Global Neighborhoods: Neighbors Checking On Neighbors' Energy?
A New Kind of Neighborhood Watch for Neighbors Interested in Monitoring Each Other's Energy Use
• Do you think that...
the amount of electricity you use should be a decision your neighbors make for you?
• Have you...
ever encountered someone who was upfront and personal about the way you manage your power usage?
• Has anyone ever...
addressed you about the amount of shopping you do or the kind of car you drive?
• Do you have
...neighbors who are interested in how big your personal carbon footprint is?
Do You Want Your Neighbors Deciding Whether You are Green Enough when it Comes to Your Energy Use?
Even though some good information can be obtained through talk radio, listening to it is not my usual habit. I most often turn it on when washing dishes because the soothing sounds of moving water help balance the raucous sounds of the programming.
At it’s most discordant moments I simply turn it off, but recently I heard something that compelled me to leave it on in spite of the brusque manner of the speaker and his grating lead-ins. Comments about a movement in California that would disclose entire neighborhood’s electric bills to each individual homeowner in an effort to establish a program where neighbors are supposed to motivate high users to use less energy caught my attention.
I already have personal experience with this sort of behavior here in the South, but I thought it was just our one set of eccentric neighbors. What I was hearing seemed surreal, but there I was looking out my kitchen window at those neighbor’s home.
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I should not be surprised that there is a real movement toward this, but I was surprised that any electric company would consider involvement with such activity. Then I remembered that the government could make the electric companies reveal everyone’s power usage to their neighbors. How odd is that? Apparently, not very in our sociopolitical climate.
Most Americans have enough knowledge of history to be able to put together the puzzle pieces and see the whole picture on this without my writing about Big Brother, Communism, or Socialism. Americans may need more input from people who have lived out the realities of neighbors spying on neighbors for their governments, but that's not for today.
The purpose of this hub is to share my experience and to ask if you have had similar a one. If so, I am asking you to help me open up a dialogue on the issue and to possibly write your own hub if your perspective on it is broader than mine.
(Rants should be held for another time and place so that we can stick to personal experiences, responses to those experiences, and any other pertinent facts.)
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Here, in My Neighborhood?
So, my experience is with close neighbors who are nice enough people. We’ve had a good neighborhood relationship with them. We knew that they were “global neighbors” and a bit “green” before they began mentioning their concerns about the environment over the last year or so.
In one visit last year they said they had noticed how our lights are on “all the time.” My thought at that moment was something along the lines of how very busy we had been and how they had no idea what we had been dealing with. Sharing a little more about what we had been going through ended conversation on that topic--for the time being.
However, a couple more visits revealed that the topic of our power usage was a growing concern to them. My first impulse in such a situation is to reply, “What possible use could that information be to you” but I have lived long enough to know that my innate feeling that anyone who does not mind their own business lives in a glass house and deserves what they get for their nosiness does not give me much opportunity to help them rethink their positions.
I replied in a kind manner to their questions, but I found that there was no understanding or openness about the matter for their part. Our neighbors want to be praised for their efforts to save the earth’s geo-systems and they want to criticize anyone who does not do so with them.
The last time they brought this issue up they were more pointed about their observances of the way we live, even mentioning our vehicles on top of our electric usage. Evidently ours are too big and too many for their tastes.
Perhaps someone is actually working late after walking back to work on certain evenings. What if someone is working late and will be picked up later in the evening? Maybe someone is pulling an in-office all-nighter so a project can get done! Is any of that any one else's business?
My opinion is that these people have been watching too much television and have stopped thinking for themselves. With all of their education, they are not looking at history, paralleling research, or considering how foolishly scientists speak at times. They have been blinded by a wrong perception of science and their own importance.
Bottom line? I came away from these “visits” feeling like they were “interviews,” as well as with a feeling that there is an underlying unfriendliness toward us that is couched in “neighborliness.” I hate it because I like these people otherwise.
They have a lot of potential in life even though they are a little older than ourselves. They could spend their time wisely making a difference in the lives of needy people by volunteering in a church or community center. As it is, I hope they just pick on us and leave others alone if they are going to simply buy what they get through the media's feeding tubes.
My experiences with our friends and what I heard on the radio talk show have given me a whole new perspective on the definition of neighborhood watch programs. For now, my main goal is to find out who else is experiencing this phenomenon and get a frank discussion going about it.
Are you hearing from your “global" neighbors?
Have you encountered neighbors interested in your energy use?
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More on the Green Theme:
- Where Have all the Light Bulbs Gone for the Easy Bake Oven?
Stock up on incandescant light bulbs if your child owns an Easy Bake Oven. Once these bulbs filter out of the market, you may not be able to replace them.
Interview on Efforts to stem Global Warming
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