Global Warming, a hot topic issue that most people either choose to ignore, avoid, or devote their lives to. There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground either it’s either you accept it as a real threat or you pretend it’s not even real. Is there no room to meet in the middle anymore? I am not going to get into politics specifically but I wanted to start with that. It seems like in today’s world everything is at an extreme end of whatever spectrum it is, nobody ever meets in the middle, nobody ever compromises, and it seems like people are afraid to admit that they are indecisive so they take a stand even if they are unsure of what they are doing. Believe me I spent a lot of time like this, as do most Americans today. I have had to spend some time recently discovering things that I had previously felt I had worked out.
Let’s put global warming or global climate change aside and take that out of the equation. If you stop pushing the agenda for a second, either agenda, you discover that both sides make good, compelling arguments, but they do so in the wrong way. Instead of trying to counter each others argument they should find the common ground and work from there, that traditionally how things used to work. Let me give some examples. Most people, myself included, have no issue with recycling, we do have an issue of being told that we must recycle everything or else we are evil and bad. However there is not a strong argument to make against recycling people still get defensive when they are told to do something. How about instead of pushing the global warming agenda or the anti global warming agenda if there is one, and instead find where people do agree. We don’t all agree about the effects of waste, but we do all agree that nobody likes going to the landfill and we would all like to reduce our garbage bills somehow. The best way to handle it then is to focus on the benefits to the individual not to society as a whole.
Sticking with recycling for a second, doesn’t it make more sense then to work on a single family by showing them how much they could save on their trash bill if they recycled instead of throwing everything away? Most people already know if you save pop and beer cans they can cash those in, but what about paper, cardboard, glass bottles, or even old electronic devices. Sure we have places that will recycle them for you, some that are free but even those who will charge you for the “service.” Now that is the problem with the “green movement” as a whole, you get it in people’s head they need to do something and then they take advantage of other people. We all want to make the world a better place but I think we need to do it by focusing on our local community first and if everyone did the the whole world would just benefit naturally.
I am not sure how to go about getting more recycling centers around that pay people for their stuff but I do know that in a capitalist society that approach would work so much better than trying to guilt people into doing things.Most of us can barely make ends meet as it is, we are pinching pennies, clipping coupons, and scouring yard sales just to stay alive, we have no wiggle room in our budgets to pay for something like Recycling, even if we deep down want to make a difference. Some of us do our best by crushing cans and taking them to the salvage yard but even that is not always worth the effort for some people. So where does that leave us, personally I can’t afford to add recycling pick up to my garbage bill so all that stuff they would want me to recycle just goes into the regular garbage bin anyways. Maybe if the land fills were more organized and could sift through the garbage they receive to separate out the recyclable goods from the trash but even that sounds like a real effort.
Maybe instead of cities charging to pick up recycling goods, maybe they could offer you a discount on your normal trash pick up instead? Like if you actually use the recycling bin as instructed and you donate enough stuff they can deduct that from your trash bill, maybe not enough to cancel each other out but probably enough to get more people taking up the cause, just stealthily. You see some people just don’t care anyways so no amount of preaching is going to get them to budge. These same people will resist further government regulations that say force them to recycle, so why not meet them in the middle? I think this approach works best because it has the least amount of resistance, sure those who do no recycle might argue they shouldn’t have to pay for trash pick up either if those who do recycle get their bills reduced, but that will only make it harder for them to hold out, as more of their neighbors take up the service it puts pressure on them to get with the program and if it reduces your trash bill then it further makes them look silly for holding out because then they become the ones fighting for a cause, only instead of it being a lost cause as people think global warming is, it becomes a pointless cause they will gladly abandon once they figure out how much being stubborn is costing them.
There is a company up on Idaho starting to develop a new solar road system that if put into place correctly will solve our energy crisis. Although the term energy crisis is another extreme end of the spectrum that people also feel hopeless about when they give it any thought. We all know how little good adding solar panels to your house is. The energy you generate is not enough to offset the start up cost so people just refuse to even make a token effort. I would think that if people made a minimal effort like say adding just solar panels to the garage or tool shed it would help but again you have to do more to motivate people. This is where I believe the solar roadways will actually work so much better. I won’t go into major details but I will post a link to their website for anyone who wants to read more.
The general idea is you have a road that creates power, keeps itself clean during snow storms (which would be nice by the way), and increases our internet coverage all by being built into this new high tech road system. Sure the vision they have is decades away, if the usual hurdles get in the way. But I think we could see it much sooner if we really think about the small time, short term immediate benefits to the individual rather than focus on the long term benefits to society as a whole. If a person was already considering say a hybrid or electric car but was turned off by the added expense to the power bill here is an alternative charging method that might actually be more desirable. Instead of paving your drive way with concrete you install a solar road system, it combines solar technology with some really cool features like being able to charge your electric car, reducing your power bill, and never having to shovel snow again, all benefits that have more than monetary value.
Let’s go back to solar panels on the house, the reason why these do not “pay” for themselves is because literally the only benefit you get from installing them is a little free power from the sun, big deal right? But with the solar road system you get added value like take not having to shovel the snow ever again. Think about how much time, effort, personal energy and money it takes to do that task alone. If they really want this idea to take off I think forget the global warming crowd, forget the energy crisis angle just sell it as a snow removal option that also happens to reduce your power bill in the process and suddenly you have something that might not pay for itself monetarily but adds personal value by giving people more time with their families, something we can all appreciate more than just saving money. Sure they will eventually pay for them selves too but they will do so faster because now you are adding value to someone’s life which is more valuable than just money. This is the angle the left often ignores and the right forgets about, people value their time more than their money it is the reason why we pay $3 bucks for a cup of coffee when for $6 bucks we can have a weeks worth of coffee at home. Time is important to people and if you focus on the time value angle instead of the helping society angle more people might be willing to respond in a positive light rather than being so resistant to change.