Saturday, June 19, 2010

Change we can believe in...

An airplane wing works by one great concept which at its simplest is this: The pressure under the wing must be greater than the pressure on top of the wing to induce a change in altitude. As a mechanically inclined person, I understand this without much thought. The wind moves over both sides of the wing at the same time. The wing, also called an airfoil, has a different shape on the top half which makes the speed different which lowers the pressure. A greater pressure on the bottom lifts the airfoil much like your hand under any object you hold. To change the height of the plane, we simply change the pressures on the wing.

This concept is universal. A hydraulic piston in a construction backhoe must experience a "pressure difference" in order to actuate the assembly. A car engine works by combusting a fossil fuel which in turn applies pressure to its piston. Water comes out of your faucet because the pressure on the pipes is greater than the pressure on the sink side. There must be a "pressure difference" to induce a movement.

So why all of this talk about pressure? There’s a saying: People won’t change unless the pressure of change can overcome the pressure of staying the same. That’s right. People hate change. In order to INVOKE change in another human being, you must change the physical circumstances OR MORE SPECIFICALLY change the way that person perceives the circumstances to actually be.

I write this piece in the midst of the Gulf Oil Crisis. I hear both sides of the congressional isle hammering away at the BP executives accusing them of destroying this environment. Fur is flying in the halls of congress and for what? Folks, they’re badgering the wrong people. It’s US. WE are the reason that BP is down there in the first place drilling for that oil. WE are the ones who choose to buy a home 15 miles from where we work. We are the ones who import our produce and groceries 1000 miles or more from where we live. We are the only creature lazy enough to drive to the gym so we can claim to work out.

I’m sick and tired of people pointing at each other and arguing over what the best course of action for our environment or that Congress should do this or that. I put as much faith in Congress to fix the problems with the environment as I do the companies sponsoring the people in Congress. I will make the change in my house and I will lead my family on this course. I have no faith in my government anymore to put the needs of the people above their own.

The question now is... will we change because the pain of change is coming in the form of higher gas prices and famine, or because we perceive the pain of change is already here in the form of what we're doing to our environment. Change is coming, better to make it on your terms. -Jason

UPDATE: Not 24 hours after I made this post, an article came out in CNN which was in line with what I was saying.

Oil Reality Check


  1. Well put. One problem toward people changing I think, is that there is such a huge difference between facts and experiences. Media, politicians, and the educational system all seem to think that simply throwing facts at us will bring about social change. However, head knowledge rarely changes behavior, while experiential knowledge almost always does. If facts alone could do it, no one would smoke, do drugs, litter, drive over the speed limit, etc. Change requires motivation. Higher gas prices for example, do change behavior; we saw that when they were driving up gas prices to get Bush out of office. Folks bought less fuel, drove slower, there was less traffic, less pollution, less accidents, etc., even if it was only temporary.

  2. Posted here per request from a FB string:

    Ok. I read "Pigs". Everyone thinks that fuel consumption is why we drill. It is a major reason, but not "THE" reason. Even if fuel was let's say $5-$7/gal or higher, the internal combustion engine will not go away for decades. I would say 25yrs @ best but probably more like 50 is closer but still conservative. So everyone quit blaming fuel for all of it. Where does everyone think most of the parts for the computer or phone they are using to comment here comes from, or the prescription they are taking,the contact lenses you put on this a.m., the clothes you are wearing (& don't say its cotton, that uses more petroleum than you imagine), the bedliner in your truck, the carpet in your house,speakers in your ear-buds, and the fertilizer you put on your lawn...shall I go on? It ALL comes from thermally cracking hydrocarbons. Where do we get most of our hydrocarbons? Oil! So "pigs" needs to think a little deeper unless he has bigger better ideas than regurgitating a lame pep jingle from a political campaign (I won't go into politics here). Yes we have energy problems, yes climate change is real (& @ least partially anthropogenic) but we can't replace petroleum right now or for quite some time. Nuke is the answer for electricity, there is no such thing as "clean coal". I'm gonna stop. I'm sure some of you are glad. I just wish people would stop showing their igno..."Lack of knowledge" about some things. Sorry Brian...I could go on but most people think they have the answers, whether they do or not; and are too far Right or Left or just plain blind to know what's really up

    As I wrote this I didn't know that the person who wrote this blog was who posted it on the string. I meant nothing personal towards him by it. He is 100% correct that you better not depend on your gvmt or president to be a guiding light. WE are the answer. Our Founding Fathers would be appalled at what we have/are becoming. The U.S. Constitution and Common Sense is what we need to lead this country. Ok so I wound up getting into a little politics.

    Chris Lee per your request

  3. Thank you, Chris.

    I made a post on Facebook and Chris chimed in right after me. He's right on a multiple levels; and like I told him, I'm not claiming to have the answers. I'm just trying to lead my family in the changes we can make. -Jason