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  KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - ח' בתשרי, תשס"ו
 
 

Energy Freedom

Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author
 
 

Did you know that it took almost 40 years for the telephone to be accepted into society as an everyday object? In fact the telephone was invented in 1876, but didn't reach from one end of the USA to the other until 1915 because there was little interest in the instrument. Because people felt that the telephone would destroy the warmth of face to face communication and they didn't take to the invention, there was no real need to rush with the long distance service. 

The automobile wasn't such a popular invention either in its time. It wasn't looked at as a means of transportation - as we look at it today.  The car was viewed as a nuisance and an impractical toy of the wealthy. People could not envision a car as the transportation of the future; the horse was considered the most reliable transportation around. 

Looking back now it seems quite foolish. While most of us feel we can't live without these two inventions, it took time until they morphed from an object of scorn to a much used and "can't live without" item. 

I have been thinking that it's time for us to work on and accept a new invention - one of an alternative form of energy. We have this strange love/hate relationship with oil and the countries that have it. 

We have this strange love/hate relationship with oil and the countries that have it.

We are obsessed with oil; we can't live with it and we can't live without it, yet for some reason the USA has not made finding an alternative energy a priority so we can put the oil threat behind us forever. 

The newest crisis with oil was the slowdown of production because of the hurricanes that hit the South Eastern part of the USA. The aftermath has caused prices to jump and sparked investigations of price-gouging in many states. Why are we so bound to oil as our main source of energy that we quake with fear each time there is a calamity? What hold does the oil have on us that we are sitting ducks for price gouging each time there is a catastrophe? The price jump affects our travel patterns and brings prices up everywhere. 

Each time there is a crisis of some sort - whether it's a major energy crisis like we had in the 70's or the crisis we have now with the hurricanes slowing down our productivity - people come up with ideas of alternative energy supply to fuel our cars, however as soon as the crisis of the moment is over we bury the idea of a new energy source or put it on the back burner. 

There are so many sources of energy that have been explored over the years and we still haven't made any of them attainable to the masses. We explored cars powered by batteries and solar power and even cars powered by water or propane gas. We have delved into other types of energy, but in times of crisis we are still being pushed around by the oil barons. 

Even when alternative sources of energy are discovered and perfected, such as solar panels for heating water in homes, it is not used widely enough in the parts of the country where the climate would allow benefit from the breakthrough. 

In the last 200 years the USA has come so far through the ingenuity of its citizens. We have made ‘birds' fly, built skyscrapers, sent people, messages and pictures through space, but we can't find an alternative energy that is attainable to all? My hope is that one day we will be able to accept one of the new sources of energy that are offered to us as a first choice, not an alternative and that we will look back and ask ourselves, "Why didn't we do that sooner?"

 

 

Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht

 

 
     
 
 
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