Webster’s defines addiction as, “compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance”. “Persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful“. Americans, strike that, Humans are easily addicted. We know deep down that our addiction is very costly. Yet we keep at it. Often hoping someone else will deal with our problem and just make it go away. But, the problem is, it usually doesn’t. In fact, it typically gets worse. Much worse. According to addiction.com, it starts with denial, then anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
In the United States and much of the developed world, we have many addictions, but one that is now showing great harm to all of humanity is our addiction to fossil fuels. While nearly every climate scientist in the world and most natural scientists are in firm agreement, it really doesn’t take a science degree to observe what is happening over time and deduce the root cause. Our natural world is drastically changing before our eyes. As a species on top of the food chain, we are in clear denial. Most business and regulatory decisions are still being made on short term economic impacts without regard to long term economics and jobs or for that matter, resources.
With the Trump administration in firm denial of our fossil folly, the implications of our addictions are swelling rapidly. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is doing her thing and seems to be ignoring social media. Disasters from man made global warming are continuing to worsen and become more frequent. But finally, the major re-insurers and even the GAO are assigning economic impacts to these disasters and THAT will change business decisions in capital markets. No doubt the addicts will try to squelch the scientists and doctors trying to fix the addiction (to fossil fuels), but in the end we all have to own up to our own addictions and take actions.
We can cost effectively make our buildings incredibly efficient and smarter, especially the existing ones. We can choose renewable energy on our buildings. We can adding storage to eliminate “the middle man” (utilities). We can choose to buy electric vehicles and easily charge them at home, work or on the go like we do our cell phones. Above all, we MUST defend our right to choose to end the fossil folly that is driving our planet to extinction like the dinosaurs. In the end, actions speak louder than words. Do more with less! Be 3fficient.