Re: Weasels vs. transparancy / traffic cameras

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue May 23 2000 - 13:42:30 MDT

BillK wrote:

> I liked Mike's story about how he changed his driving behaviour and I
> connected it with the article written by Professor Meadows about how driving
> one of these new Honda cars with an electronic fuel consumption meter
> completely changed her driving behaviour. (Other car companies are
> introducing them as well). As she said, instant feedback is what we need,
> and lots of it! If we could see instantly what the effect was of every
> action we took, it would enable us to amend our behaviour immediately and
> lessen any bad results. Not just car driving, but everything, from leaving
> lights on, turning up the central heating, having a six-litre engine instead
> of a one-litre, voting for Gore, etc. And, of course, if crime had an
> instant negative feedback, that would also reduce.

I've met Donella Meadows, she lives across the river, and I've seen her around
town in the 'thing'. It looks like any other car with the exception of the
covers over the rear wheels. She writes her columns typically for our local
paper, the Valley News, and she is the founder of the Sustainability Institute.
I used to find her columns to be out to lunch, but I've noticed that in the last
year, as she's been doing a lot more hands on work, such as driving her Honda
hybrid car, she has mellowed her previously notorious tree hugger attitudes. She
is adored by the crunchy crowd in these parts though, which causes me some
discomfort at the idea that I find myself actually agreeing with some of her
more reasonable columns. She even has said positive things about hunters, which
even she admits is a revolution for her...

She is quite correct about this instant feedback thing. She has recently asked
for designers to come up with a power meter that an average person can
understand, that is designed to look like an attractive appliance for the home,
so you can see, sitting in your living room, what you are spending on energy
just 'sitting there'. Its a rather decent idea. Of course, those with the money
to burn aren't going to give a rats ass how much they use.

Mike Lorrey

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