Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Environment

I am fascinated with trains in general, freight trains in particular. My son rides the local passenger line back and forth to school every day. I know that freight trains are the bane of drivers everywhere, especially when you are stuck sitting at a railroad crossing when you wish you were home already. But I savored the time it took this afternoon for a HUGE freight train to cross in front of us, as I was headed home with my son. It's been a long time since I've seen such a long train - easily 160 railroad cars. I was wondering how much more economical, if at all, it is to transport goods via the railways instead of the highways. I'm sure there are varying opinions, but it seems to me that there must be benefits such as less congestion on the highways and savings in fuel and emissions.
According to this article trains carrying double-stacked containers would result in impressive savings in fuel and reduction in carbon emissions.

At this point, I am worried about whether or not our great-grandchildren will have much of an environment when we get through with it. The ice caps are disappearing so fast that polar bears will soon be an endangered species, if they aren't already. Can you honestly watch the Polar Bear SOS commercial and not be moved?

I'm guilty as can be - I drive a gas-guzzling SUV. We purchased it in 2002 when gas prices weren't as frightening. Although I can't afford a new vehicle yet, my plan is to purchase a gas-efficient hybrid vehicle as soon as I am able. In the meantime, I am trying to make a few improvements in my habits, such as running multiple errands when I'm out in the car. If I only need one thing from the store, my son is always willing to walk to the store for me. (Did I tell you what a good kid he is???) I am also choosing reusable shopping bags over paper or plastic. Any plastic bags I do come home with are turned in for recycling at the store. The company I work for is sponsoring a plastic cap recycling program. We all turn in our plastic lids from soda bottles, milk jugs, pill bottles, etc for recycling, and the company uses that recycled plastic to make new bottles for hair care products. The siding we just had installed on the house should help this winter to keep heat in and cold out, allowing us to keep the thermostat lowered. We installed new energy-efficient windows as well.

I am 100% in favor of putting more money into alternative fuels, and less into the pockets of the oil moguls. You can drill all you want - there is probably only enough oil to last us 50 years! And that's at the rate we use it today. Continue putting more trucks and cars on the highways, and building more homes that need to be heated, and see how many years we can shave off that estimate. What will our descendents do?

Isn't it funny how, 1 month before the elections, gas prices are dropping like the proverbial lead balloon! Take advantage now, because no matter who makes it into office, prices will skyrocket again once the results are in. Time to stop giving these moneygrubbing oil pigs those ridiculous bonuses and retirement packages, and give the little guy a break!

No comments:

Post a Comment