February 9, 2009

WWII posters depict eco as patriotic.

Last night I gathered with 20 fellow Buddhists in Hotelephant for a meditation/study/dinner and, for a few hours, turned the heat up to 70, enjoyed a half-non-organic dinner, responded to requests for paper towels and turned on five lights simultaneously over three rooms. 

Normally, my thermostat is off at night. Completely. And I’m cozy, if not hot—thanks to passive solar during day, curtains dropped at night, windows open whenever warm outside (which it is 1/3 of the winter in Colorado). Normally, during the day, my thermostat (if I’m home, which is about half the time) is set at 60. I wear a sweater or hoodie or jacket, I wear slippers, I’m good to go.

So it always amazes me how soft we Americans are, now. In the summer we blast the air-conditioning, even as we leave open windows or, if a retail shop, leave the door open. In the winter we blast central heat (with doors wide open, if we’re retail), which gives me half a headache half the time.

Fact is all that energy consumption adds up to something: the need for…surprise…more energy. So we melt shale and drill for offshore oil and, once every 10 years or so, put our foot down on top of the Middle East. And half the energy demands that motivate us to do these things come from young people (my lovely next door neighbors all—each—drive SUVs, leave lights and ceiling fans on when not home, probably heat too) and liberals and hippies. 

So let us pause, Republicans and Democrats, farmers and hippies, patriots and cynics, and remember the WWII poster. We already did an entire article on this notion, and adapted the notion for our last print issue of elephant journal. But Treehugger did a great lil’post on this today. Click the image for more posters on Victory Gardens, etc.:

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