Here at the Cosmopolitan Charlestonian we've often pondered exactly how far a little conservation could go. When taking the following into account, a little conservation could actually sustain our most unquestioned personal freedoms. It's hot here in the South. In mid August you can fry an egg on the hood of your car, if (unlike us) you've got one. Naturally as the asphalt bubbles, instead of whipping up a batch of scrambled hen offspring, homeowners typically flee to the comfort of their recliners after a downward adjustment of their personal climate control aparatii, otherwise known as the in-home thermostat. Sweet tea in hand, life is once again bearable as the heat headache subsides and the sugar rush ensues. This is life in the South. But don't spill your tea when you read this one.
Swanky inclinations are often conceived in the great State of California and don't take long to manifest themselves throughout the rest of the nation in this fascinating United experiment. That's why California's Title 24 Building Standards should now concern all of us. Anyone in the building industry recognizes code is king. And anyone with half a brain recognizes that eventually some good (as well as bad) laws will be enacted as climate change escalates. This is where Title 24 steps in. The American Thinker published a post entitled Who Controls Your Thermostat, explaining that the State of California is considering mandating installation of Programmable Communicating Thermostats on all new residential construction in 2008. These thermostats would typically be controlled by the homeowner, however, during "pricing events" or emergency situations, i.e. the power grid is overtaxed, the utility or state would step in and take control of your personal home temperature.
Should the State of California move forward with this policy, we firmly believe the eventuality of its adoption throughout the rest of the nation will become an inevitable future reality. Consider the South for one moment. Much of our electricity comes from hydropower. In the face of an intense drought cycle and water shortages expected within the next ten years as stated by the United States General Accounting Office, it's not difficult to see the swiftness at which our systems would experience pricing events and/or emergency situations wherein our new friend, Big Utility Brother would step in and commence regulation of our home cooling mechanisms. Maybe this is for the best as the State is simply taking into account selfish human nature. But we here believe a lot of Suthunas would get just a little hot under the collar, no pun intended, over the prospect of having lost control of the regulation of their own personal comfort.
Unfortunately, in our humble opinion, The Thinker derails when it comes to solution.
The real question poised by this invasion of the sanctity of our homes by state power is -- why are we doing this? It seems to me to be the wrong fix for a problem that we don't have to have. The common sense alternative is to build new power plants so that power shortages don't occur. Of course, they can't be coal or nuclear power plants! The coastal elites have their minds set against those undesirables. The state has wasted billions of our dollars on wind generation that hasn't helped to meet peak loads. For natural gas, offshore drilling should be considered. While we have one liquefied natural gas terminal in Mexico supplying us with Indonesian and, in the near future, Russian, LNG, another receiving terminal to be supplied by Australian LNG was rejected by the State Coastal Commission.
Wind generation cannot keep up with demand because there is just no replacement at this moment as powerful, easily transported and previously abundant as oil. And it's not that the "elites" are the only ones against coal or nuclear energy. Coal is dirty as hell and nuclear is dangerous as hell - take it from one of us here who is just old enough to REMEMBER the traumatizing Three Mile Island fiasco. The Honorary Belle grew up in coal country, afterall. Besides, there are many elites that have made bucket loads of money off of coal and would love nothing more than to see yet another coal plant erected. Last, the natural gas free-ride is about over as well. Both oil and natural gas supplies can no longer meet demand as the earth itself is seriously beyond its human carrying capacity. In other words, there are just too many of us demanding too much energy and using our limited resources with reckless abandon.
Until we as a nation get very serious about limiting population growth as well as using our limited energy resources exceptionally wisely there are few choices beyond submitting our freedoms one by one.