STILLWATER, Okla. — Sacrifices?
This is in response to your excellent coverage of Sen. Coburn’s visit to Stillwater. I was there and I also heard him say that we must be willing to sacrifice for future generations.
Then I also heard him say that carbon emissions (coal and oil) need to be addressed in a way that does not affect our standard of living. This is totally contradictory!
Let’s imagine what kind of sacrifices we must be willing to make that could affect our standard of living. For instance, we could grow some of our own food and buy some of it locally produced. We could spend time preserving it and preparing it for the table.
This would mean more work on our part and take more of our time. But it would save diesel fuel used to transport foodstuffs over long distances. It would save the oil used in making plastic for packaging. It would save coal used to make electricity to operate factory equipment and air-conditioners on 18-wheeler transports.
Giving up trucked-in groceries and factory-prepared foodstuffs could well affect our living standard. But does it follow that these changes would be sacrificial?
The following are ways we can cut down on our use of fossil fuels and still not sacrifice:
1. We can hang our clothes out to dry in good weather.
2. We can turn our thermostats up one or two degrees in the summer and down one or two degrees in the winter.
3. We can use vehicles with higher fuel efficiency and cut back on unnecessary trips. We can drive 5 mph slower on four-lane roads, saving fuel while relaxing more. The sacrifice would be in starting a little earlier.
4. We can take briefer showers, wash some dishes by hand, and when using the dishwasher can let the dishes air-dry instead of drying them with heat.
5. We can install solar water heaters and buy Energy Star appliances.
These practices would cut back our over-dependence on fossil fuels. For some people they could be sacrifices. For others they might add quality to life while saving us money and extending natural resources for enjoyment by future generations.
Whether sacrificial or beneficial to individuals now, these acts of conservation should make us proud that we tried to contribute to beneficial life in the future.