Friday, September 25, 2009

We are living on borrowed time

Who has asthma!?! :)

I watched part of 11th Hour on Planet Green the other night. The message that came across first: We had been living on energy solely from the sun for thousands of years until we discovered oil. Then we figured out how to take this nonrenewable energy and make it fuel our lives. Plastics, in case you did not know, come from oil. When I say plastics I am referring to just about everything synthetic. This stuff will not last forever. It's almost like a race between us running out of oil and global warming killing millions.

Anyway, after watching the movie and reading this article about riding bikes and taking a look at this graph on energy subsidies I came up with some ideas.
  1. Make consumers pay for the carbon offset for whatever they are buying. Some companies, like airlines, offer this service already if you want to pay extra. I say make it mandatory. But it is up to the companies not the government (they are too slow). Kind of like 1% for the Planet but instead trying to reverse the entire impact of the purchase.
  2. More bikes and free bikes for bike sharing like they already do in many major cities. I don't know who would pay for them or how exactly they would be stored but people would probably be more willing to bike if there were little bike parking lots everywhere and you just needed to take a bike and go. It doesn't have to be free either it could be like $20 a year for a special key or something to unlock one of the bikes.
  3. Bigger buildings. Somewhere between those 100,000 person capacity buildings on SimCity, and a college in one building. I'm talking about massive city block sized buildings that are super energy efficient and are little communities. Millions of people work behind a desk, or in a cubicle, or at a sewing machine all taking up very little space. Why not consolidate communities so people do not have to commute to work? I know the social aspects could be weird, strange, new, and explosive but I have some ideas for that as well: indoor gardens, rooftop gardens, large indoor areas like a hotel with fountains and stuff, long continuous wide hallways maybe with a three lane track in the middle, multiple eating options like Google or college cafeterias, spread out and varied apartments so they don't look identical (most importantly from the hallway), and some sort of cars or transportation easily available when needed like zipcar on steroids. This concept could catch on easier near the poles where much of the year is spent inside. Also, they would ideally be off the grid.
By the way, I rode my bike to work 4/5 days this week! It's only a 1.5 mile 8-9 minute ride so it's too far to walk, to awkward to run, and uneconomical to drive. Also, Saturday I'm going rock climbing at Crow hill in the afternoon, and I'm going to ride my bicycle there.

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