Showing posts from February, 2005

Where is the Common Ground?

It seems to me that one can best understand the soul of a nation by looking at how public resources are allocated, and especially how and why a nation decides to reallocate resources. Our national budget is an indicator of our values as a people. With that in mind, we can take a look at the budget submitted by this administration. At the highest level we see this: tax cuts for the weathiest americans are made permanent, while programs for the weak and vulnerable, programs protecting the commons (our land, water and air) and our cultural heritage, including our national parks, are cut dramatically. This budget promises deficit spending for years to come and continued military action. Regardless of how one feels about this war, I think we can all agree that it has been a costly one both financially and in our standing in the eyes of the world. Most of us do not want to acknowledge that day in and day out, violence and torture continues in our name. We do not like it, and many of us

Altruism vs. Reality

Our refrigerator broke this week. Just like that. As far as I can tell, the unit is only five years old--it is a massive thing with ice and filtered water available through the door and lots of high-tech buttons. The repairman said the compressor is shot, the unit cannot be fixed. So we are in the market for a new refrigerator. While Renee and I store our milk and butter in an icecooler on the deck, I am researching the next large appliance to enter our home. The refrigerator is the third largest energy using item in our lives, next to our cars and our home heating/cooling unit. A few facts: a side-by-side uses 1.5 times more energy than a top/bottom refrigerator-freezer. And there are Energy-star rated appliances versus those that cost just a little less. So, as an energy-conscious consumer, I am avoiding the side-by-side and looking for the Energy-star rating. This is a good move, and cost-effective too. Here's the problem: there are super super energy efficient unit