Sunday, April 22, 2007

Send Me Off to Bed Forever More...

I remember hearing about the daylight savings time eco-plan at work and adjusting accordingly. I remember bitching about the fact that we are blindly following the US in the name of "business continuity". I remember as well working for an international office where we here in the east had to deal with people in the west, where a time-differential is constant and we worked it out.

I remember also explaining the plan to one of my close friends. We were on the phone and she asked what the whole purpose was of this sooner-than-later mentality. I explained that in america, the people in charge of the energy policy decided that people would use fewer lights if there was "more daylight". There was silence on the phone while I had time to consider the offices that are open late and always lit, the traffic lights, the 24-hour security systems, and the regular people who have to live and work in this constant state of inescapable energy use and then in the next moment, we laughed and laughed and laughed. This was the best that they could come up with in the american congress, and like good neighbors, we were letting them run with their plan.

It was made very clear at the time that if certain goals were not met, if certain benchmarks were not passed, they weren't going to do it next year. They meant business! The results are in, there has been no change in the energy consumption, although gas prices did rise substantially. Forcing the manufacturers of major appliances to market energy-saving devices was not on the list, nor was a substantial tax-cut for owners or lessors of hybrid cars (including companies who offer company cars as perks). I think it may have slipped past the executive branch that when the earth tilts away from the sun for a period of months, it gets colder and we use machines to create localized heat. We also have only certain amounts of light within the daylight hours period. In the winter it's between 9am and 4pm, changing that to 10am and 5pm makes only for an increase in lighting use in the dark morning hours and continual use at the same level of refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers and dishwashers.

My only question, since this is the most anyone in power is willing to do about the climate crisis, is it official? Can I sleep in next March? I still haven't adjusted to the change this year, it fucked me up for months. I would argue it's a women's issue, the bureaucracy of two governments telling me what to do with my body, ie: get it out of bed an hour earlier so they won't have to truly go green.

I'd think of something clever to end with, but I'm too sleepy. Time for bed!

1 comment:

Craig Sauvé said...

I remember saying to myself, apprehensively, that hey 'if this silly measure reduces energy consumption, then I'm all fer it.' Well, shucks!

The governments of the world really need to get more activist when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases.

We, the political ecologists know now that big bucks can be made by turning green. The north american right-wing is so goddamn so in comprehending that.

Check out the book: Cradle to Cradle, by McDonough and Braungart. It's a revolutionary manifesto on reducing environmental impact by better design. it's completely non-partisan, merely offering up solutions. The book itself in made of non-toxic, 100% recyclable plastic.