While the markets here in the US remain volatile, the rest of the world is raking in the profits from our decline…..
Energy costs will continue to rise as the global currencies re-shift their values and the worlds power structures become re-aligned with coming new world order of things to come. It is imperative that here in Maine, we begin to seriously entertain alternative resources to provide for our energy needs. A couple of articles in the days papers bring some points to mind that we need to concern ourselves with as we explore these potential alternatives.
In one article, the possibility of increasing numbers of home fires needs to be examined as more and more people seek other means of heating their homes. An AP article relates that there seems to be an increase in the number of deaths this year over last for the first two months. At blame was the suggestion of old outdated space heaters and resurrected wood stoves being used with no inspection of the stove or chimney. I think it would be a good idea that we develop a habit, if we own this equipment, to have it all checked on a regular schedule. And especially so if it hasn’t been use for a while. Take a moment to balance the increasing price of heating oil with the value of your family.
In another article from the Portland Press Herald, the new wind turbine that Saco installed on the island was discussed. It seems that the potential for production hasn’t been met so far due to a lack of strong enough winds. Maine has the advantage of kind of being the narrow portion of a funnel when it comes to wind production in this country. Most of the stronger winds driven by the Jet Stream, and predominant wind patterns usually swings up through New England and becomes sort of concentrated in its force. It is an ideal opportunity for investment in a renewable, low cost alternative for electrical generation.
A lot of towns could benefit from following Saco’s example. While an effort is underway to leave the New England power grid, and join Canada, we must remember that a great deal of Canada’s power actually comes from nuclear generation. Do we really want to become part of the potential destruction to the environment meted out by the waste and byproduct of these reactors? Many people seem to labor under the impression that Canada gets the bulk of her power from those Hydro stations in Quebec, but most of the power from those stations actually gets sold to the US.
And while the price of gasoline keeps inching up to $4.00 per gallon, (I predicted this last year, remember?) an article in the Kennebec Journal talks about how the tourism industry is crossing their fingers in hopes of having a good year, in spite of the fear of a downturn in the industry. While it is more than likely the industry will be hurt, some people seem to feel as though the higher costs of gasoline is not going to be an issue. Perhaps not, but we must remember that it isn’t just gasoline that is increasing. Everything is going up, from interest rates to food to auto parts and repairs and lodging. Higher gasoline costs will definitely be in issue with the travelers, but combined with all of the other increases, I believe we should be looking for a slow summer as far as tourism goes. I think that we should be looking at a season that is more of a local type of trade. Mainers going for day trips. Maybe spending days at a beach closer to home. Also is the possibility that more Mainers will be shopping at Maine’s retail destinations instead of Mass. or NH malls and resorts.
But on the plus side of this issue is the fact that with the decline of the dollar, foreign currency will gain in value, and with that in mind, we may be seeing a lot more foreign travellers than normal. The Canadians should love the increased power their dollar holds against the US dollar. I bet Old Orchard may well have a banner year with the Quebec trade.