Totally in awe!

I really cannot just accept this reality and move on. Nor should any of us. What do you think about when you are in a grocery store when you are picking out the fresh produce you want and then the meat or fish? Most of the time we are just considering the best choice. Sometimes we complain to ourselves about the price. Some of the more environmentally conscious amongst us will check to see how far it has travelled to get to this display.

I often look at the display and am totally in awe. This is just one display of – say – tomatoes and there are scores of displays like this just in my area. And that is so all over North America and the rest of the world! And then I think about how many places I see that grow this stuff in my area that I have noticed. Not many! Certainly not enough to supply even a few of the displays in my neighbourhood, never mind in winter!

Our society has developed ways to farm the enormous amount of produce we need to feed us and get it from the farms to our displays so we can buy it and feed ourselves. Fresh! All year long! At prices that amaze me when I think of the entire process! Goodness!

I have seen stickers that say something like “if you ate today, thank a farmer”. I would add that we thank a trucker, a pilot, a factory worker who makes the machinery, a worker who makes the containers, the entrepreneurs who establish and maintain the venues to display the produce for us, and so on! The list is huge.

Then I noticed a huge wall of bagged earth. At one store! And there are hundreds of displays like this just in my area. Where is all that earth coming from? Are we leaving enough to allow for farming nearby? Just another majour WOW!

My point in sharing this today is simple. Take a moment to think just a bit about what our time here on earth is all about. What is amazing and awesome to you? What impact are we having on the land? Be in awe of what we each have and are able to do. Share just a bit more with those who are having a rougher time. And for sure – stop and take time to smell the flowers and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Eat your vegetables and think about what it took to get to your table and the tables of the rest of your city!

Later is too late!

I imagine we have always been sort of now vs later sorts. What I mean is that we live in the now. Of course, that is all the rage these days in mindfulness and seizing the moment and carpe diem(?). However, there are things that we are facing that will not really hit us severely for some time but which are irreversible by the time we get hit very hard. Yes, I am thinking about climate change and our role in it.

It was not all that long ago that places like London, England had to deal,with pea soup fog that was the direct result of all the people living there burning coal to heat their homes. Then there were the horrible smog days all around the world in majour cities that were related to the exhaust of cars. These two examples show us what we do when we can actually see a problem. We make changes that at least reduce the problems if not illiminate them. If we did not mitigate these issues the effects on us would have been catastrophic. Did our actions totally remove the problems? Probably not but they were reduced to minimal levels that are manageable.

So, what about climate change? The problem here is that we cannot really see anything on a day to day basis. We have scientists tellling us that the global temperatures are rising and that it is due to green house gases. We have “nay-sayers” who opine that climate change is just a regular cycle of ups and downs here on earth. But we can’t see anything! And all tell us that the real problems are decades away! So we don’t do anything and we concentrate on news about celebrities and complain about governments.

Whatever side you are on related to climate change there a a couple of undeniable truths. Global temperatures are rising. Green house gases contribute to this rising temperature. The increasing temperatures result in water levels rising, ice fields shrinking (thereby reducing solar reflection), and more moisture in the air which results in much more severe weather events. Human activity produces a lot of green house gases that at least contribute to global warming. We are going to have to make majour adjustments to how we live and where we live over the next decades, starting today.

We absolutely need to start doing the doable right now. Even if we believe the effects of reducing our carbon emissions will be low, it will help slow the onslaught of more greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere and thereby reduce, however small, the warming trends. Every little bit will help. We need to do this now! Not develop plans to put in place years down the road.

More to come in future posts related to what we can do to reduce our carbon footprints and what we can do to make adjustments today to mitigate the disruptions that are coming. Let’s do this – together.

Electric Cars

A few things need to happen to allow electric cars to really become a standard mode of transportation. Let’s get the discussion going so the innovators get the message and make the necessary adjustments. The message is that we want electric cars but we also want the “convenience” we have become used to with the gas powered cars of the past 100 years. Change is resisted so let’s make change something to look forward to.

First of all, we need to be able to “gas up” easily and in just about 5 or so minutes. Not the 1/2 hour or more that the electric car industry seems to be touting as its objective. Their idea is that we will enjoy stopping in for a coffee or to eat or something like that. That is a corporate model, not a user friendly model. Rather, let us be able to just pull into a drive through bay, have our standardized battery pack dropped out and a fully charged one installed. This can be totally automated and take just about 5 minutes at the most.

Yes I do have a design in mind for the automated system. And I don’t know what I am doing. I just know how simple it can be. Those with the training and expertise can build it. In fact, if I can think of something like this, others can come up with even better solutions. They just need to think and do! Look what Amazon did with their order fulfillment centre.

It should be fairly easy to take the current gas stations and replace some of the pumps with a couple of drive through bays. When they dig out the huge storage tanks, they can put in the automated system for dropping out, replacing and charging the standard batteries. At the same time, instal large solar panels to assist with charging the batteries.

It should also be simple¬†to build new stations as well. They will be clean and the cars will not be noisy or “smelly” and therefore won’t be much of a blight on the surrounding areas as they come in to get their batteries changed.

Standard batteries still allow for lots of competition for the auto builders. They can focus on the extras. So a key is to get everyone together and agree on a standard. I am not talking about the insides of batteries or cars here. I am just talking about the size and how and where they will be placed on cars.

Then we will have specialists to develop batteries while car builders can focus on what their cars will be able to do with the new form of “gas” power (electric batteries). They can focus on developing better motors for driving the wheels. They can focus on developing more reliable ways that cars can take over so much of the mundane parts of driving. Of course, I hope they can speed up the whole process perfecting¬†cars that will drive themselves and we just have to be passengers.

Tesla is doing much to move this along. We need to get the others on board. We need good range per charge. We need quick and easy “charge ups” while travelling.

Attention folks in the car industry: let’s do this!