I think that people think what they do does not make a difference. However, if enough people do it, then it could make a difference, and make people more aware of alternatives at the same time.
I feel the current political policies, for the most part, are critically flawed and need to be radically reformed. In fact, I think many politicians have their heads in the sand over this issue, and need their attitudes totally readjusted. I just read an article online that the Nevada Legislature wants to rescind a law giving "green" builders tax breaks, because it could cost the state too much money (Bellisle). This seems extremely short sighted and backward to me. It is a time when we should be encouraging the use of alternative power and building methods, rather than rescinding tax incentives. That is just one reason I feel the current political policies are fatally flawed and unrealistic. It seems as if the politicians refuse to do anything until the problem is staring them in the face, and by then it will be too late. As the author notes, "In hindsight, the reasons for abandoning the path of conservation seem tragically wrongheaded" (Heinberg 80). I think we need to make it "cool" again to conserve and be aware, and begin a strong educational campaign to teach children in school and their parents, how important it is to conserve energy and change our basic energy usage patterns.
I am not sure how, right now, many people, including myself, can radically change our energy practices. Some people can afford to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles, add alternative power sources to their homes, and buy local, organic products to save on packaging and transport costs. I would be willing to do those things, but I am a student and I cannot afford to do them. I think there are millions of people with the same concerns and the same limitations. It seems as if energy-efficiency is only available to the wealthy, or at least the moderately well off. I do not think that is right, but I think that is the way it is, and the way it will remain unless lawmakers and experts make energy-efficiency more affordable and available to everyone. I think that has to be done to solve this crisis, but I am not sure I have faith that it will be done.
I believe that Americans really need to wake up and see what is happening before it is too late. Too many people believe there is not an energy crisis, or that what they do will not make a difference. If everyone feels that way, nothing will ever be accomplished, and nothing will ever change. Clearly, something must change, or our way of life is going to disappear. I agree with the author that this is a crisis that could change civilization on our planet, and that it will change it drastically if we do not do something about it right now. I can make a difference if I make even small changes in my lifestyle and outlook, and I can help other people see that they need to do something too, before it is far too late.
I do not agree with some economists that the "world can get along without natural resources" (Heinberg 3). I believe that is a shortsighted and stupid line of thinking, from a practical and emotional standpoint. First, the world is far too dependent on natural resources to do without them, and second, I would not want to live in a world devoid of natural resources, it would be a lifeless and boring planet indeed. I think this assignment was extremely useful, in that it has opened my eyes to the real dangers of the energy crisis, and made me aware of how little is actually being done to solve it, and that, in my opinion, is a heinous crime against civilization and the planet.
Bellisle, Martha. "Gibbons Threatens to Veto 'green tax break' Suspension." RenoGazetteJournal.com. 4 May 2007. 4 May 2007.