Friday, February 09, 2007

Hey, Massachusetts, let's get serious

according to my local power company (ratepayer letter: pg. 1, pg. 2), the new england ISO predicts severe power shortages in the region by 2010 if more capacity doesn't come online by then. new power plant construction, it appears, has been delayed almost to the crisis point, mostly by the failure of deregulation to promote anticipated competition in the production sector.

everyone's talking about new power sources, new production---- even green producers are poised to make great strides in renewable production here (see Cape Wind's controversial offshore wind farm project). but does anyone ever say the word conservation? hell, no! it's the same brand of pigheadedness marketed by those boneheads occupying the white house: bush: "heh-heh. gee, dicky, looks like the death toll in iraq just keeps risin'. what should we do?" cheney: "send in more troops!"

with simple conservation tactics we could probably avert the crisis predicted by the NEISO, or at least substantially delay it. my local power company doesn't even suggest such a thing. they've just upped the rates to pay for the new power plants. of course, they're mandated by the FERC to do so.

how did conservation become a dirty word? surely there remains a lingering cultural association in the 'merican mind between the word conservation and the tolerated inconvenience of personal sacrifice that characterized domestic wartime life. yes, I mean WWII. and parents of that era raised their postwar broods to take full advantage of the seeming limitless bounty of booming postwar 'merica; the result is now several generations of people who never knew dearth or sacrifice (speaking generally here, and not of the disenfranchised that society sweeps to the periphery) yet upon whom was imprinted their parents' desire never to be asked to make such sacrifice again. it is for these modern generations that conservation is a dirty word.


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