Two weeks ago, Suzanne and I were fortunate enough to witness the birth of our granddaughter, Zoe Colton Duesing with a roomful of relatives and medical personnel at a Waterbury hospital. What a thrill when she finally arrived after nearly 24 hours of difficult labor and the near magic of a wonderful doctor.
Once she was at home with her mom and dad, Zoe's presence encouraged us to think about the future. Statistically, she will be alive for most of this century. If she's anything like her great-grandmother, she'll still be going strong in 2089.
However, it is easy to see that if many current environmental trends continue for even a few more decades, the quality of everyones' lives will be severely compromised. Fossil fuel use, population growth, sprawl, pollution, climate change, species extinction, loss of forests and disconnection from the natural world are among the most worrisome of these trends.
Because Zoe brings the future into sharper focus, the week after her birth it was a fairly easy decision for Suzanne and me to chose renewable electricity for the next several years.
Connecticut's electricity deregulation now allows us to select an electricity supplier. The Connecticut Energy Cooperative, which we joined because of its cooperative nature and its interest in "green or renewable energy," offers us two choices of electricity - one product that is just a little cheaper than the standard offer from CL&P and the other, EcoWattTM electricity which is produced by 100 percent renewable energy sources.
This environmental choice costs just one penny more for each kilowatt hour - the amount of electricity consumed by a 100-watt bulb burning for ten hours.
I used our current electric bill to figure that we would pay less than ten dollars extra each month to purchase "green electricity," a small price to pay. Apparently, the average consumer will pay even less, about $6 more per month. (We consume extra electricity because of the two freezers and the water pump on our farm.)
Although this electricity choice is just a small step toward reversing some dangerous, environmental trends, it is a start towards a more sustainable future. As long as our society chooses the narrow bottom line over the environment, we will continue to see dirty power plants and increased global warming- not what we want for our grandchildren's future.
This is Bill Duesing, Living on the Earth
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