terrible fires in California.
I’m no spring chicken, so I can tell you I’ve never seen such a confluence of problems while governments take tiny steps, if at all, to remedy anything.
Time to take Care of Business
People power! We can turn some of this around without writing our Congressman or Congresswoman, signing petitions, or contributing to anything.
- I’ll start with clean energy. For months, I received a letter offering clean electric energy from wind and solar power. I threw the letter out when I got to the part that said, yes, it will cost more, but isn’t it worth it? No. I was paying a fortune already.
But one day, more out of curiosity, I called the number with my latest outrageous Rochester, Gas, and Electric bill in front of me. The fellow who answered was very nice and referred me to parts/prices on my bill. Turns out, because the company delivers solar and wind power generated electricity directly and at far lower cost, I could eliminate the middleman who was supplying my electricity for a fortune. Then I decided to eliminate the other highway robber who was delivering my gas supply and just let RG&E deliver it. Upshot: my RG&E bill is almost half of what it was. Reliability is the same and my generator can handle solar/wind generated electricity outages, if any. (I checked with the company that installed it.) People power!
- Most Americans are overweight because of our SAD (standard American diet). I’ve written about that before, but I believe part of the reason overweight people are malnourished is because a) Food-like substances are cheaper than real food and many face food insecurity. So a fast-food burger and fries constitutes lunch instead of a healthy salad. b) Even if one could afford healthier food in the city, try to find a near-by supermarket. Except for our Public Market, it’s a food desert out there.
While the likes of Wegmans and Topps figure out how to build enough supermarkets to feed city and very rural folks, and make a profit, people can provide for themselves more effectively and at less cost. Community gardening is taking hold across America. https://foodrevolution.org/blog/community-gardens/
I enjoy gardening like I enjoy a root canal, but I grow my own tomatoes, parsley, and basil in pots on my back deck. Someday, I may get bigger pots and add other veggies. The supermarket may or may not have the Brussels sprouts I want or the radishes I like to chomp on. So growing what I want appeals to my oppositional nature when finding organic produce becomes a scavenger hunt.
- Car manufacturers do not need government approval to make electric cars that exceed standards. They are private companies that can do what they want and if people want those cars, they will make them because they want to make money. The Fed has nothing to say about it. They can also build electric “refueling” pumps just like they build gas pumps. “Build it and they will come.” I say, “Show you will buy it and they will make it.”
- If we want to protect the water supply and prevent pollution (from cow poop), decrease the methane in the air, and use land for better crops than corn, we need to cut our beef consumption only in half. (Physicians for Responsible Medicine would applaud that because they, and now others, recognize the harm beef consumption causes our cardiovascular systems and increases incidents of colon cancer.)
It occurs to me my wallet and I have more power than I realize. While it is unfortunate that politicians go where the money is so they can maintain power, and industry’s bottom line is, well, its bottom line, we are the ones with the bucks. Our collective buying power alone can turn this ship of state around and improve the economy along the way.
If we unite, let the government catch up with us!