“Self-Reliance & Sustainable Development” – Energy Efficiency

NB – This continues the ongoing transcription of a 2002 ‘Manifesto for a Democratic Socialist Bermuda’, which I wrote for the purpose of initiating discussion about organising a democratic socialist (DS) Party in Bermuda. I am reproducing it here for it’s historical interest, it’s role in the genesis of this blog itself, and for the purpose of stimulating discussion in the future.

Efficiency

As the previous section on water loosely showed, an important step prior to initiating self-reliance is to review the possible avenues of resource conservation. Concerning energy conservation, we are presented with several possible ways to reduce our energy consumption:

A) Lighting: The common 60/80/100 watt filament bulbs may be replaced with more energy efficient bulbs. These bulbs not only provide more light for less energy, but are also longer-lived. Their high-price may be reduced through bulk purchase by the State, and subsequently rationed throughout the population as necessary. Education will however continue to emphasise turning unused lights off to conserve more energy (possible use for motion sensors).

B) More efficient appliances: Appliances possessing greater energy efficiency and low standby power exist, and would greatly reduce the islands levels of energy consumption. Trials should be conducted to determine the best appliances, and these subsequently phased in.

C) Rechargeable Batteries: Over the long-term these are more efficient and reduce the levels of heavy metals leached into the environment than the common disposable batteries.

D) Transportation:

i) Public transport is, on average, more efficient than private transport, and should be further subsidised so that the fare is negligible or non-existent. In addition to the current bus and ferry network, the (re)construction of a rail system (potentially following the entire railway trail, or one of the two – east or west – trails, with either express from one end of the country to the other, or with one-stop per parish) should be investigated for its feasibility.

ii) A communal bicycle system may also be initiated to complement the public transportation system. All automobiles may, and should, become either fuel-cell or electric-based to further reduce dependency on fossil-fuels (while fuel may still be required for electricity production for these cars, the efficiency is greater than for internal combustion engines of individual cars, and renewable energy sources could be used instead to).

iii) This programme envisages a future where transportation is wholly ‘public’ based, with only emergency vehicles and potentially disabled individuals/families possessing individual (‘private’/personal) transport. Not only will this system save energy, but would also enhance tourism, reduce pollution and benefit the overall health of the population in the long-term.

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