Monday, May 16, 2011

Two Roads Diverge

We stand now where
two roads diverge.
But unlike the roads in
Robert Frost's familiar poem,
they are not equally fair.
The road we have long been
traveling is deceptively easy,
a smooth superhighway
on which we progress
with great speed,
but at its end lies disaster.

The other fork of the road--
the one "less traveled by"--
offers our last, our only chance
to reach a destination that assures
the preservation of our earth.

~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Of Note: With gas prices going up again, people might start to rethink their SUVs and consider an alternative fuel vehicle seriously. Change is hard, that's a fact. Therefore, we often require a little pain in order to spur us to do what we need to do. Pain in the pocketbook seems to be particularly effective, and gas prices at upward of $4 per gallon makes most of us say OUCH! A recent advertisement for the Nissan LEAF, the 100% electric car, explained that when we begin to make the change to alternative fuels such as electricity, the old Mile Per Gallon comparison will not stand up. After all, the LEAF doesn't even have a gas tank. What was suggested was a comparison based on how far a driver went on a single dollar. Of course, the reader could guess that the Nissan LEAF outshone all the other competitors at 25 miles traveled on a buck. The worst was the Chevrolet Corvette at 6 miles which is hardly a reasonable comparison. But other vehicles mentioned include the Ford Taurus at 7 miles, the Honda Accord at 9 miles, the Chevrolet Volt at 16.5 miles and finally the Toyota Prius Hybrid at 18 miles per dollar. None come close to the LEAF. In very teeny, tiny print, the formula for deriving the figures was stated and was Greek to this blogger. Rachel Carson might be pleased that the discussion has started in earnest about alternative fuels with the backing of the big oil and auto companies. The cynics may sniff that this is nothing and has happened before. However, the energy of real change is in the air, and nothing can arrest its progress. We only have to have faith in humanity that it will carry out its charge as world savior. Don't think we will be disappointed.

PS This photo was taken by my sister, Marie, at the Trinity Audubon Center in Dallas, Texas, a place that is teaching city folk the pleasures of nature.

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