Conservationism is hogwash

I know, I know. Heresy to say such a thing the day after Earth Day, but I’m saying it.

Ok, let me be a bit more specific.

Water and electric conservation is poppycock.

I’m mad. Can you tell?

I’ll tell you why in two stories.

One from several years back. One from a couple days ago that got my ire all up again.

First story. Electricity.

You may recall in the early 2000’s, California was going through a power crisis during the hot summer months.

We were subject to brownouts and rolling blackouts. Which is just a nice way of saying, “oooops, your power is out, we did it on purpose.”

Then-Governor Gray Davis challenged all of us to conserve power with the threat of increased power rates. It was a rallying cry. Stores turned off half or more of their lights. The Bay Bridge and Golden Gate went dark (turned off the accent lights, kept the roadway lights on), and I personally worked really hard to use less energy.

What happened?

The state of California conserved 11% energy. ELEVEN PERCENT!! That is a HUGE number.

We were then rewarded by the news that the power companies were corrupt, our overuse was never the issue, and rates went up, by a lot, to offset the crisis.

Conserving power meant nothing. Nothing. We paid more anyway.

Second story. Water.

It’s been noted in the news recently that California is having an especially dry year. Our reservoirs are a bit low. We didn’t get the snow pack that those that know would like to see.

So in Santa Clara County, they have enacted conservation…with the threat of raising rates.

And the people and businesses are doing it. They are conserving.

On the radio Tuesday, I heard a report that conservation has worked SO well that the water company hasn’t been bringing in enough billing revenue to sustain their beleaguered business model.

So they are going to raise rates, anyway.

Working so hard to conserve water meant NOTHING.

This concept of voluntary conservationism is useless and a bunch of bullhockey! Don’t threaten or coerce me. If you are just going to raise my rates then go ahead and raise my rates. That will get me to use less, I promise!

Any first year business student can draw for you the chart showing supply and demand. And price is a factor in demand. A BIG factor.

You raise rates, people will want to pay less, they will use less and conservation of resources happens.

This jimmy-jacking around, blaming the victim, telling me I’m a bad consumer and must use less or bad things will happen…so then I use less and bad things happen anyway?

By the by…I already use so little water and so little power as to be laughable. I turn off lights, I unplug appliances, I use Energy Star. My bills stay pretty low.

So no. I’m done. I’m done trying really hard to conserve even more, only to be rewarded by higher rates anyway.