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Home » Archives » February 2008 » Nannies

[Previous entry: "Part Three: Sustainable"] [Next entry: "Hit Men"]

02/18/2008: "Nannies"

Mothers used to teach common sense about conserving resources. My mom did. She said things like, “Close the door! Were you born in a barn? Turn off the light when you leave the room, don’t drive when you can walk, don’t waste good water, try to be efficient.” I admit I’m a bit out of touch, but did everything change since I was a kid? Did mothers really forget how to teach the basics?

I guess so. Acting as our mommy substitutes the Council decided to make common sense mandatory so they passed the bold “declaration for climate change”. But do they really believe they can make the weather better if we follow their rules and behave?

They have instructed all county employees to turn off the lights when leaving their cubicles for the night. It’s the law now to only use those swirling florescent light bulbs. (They do save electricity but disposal of the burnt out bulbs is real nasty for the environment.) Some people complain that the light from these things hurts their eyes. That’s too bad. The law is the law. Someone will have to police all the county buildings to monitor compliance. Resistance to nanny rule is futile.

The document is chock full of instructions and requirements for county employees to follow. Never mind that the Charter expressly forbids the Council to “give orders to or direct employees or other elected officials”. They still feel the need to do this.

I can appreciate their good intentions for making up these silly rules. In their continuing effort to act globally and ignore people locally, they passed this just in time to avert worldwide global warming and avoid a deadly plague from disease-carrying insects. (I’m not making up the part about the insects

The declaration contains more than just unenforceable rules and ill-advised orders to employees. There is also a lot of expensive policy in it. I wonder if the Council considered the cost to bring all county buildings up to U.S. Green Building Energy and Environmental Design standards? Who will they hire and how much will it cost to create an inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions in the County? (Don’t forget to compute cow farts) The taxpayers are also required to shell out for composting and reuse centers at all solid waste facilities. But why would they worry about a trivial thing like money when they are saving the planet from certain destruction?

We all want to reduce vehicle emissions. But does the Council know what kind of a signal they are sending to the State Ferry people when they imply that people should not bring motorized vehicles to the islands? I’m sure the DOT would be more than happy to accommodate us by reducing our number of car ferries. The way it’s going that’s a real possibility.

Do they intend to provide island-wide mini-bus service at taxpayer expense? They made a pledge to support this in the document. Have they done a cost analysis of the effectiveness of switching the fleet of County vehicles to hybrids? I thought electric car batteries wore out shortly after the warranty expired. Anyway these are mere pixels of concern in the big digital picture.

Do you remember the old saying, “When Styrofoam containers are outlawed only outlaws will use Styrofoam containers”. Well they made a rule against Styrofoam containers too. If you attend any county activity like a hearing, a meeting, or a reception and you are drinking hot coffee from a Styrofoam cup you are disobeying the rules. You can forget about bringing those cup-o-noodles in your lunch bag. And don’t forget to recycle! It’s the law now. If you toss something in the wrong wastebasket your job could be on the line.

Of course it depends on how much of a stickler for the rules our Administrator will be. I’m sure he will take these new rules seriously. After all it is a legal resolution from our lawmakers. And they are hands on their hips furrowed-brow serious about protecting the planet from changing weather.

Do you remember just a few months ago that changes in Earth’s temperature were referred to as “global warming.”? If you are an attentive person you know they call it “climate change” now.

Isn’t it interesting how meaningless some words can be? Take the phrases “climate change” and “laws”. When you use them indifferently or haphazardly you dilute their meaning. People don’t take them seriously. For instance it seems silly to pass unenforceable laws that people ignore. It can potentially break down respect for serious laws.

And “climate change” for crying out loud, includes everything that happens. Climate change is what we used to call the weather report. “Cloudy with sunny periods today, look for the climate to change tomorrow.” Just like harebrained rules, a term that refers to every damn thing that happens has no meaning.

It just seems weird to create a list of rules about basic things your mother should’ve taught you. Labeling this as some great attempt to save the planet is nonsense. Calling it necessary to prevent the climate from changing is just foolish. Get serious. There are real local issues that you could focus on. We can’t afford nanny rule.

Tom Bauschke
John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Janice Peterson
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Amy Wynn
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