Thursday, April 10, 2008

Change the Game

Even though the day started a bit rainy, I had already decided to make this a "Townie" day. The air was clean and crisp, and after a few minutes, I even considered taking my coat out of my new camelback backpack. But cool air, sans compressors and condensers ,will be in short supply soon enough, so I just kept moving.

It's only about 3 miles from the little house to the big house and my West Campus Office, and it's mostly downhill. As I made my way through the neighborhoods, I remembered I needed to buy a new timer for the outside house lights, so I stopped by the hardware store I lovingly call "Greeds".

It was fun setting the kick stand and dismounting like a cowboy from off the range instead of looking for the optimum parking spot. After I got my timer, I slipped over to the french bakery next door and got a coffee. Since I couldn't drink and drive, I did some business on the cell phone, and then I realized that there was a huge, registered live oak behind the parking lot. There, I drank my decaf and admired the 400 year old tree and chatted with some of its inhabitants.

Even with my dallying, I was in my office within 40 minutes of my departure.

I did my normal e mail chores, checking my various accounts, clearing the decks so I could go to an industry strategy meeting that was being held in a Hotel in mid-town.

I put my money bag in my little quick-clip rear carrying bag, and headed for the bank. I pulled into the commercial lane, as I always do, and set the kick stand. The teller said, "Hey nice bike". "It's a Townie", I said. From the bank, I made my way over to a local sandwich shop where I parked my bike next to an outdoor table and ordered.

An architect friend from the Historical Commission walked by. "That your bike" "Yeah man", I said.

I then made my way to the Hotel where the planning session was. I pulled into the front and asked the Doorman if the bike racks were down in the parking garage. "We don't have any", he responded. I ended up locking it up to their smokers bench.

At the planning session we did our usual thing. Since the organization represents most of the renewable interests in the state, we broke into groups to talk about future legislation for solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. The folks in this process are serious people. Many have businesses and some represent large corporations or utilities. We talked about net billing, and expanding the Texas RPS, and we tried to get our hands around the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone process that is finally beginning to actually do what it is supposed to do.

We talked about how the new nodal pricing policy will effect the development of renewables in the western parts of the state. It will be a disaster.

And we talked about the need for these pricing nodes to reflect environmental considerations. Otherwise, we will have coal plants competing against wind plants in the middle of the night with coal plants winning.

I left the meeting for a while to visit with a couple of Senior Vice Presidents from a major energy company in the cafe in the lobby. We all agreed that soon, very soon, it will become apparent that the Texas Wind boom is getting ready to run into a thick constipated morass of inaction at the regulatory level.

The so called CREZ process is supposed to expedite the construction of transmission lines to our resource rich regimes. Instead, it is turning the booming Texas wind industry into a LaBrea tar pit.

After the meeting, I zipped in and out of the back streets through the rush hour traffic. At the only light where I had to stop, another bike rider pulled up. He looked at my bike. "Nice Bike," he said.


Even as Texas continues to lead the nation in wind power, the economic forces of greed continue to lead in the only way they know how. And if that means strangling the weak and frustrating the small to gain position and market share, that is exactly what they will do.

Working together to meet the real and dangerous "species ending problems" that we all face is not in their play book. They are not concerned about climate change and the Arctic sea ice melting. They don't care about the food riots in Egypt and the rising food costs worldwide. They do not bother themselves with thoughts of Peak Oil and the effect of high energy prices in the third world or even on the east side.

Forget about the "level playing field".

We must Change the Game,

and transform our pacman mentality

into an epic effort to overcome the deadly serious challenges

that lay ahead.

Riding my "townie" all day

somehow helped me see that.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

A change in consciousness is slowly
changing the game. dan

9:28 PM  
Blogger respectisthehub said...

Hey...nice bike.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

I went to the Bicycle Sports Shop some fifteen years ago and bought a Cruiser with a zillion gears. I think I rode it maybe five times. One it was dangerous riding down North Lamar to Airport Blvd and second it was dangerous riding in the neighborhood, or I thought it was. Then there was the pedaling part. My bad Viet Nam knee just never got the hang of it. It kept swelling up the size of cantaloupe and when I asked the doctor about it he said, "How about a knee replacement?"

Ahh, well that was fifteen years ago and the knee still sort of works for walking and hiking and that bike has two flat tires and a rusty chain.

Then seven years ago I moved to Real de Catorce and then to Real County where everything is up hill. I have the right brain idealism but the left handed Republican brain says, "Hey Fool, they invented cars for people like you to use and when we run out of gas we will be out of gas and you will be dead anyway."

Good old brain always coming up with a good excuse.

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go, Oz. Love the bike!


9:16 AM  

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