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View Diary: Whiny Frog or Boiling Frog - Why don't you care about energy? (406 comments)

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  •  Seed money... (4.00)
    Jerome, is one policy approach.

    My wife, an elementary school teacher, was given a computer for her classroom, another for her home, and one for each student in her class.  Other fourth grade classes, same thing, plus a computer 'lab'.  This was in the early '90s, and was a cooperative effort of some large businesses ($$), the government, and local school board initiatives.

    It was the most brilliant thing that could possibly have been done, at the time, in my opinion, because it introduced a lot of students to a whole new universe of things they weren't already afraid of and offered a 'free' chance to try them out.  I'd wager that these original recipients almost all continue to have a computer, at their own expense, now, and will continue to embrace new technology.

    Of course, computer technology did take off, and might well have done so in our area even without the added impetus given by the free computers.

    The US government began to do a similar thing in the '70s, and was giving tax and other incentives to both individuals and businesses to encourage growth and development of alternative energy based approaches.  In my opinion if it had continued it would be an entirely different ball game today.  Instead conservatives blew away all those not yet viable initiatives when Reagan came into power, and it has been a downhill slide for any long term, farsighted developments, ever since.

    There can be little doubt that corporatist interests played a significant role in this situation, and may be totally dominant today.  Corporations cannot have the interests of the public at large in mind, since profit is their only motive.

    At the cutting edge, seed money as policy could make a difference.  Before that, however, removing the unbridled profit motive (citizen status) from corporations may be utterly necessary.

    But one thing seems clear to me as absolutely essential.  Humankind must learn to live within it's means on this planet, and that means smaller populations.  Limited enough, and man's activities on this earth will not upset the natural equilibrium which, I believe we have begun to see slip away, even as we dither...

    Whew!!!  Wanted to say that to more than just my wife, poor beleaguered soul, for years and years.

    danz

    •  What do you mean (none)
      by 'smaller populations'?  What does that entail exactly?

      You're right, seed money is a huge thing that could be done, if anyone with the power had the will.

      •  Fewer people... (none)
        -ZPG
        -adoption
        -war
        -starvation
        -plague
        -pestilence
        -restraint
        -innovate
        -choose your 'poison'...

        If humanity means anything different than other populations of living things, we will prove it only if we don't pollute and procreate beyond the limits of the system to absorb our presence. We will thrive if we don't ask as much of the planet as it can give.  We're close, already, I think.

        danz

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