Not too long ago it was perfectly acceptable, perhaps even “cool”, to smoke cigarettes in public. Now, smoking is frowned upon by many. A paradigm-shift occurred. Today, those who live in big homes and drive big cars are considered successful, but that perception will soon change as well. Conspicuous energy over-consumption will someday be frowned upon, just as cigarette smoking is today. When the paradigm-shift occurs, Jeff Foxworthy will have a whole new source of material. It might go something like this:
You might be an energy hog if:
· Your landscape lighting has more lights than Bush Stadium during a Cardinals night game.
· You drive to work in a vehicle that has more square feet of room inside than the average Cuban home.
· You run your air conditioner in the summer, just so you can have a fire in the fireplace. (President Nixon actually used to do that!)
· You keep your air conditioner running while you’re at work, just so your cat will be comfortable.
It’s easy to understand why these things will be frowned upon in the future. We’re living in the information age, and we know that excessive energy use not only increases pollution and consumes natural resources that are already in short supply, but also contributes to carbon dioxide emissions and therefore to global warming. We know that the electricity we use comes from coal-fired power plants, and we’re aware of the negative consequences of mining and burning coal. Perhaps we’re not yet mindful of these problems each time we flip on a light switch, but we’re getting there. A paradigm-shift is coming.
Renewable energy systems will be a part of our future, there’s no avoiding it. The sooner you install yours, the sooner you’ll be able to over-indulge in electrical appliances (if you so choose), without being considered an energy hog. Instead of following the crowd, be a pioneer. Solar panels on your roof are sure to be noticed, inspiring others to follow your lead. When neighbors ask questions, be helpful. Direct them to websites and businesses that specialize in renewable energy products, services, and information. Your reward will be a cleaner environment, and the preservation of natural resources which will benefit future generations. Wars will be less likely, since the demand for fossil fuels will be reduced. All things considered, you have much to gain and little to lose by embracing renewable energy and encouraging others to do the same. Lead by example and make conservation and renewable energy an ongoing part of your life.