Wednesday, March 24, 2010

‘Greening’ Ourselves Into Extinction

A few years ago the Ontario government thought that it would be wise to do something to make our societies less wasteful… and then they introduced ‘The Smart Meter’!!! Mine arrived yesterday.

The idea behind ‘The Smart Meter’ is simple – consumers pay more for electricity if they use it during ‘peak’ hours and they pay less when they use it during ‘non-peak’ hours. Consumers are supposed to try to use electricity in more conservative ways to save money and help our environment. This will be very challenging as the ‘peak’ hours are in the mornings and evenings when ‘the masses’ prepare for work and prepare their dinners after work. It’s next to impossible to change a working day that has been established by previous generations, so let’s all get ready to pay more and more!

So… let’s take this back a few steps to see how ‘green’ this new idea is and who is really paying for it.

First – the government needs to plan and do studies. This takes many years and many shrimp cocktail meetings served with the finest imported wines for our high officials. I’d estimate that a couple of million dollars is spent in this process. To pay for this the government raises taxes and takes money out of ‘the masses’ pockets. Now there is less money to pay for my dinner while I’m paying for someone who already makes ten times my salary to eat ten times better than I do. This makes sense!

The government now has a plan and now they need to manufacture enough ‘Smart Meters’ for each and every house in the province… and that’s a lot. So, taxes are raised again and the money is found to manufacture the new meters. Unfortunately, the manufacturing was done in Mexico and no new Canadian jobs were created… except for the powers that negotiated this deal!

In order to produce these 2 ½ (plus) million ‘Smart Meters’ resources are needed. How much sand was used to produce all the glass casings? How much metal was used to produce the meter with all of its intricate parts? How many machines had to be built to build these machines? How much oil was used to manufacture all the plastic components and to run the machinery? How many cardboard boxes were manufactured to put each meter in so that they could be wrapped in rolls of plastic before they were transported across an entire continent? What scares me is the thought of all the air, water and soil pollution that is created during this manufacturing process of these new ‘green’ ‘Smart Meters’???

Thousands and thousands of transport trucks will be (and have been) filling the interstate highways to ship these meters to Canada. This is good for the U.S. trucking companies and gasoline companies. Canada should be very proud that our government is so generous with the money that they take out of our pockets to grease the wheels of economies in other countries.

I was very happy to also receive a thick envelope filled with a sixteen-page booklet and other propaganda material all wrapped in a biodegradable plastic bag so that I could become more informed on how the hydro companies will be taking more of my money. I thought that this was very courteous of them!

I wonder where these 2 ½ (plus) million pamphlets and booklets were manufactured? I hope that our government spent our Canadian dollars in China, this time – seems only fair!

In a nutshell…Our government takes our money and spends it in other countries to create tools that will be used to take more of our money!!!

I can’t wait for our government to move on the ideas of replacing every car on the planet with newer more efficient models, replacing every air conditioner, refrigerator, window, shingle on our roofs, toilets, faucets… Oh wait! That’s already happening!!!

The problems with our world (environmental, social and political) have been created over the last two hundred years as our societies have expanded out of control. We are now at the brink of an uncertain future because of this. Am I the only one who can see that if we go about replacing everything that has ever been built with newer ‘greener’ models that that act in itself will exponentially increase our consumption of the Earth’s resources in 1/100th of the time?!!! Surely, this will spell out untimely doom.

We don’t need new ‘green’ things in our lives to build a better tomorrow… we simply need a more profound understanding of the word ‘need’.


1 comment:

Shelley said...

Great perspective, Jim. Much agreed. I was teaching a composting workshop and one fellow asked why he should set up a worm bin in his apartment if he already uses city composting. When I pointed out that we could reduce the number of trucks on the highway if we could just home compost a third of our waste... the light went on! Simplifying is much more cost effective than creating new technology. By the way, Smart Meters in our area are being recalled because they aren't working properly. People are being over-charged! Imagine!