Floridians vote to conserve - what's next in the Obama Administration
I am now happy to state that the conservation initiative on the ballot in Florida was passed, with 68.4% of the vote. If I in any way helped voters come to this conclusion I am especially pleased.
Looking forward I would add that I hope that actions of Florida residents leads to similar actions in other states as well. There is no negative in setting aside some land for conservation. Trees are a good thing for everyone. And the bonus of a tax incentive never hurts in a bad economy either.
Looking further forward, we can expect that the Obama administration will seek to further conservation efforts. These will be efforts that will be mixed in the public’s eyes. That is because the plans as stated will be painful to the average American as opposed to plans like that in Florida.
I am speaking directly to 2 things President Obama has been quoted on. The first is his desire to see the cost of energy, specifically electricity, to go higher. The reason for this is to force conservation through lack of funds. The reasoning is that by forcing prices higher, less energy will be used and thus conserve more. The initial step is expected to hurt the economy slightly, in President Obama’s view, and will take a short while for the public to adjust to. Thereafter the benefit will continue and Americans will be comfortable in that environment.
The other item is the recently released tapes of President Obama, before the election, stating that his goal is to effectively cause the creation of coal powered plants to be fiscal suicide. His plans will cause coal power plants to become bankrupt.
This would have several effects. the first is to increase the cost of electricity – explained above. Another would be to limit the amount of power available at any time. Again this would force consumers to use less power to ensure that blackouts and brownouts do not occur. Additionally this would significantly improve the air quality from the U.S.
I am no fan of forced conservation, as you may gather. I believe in education and incentives to mold behavior. Obviously not everyone agrees with that plan.
If President Obama enacts his conservation plans as previously stated, America will consume fewer fossil fuels and help worldwide conservation efforts. And like most types of change some pain will be felt. But such efforts are not enough, even if they are effective.
The world is far more than just America. And while America contributes greatly to the use of fossil fuels, poor air quality, land usage, and waste creation we are not the only cause of these negatives. China and India are increasing their output and consumption of these negatives annually. Even with a drop in U.S. rates, without worldwide attention and conservation efforts China and India alone will soon make up for any decreases in America. That scenario is counter-productive and troubling.
I expect and anticipate the efforts of President Obama and his Administration in speaking with these and other nations. And if I can suggest anything it would be to provide a carrot and not a stick in persuading other nations to curtail their usage rates. Like in Florida, when people are given an alternative and a bit of sugar they take the medicine without complaint.
If you agree with my view, tell your elected officials. Because they will listen even if they don’t have to fear elections for a year.
But if you disagree, or have a better solution, please do share it.