Each and every time a pipeline burns in Iraq, each and every time a hurricane attacks an oil refinery, the subject of discussion changes to “Energy Preservation” . Lots of discussion, minimum action. Our cars are becoming S.U.V.s, our S.U.V.s are becoming HUMMERS and our HUMMERS are becoming HUMMERS LIMOS. Nuclear power is at a standstill, wind energy is yet to be harnessed and the much promised new chapter in solar energy is called Chapter 11.
I know it’s difficult to give up the good life: leisure driving, speed boating, air-conditioning or barbecued spare-ribs. Cheer up! There is no need to suffer. There are many areas in which saving energy -without pain- is possible.
Here are a few:
SUBPOENA CENTERS. Our litigious population is divided into two major groups: 1) subpoena servers 2) subpoena receivers. In major cities, subpoena serving is child’s play. With dozens of subpoena receivers in each skyscraper, subpoena servers can do a day’s work in minutes. But in suburbia, where the distance between subpoena receivers is measured in miles, subpoena serving is a difficult and gas-guzzling experience.
The installation of subpoena centers in shopping malls will save millions of gallons of gasoline. Instead of driving like maniacs from door to door, subpoena servers will now sit comfortably behind desks. By law, all citizens 18 or older will stop once a month during shopping to ask: “Anything for me?”
REAL-ESTATE VANS. All real-estate agents waste energy. Prospective buyers are driven from house to house. When the tour of homes for sale ends, the agent returns to his real-estate office and the next prospective buyer is driven from house to house. A busy agent does six or seven such circuits a day and fills the gas tank every 24 hours.
A roomy van or minibus and a twice-a-day schedule of tours will not only save energy but, because of mass psychology and competitive bidding situations, will also sell more house in less time.
WEDDING BUSES. The long line of noisy cars behind the bride and bridegroom’s limo will be replaced by an energy efficient bus. A modified horn will allow the bus driver to play “Here Comes the Bride.”
FUNERAL BUSES. See “wedding buses.” No horn modification necessary.
VACATION SIMULATORS. In the era of electronic marvels, vacation simulators will save travel time and gasoline and will bring safer holidays without the fear of accidents, car sickness, air sickness or sea sickness. You can even drink the water!
HOME TELECONFERENCES. Closed-circuit television or the internet will allow participation at P.T.A. meetings and other events from the privacy of your home. Estimated fuel savings: 48 gallons per average meeting.
MODIFIED SPORT EVENTS. Small modifications in car races and other gasoline-powered sport events could provide fewer accidents and large energy savings. Example: The Indianapolis Five, The Daytona Five and The 24 Minutes of Le Mans.
And, to finish, let’s not forget the MICROWAVE FIREPLACES. They allow you to spend an entire pleasant evening in 6 minutes and will save time and wood (or natural gas).