Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Paul Scott, my Winter Solstice inspiration...


I have known Paul Scott for a couple of years now since I became involved in solar. Paul is a consultant in California who is also very involved in electric vehicles, also called EV's. Paul has a Toyota RAV EV and a Vectrix... both of which I'm jealous of. For all the work I've done to Cut my transportation footprint by 20% by riding a bike, Paul has done much more by driving solar-powered electric vehicles.

I've had many conversations with naysayers over the years, pointing to the carbon footprint of creating an EV, solar panels, the transportation of these items, the raw materials, end-of-life, etc. Yet, each of these people goes on about the business of living their lives using their status quo fossil fuel vehicles, continuing to replace them every other year or so, doing little or nothing to reduce their own footprint.

Last night, my wife Kelley and I were discussing our own lives and our footprint... on the shortest day of the year... the winter solstice. We were trying to decide if the bicycling, walking, organic gardening, raising chickens and red wigglers, using hemp shopping bags, cfl's, electronic thermostats, wood-burning stove, etc., were really having an impact. At the end of the conversation it came down to what it means to us... we do it because it's our epitaph. We feel guilty not doing more. We can't accept not doing better or not doing anything at all, awaiting the coming curse to make the changes without choice.

Back to Paul Scott. Reading his blog today, I learned Paul is a survivor of cancer. His battle inspired him to juggle the most important things on his bucket list... he chose to embrace solar and EV's. Having learned this, it's causing me to reevaluate my list. Is it time for the solar guy to go solar... with 30+ trees around my house and more with surrounding neighbors, it's not going to happen at home. But, it could mean it's time for me to bear down on my hopes of creating a community solar program in Eugene. And that's my new bent. When that happens, I'm hoping it will be time to sign up for my EV. And I'm very hopeful that someone will be creating a biodiesel capable electric hybrid that plugs in. If not, I'll just have to do it myself...

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